Connections Unplugged: The Generals and the Hornet's Nest

There are lots of articles about the background of Tampa socialite and party planner Jill Kelley and her twin sister, lawyer Natalie Khawam, and their access to top military officials, here and in the Middle East, including Gen. David Petraeus and John Allen.

The first question that comes to mind: Why were Gen. Allen and Jill Kelley, who has no particular expertise in foreign affairs, the military or Government, exchanging 20 to 30,000 pages of documents (including several hundred e-mails) over a two year period? What documents would be of mutual interest to a party planner socialite and a top General? It doesn't sound like there was any romantic relationship between them, so what was their mutual interest? Was she feeding him information? About what? Where did she get the documents she sent him? What documents was he sending her?

[T]he bureau turned over a mountain of documents to Pentagon officials, including an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 pages, based largely on communication between Allen and Kelley, prompting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to order an inspector general inquiry.


The Washington Post reports:

The printouts of the (e-mail) exchanges and associated documents stretch for 20,000 to 30,000 pages.

Why does Leon Panetta say about Gen. Allen and Jill Kelley, "No one should leap to any conclusions here." Unless Kelley had some real role with the CIA or the military, and the volume and nature of the shared documents is explained by that role, why wouldn't it be a matter of concern? Is Panetta trying to keep her role secret?

Why did Kelley ask for "diplomatic protection" when she called 911 to complain about the gawkers at her home days ago?

In 911 calls released to the media, an operator says, "All right, we'll get an officer out to you." Kelley replies, "Thank you. And you know, um, I don't know if by any chance, um, 'cause I'm a honorary consul general, so I have inviolability. So they should not be able to cross my property. I don't know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well."

The second question is who paid for her lavish parties to honor military guests? It doesn't sound like many of the parties were charity events people had to pay to attend. Kelley held a lot of celebratory parties for high-powered officials. In addition to the catering costs, there were security costs, entertainment costs for four string quartets and the like, valet parking costs, etc. Charity fundraisers don't fund the events themselves, they take the costs out of proceeds from the event. When they throw non-charity, celebratory parties for an organization on a regular basis, doesn't the organization reimburse them? Did the military reimburse Kelley for these parties? How many Pentagon dollars went to these events? Did the CIA kick in a share? Kelley and her husband's financial problems -- foreclosures, lawsuits over credit card debt -- have been going on for a few years. And just last weekend, she was hosting yet another party. Has anyone asked Linda Baldwin, the owner of Events by Amore, which catered some of Kelley's events, how Kelley paid her?

Where did Kelley get $800,000. to loan or give her sister Natalie?(Natalie told the divorce court it was a gift, but told the bankruptcy court it was a loan.) Was it this money, rather than the cost of the parties, that caused Jill Kelley's finances to crumble?

The third question is how did Jill Kelley have access to mideast military officials?

A military officer who is a former member of Petraeus' staff said Kelley was a "self-appointed" go-between for Central Command officers with Lebanese and other Middle Eastern officials.

Kelley's family fled Lebanon when she and her twin sister were young children. They are Catholic.I assume the word "fled" is used to mean they fled to avoid persecution. According to Wikipedia, Catholics in Lebanon are still influential in the military and banking industry. But if her family fled Lebanon, wouldn't they have severed ties? How does Kelley, a Tampa housewife not yet 40 years old with no career or government experience, know Lebanese "and other middle eastern" military officials" well enough to serve as a go-between between them and U.S. military officials?

Then there's the political angle: Kelley, her husband, her sister, and her sister's ex-husband, are all Republicans. Her brother says Kelley was a political fundraiser before becoming a military fundraiser. Were any of her actions politically motivated? Was she a political operative of any kind? Was her initial decision to go to the FBI politically motivated in any way?

It seems Kelley's twin sister, Natalie Khwam, rather than Jill, was the sister with some middle-eastern connections. Her ex-husband, Grayson Wolfe, whom she battled over custody and lost, and for whom both Generals Petraeus and Allen wrote letters of support to the court in her bid to overturn the judge's custody decision, is a former Bush Administration official. He was also the Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of the U.S. Export-Import Bank of the United States. In May, 2005 (before he and Natalie were married) the U.S. Embassy sent out this press release:(Available on Lexis.com)


Mr. Muntasir Okleh, Secretary General of the Jordanian Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Mr. Grayson Wolfe, Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of the U.S. Export-Import Bank of the United States, met with media representatives today in Amman, Jordan to announce the upcoming Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Trade and Investment Finance Conference to be held May 17-19, 2005. The conference is co-hosted by the U.S. and Jordanian governments.

The Conference will be among the largest gatherings of government officials, trade and development agency representatives, and the private sector ever conducted in the Near East region. Officials from 21 nations will be represented. The gathering builds upon commitments and activities undertaken by leaders of the G-8 and countries of the BMENA nations at Sea Island, Georgia (June 2004) and Rabat, Morocco (December 2004), and aims to address key economic reform, trade, investment and finance issues in the BMENA region.

He's now employed as a consultant, and according to the judge in the custody case, "is a partner in Akkadian Ltd., a District-based entity engaged in infrastructure investments and other business transactions in foreign countries, primarily in the Middle East." During the divorce, Natalie alleged he owned property in Dubai and Pakistan.

While married, Wolfe traveled to the Middle East frequently, taking Natalie on a few trips. The trips are mentioned because they fought during them, but before getting to that, I'm going to work backwards from the most recent order of April, 2012. It gives a sense of the enormous scale of the case and the court's views of Natalie's actions and character. Then I'll get back to the specifics, including the middle east travel. Both court orders are available on Lexis and Westlaw, and as attachments to pleadings filed in Natalie's bankruptcy case on PACER. Each is about 30 pages long, and I'm not going to republish them in their entirety. I'll just quote the parts I think are relevant to a discussion of how odd it is that two top Generals would so closely align themselves with these sisters.

From the April, 2012, order, directing Natalie Khawam to pay Wolfe's attorneys $350,000 in legal fees as a result of her fabrications and misconduct. First, it summarizes the overall custody and divorce case:

The parties married on April 5, 2008 in the District of Columbia after a brief courtship, and their first and only child was born on October 23, 2008 at Georgetown University Hospital. On March 4, 2009, Ms. Khawam removed the child (then four months old) from the marital home and took him to Florida against Mr. Wolfe's wishes. Once there, Ms. Khawam refused Mr. Wolfe's repeated requests to return the child to the District of Columbia and prevented Mr. Wolfe from having any contact with the child for more than seventeen months, by prosecuting a series of unsupported ex parte domestic violence petitions in the Florida courts, mounting a lengthy (and unsuccessful) challenge to this court's jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act ... and refusing to comply with at least five pendente lite custody and visitation orders issued by this court between April 2009 and June 2010.

The court was finally able to begin the father-son reunification process in August 2010, and visitation between Mr. Wolfe and the child increased during the remainder of the pretrial period. In the end, after eighteen days of hearings on Ms. Khawam's motion to dismiss the custody action under the UCCJEA and an additional nineteen days of trial on the merits, this court determined, based on extensive expert and lay testimony, that the child's interests would be best served by his placement with Mr. Wolfe.

The permanent custody decree issued on November 9, 2011 placed the child (by then three years old) in the sole legal and primary physical custody of Mr. Wolfe in the District of Columbia and limited Ms. Khawam's access to the child to three supervised daytime visits per week. A divorce trial followed, at which all related financial issues (distribution of property, alimony, child support, and attorney's fees) were addressed. The findings of fact and conclusions of law that accompanied the judgment of absolute divorce entered on April 6, 2012 resolved all but one of the financial issues. The issue left unresolved in the divorce decree was a request by Mr. Wolfe for an award of more than $700,000 in attorney's fees and costs he incurred in the litigation before this court.

Before the court ruled on the attorneys' fees, Natalie filed for bankruptcy in Florida and sought an automatic stay, which would have precluded the divorce court from entering an order that she be liable for the attorneys' fees. The judge ruled he had authority to impose the fee order based on the necessaries doctrine, under which the trial judge in a custody case "is authorized to grant attorney's fees where the court finds that counsel was necessary to protect the interests of the child." He wrote:

This was an incredibly complex and hard-fought custody case, with interstate jurisdictional conflicts, horrific allegations of domestic violence, threats of arrest and prosecution in Florida, intense factual disputes on seemingly every point, and dueling expert testimony about attachment theories, reunification, and the psychological makeup of the parties. In the end, the evidence established that it was essential to the child's interests and welfare that he be placed in Mr. Wolfe's sole legal and primary physical custody. It is inconceivable that the evidentiary record on which the court reached this conclusion would have been anywhere near as complete or accurately presented had Mr. Wolfe, a non-lawyer, been left to represent himself in the litigation.

Basically, according to the divorce court, Natalie flees from DC to Florida with the 4 month old baby and doesn't let the father see him for 17 months, and continues to file for restraining orders in the Florida courts, alleging domestic abuse that never happened, which ran up his legal bills, and the court orders her to pay half of them.

Mr. Wolfe's lawyer handled everything that came her way with an admirable level of efficiency, skill, and (mostly) good humor. Her fees are substantially less than those incurred by Ms. Khawam, who often had teams of lawyers at her side, and are eminently reasonable under the circumstances.

Then there's this slap to Natalie (and her sister) over the loan vs. gift testimony discrepancy and the standard of living of the sisters:

Ms. Khawam claimed at the custody trial in 2011 to be employed as an attorney in two jobs with a total income of more than $300,000 annually, but by the time of the divorce trial in March 2012 she said she was unemployed, with little or no prospects for significant income in the near future. Then, in April 2012, Ms. Khawam filed for bankruptcy, claiming she owes more than $1,000,000 in personal loans to friends who have paid her attorney's fees and financed her many trips from Florida to the District of Columbia for the litigation and for her visits with the child.

The bankruptcy court may ultimately make its own judgment concerning the credibility of Ms. Khawam's claims of indebtedness, but it is important to note that Ms. Khawam testified at the divorce trial, one month before she filed her bankruptcy petition, that she had no obligation to repay any of the money her friends had given her for attorney's fees and travel to and lodging in the District of Columbia.

And with regard to that travel and lodging, the evidence showed that Ms. Khawam certainly does not live like a person facing great financial pressure. Ms. Khawam flies round trip from Florida to the District of Columbia every week and stays each time for three or four nights in a suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the District, even though she owns a furnished (and unoccupied) condominium here, and even though her lawyer told the court in his closing argument at the custody trial that Ms. Khawam would move to the District if Mr. Wolfe was awarded primary custody of the child; Ms. Khawam also has essentially unlimited use of her twin sister's credit cards and lives rent-free in Florida with her sister and brother-in-law in what her brother-in-law described at the custody trial as a ten-bedroom mansion in a beautiful neighborhood right on Tampa Bay.

[In a later order, the court adds: "The evidence showed that although Ms. Khawam participates in the child's care at her sister's home, she has delegated a substantial portion of the care to a large staff of nannies and other assistants employed in the home."]

The custody litigation in this case has been exceptionally expensive and burdensome for Mr. Wolfe. The litigation has cost him a total of well over $1,000,000 in attorney's fees and costs in the District of Columbia and Florida; it has limited his ability to travel and otherwise pursue his own business interests; and it has consumed at least three years of his life. Equally important, the principal causes of the oppressiveness of the litigation have been Ms. Khawam's outrageous conduct and bad faith litigation tactics. This case never would have been anywhere near as expensive or psychologically draining for Mr. Wolfe had Ms. Khawam not absconded to Florida with the child and then behaved as she did.

...In the final analysis, however, the court finds Ms. Khawam's claims of indebtedness unpersuasive in light of her contrary testimony at the divorce trial, and the court, having balanced all of the relevant factors, concludes that an award of $350,000 is appropriate under the circumstances.

How did their relationship deteriorate to that point? Going back now to the 2011 order granting Wolfe full custody and finding her dishonest and psychologically unstable, the court says their relationship was always rocky, and they split up frequently. She claimed in 2008, he had non-consensual sex with her and didn't use protection, and that's how she got pregnant.

The parties met in the District of Columbia in late September 2007 and began dating soon thereafter. The relationship was tumultuous from the start, and the parties broke up and got back together several times within the first few months. One night in late January 2008, the parties had a particularly heated dispute over Mr. Wolfe's relationship with a former girlfriend, only to reconcile later the same night and have sexual relations inside Mr. Wolfe's home. Although Ms. Khawam declined to use the term "rape" to describe what happened that night, she alleged at trial that the sexual relations were non-consensual and unprotected.

Wolfe went off on a trip to the Middle East, and Natalie discovered she was pregnant. When Wolfe returned from the Middle East, he moved in with her and they decided to have the child and get married.

Ms. Khawam testified at trial that she believes the child was conceived on the night in late January 2008 on which the parties argued and allegedly had non-consensual sexual relations inside Mr. Wolfe's home.

They got married and continued to fight.

They had a particularly difficult time together in August 2008 on a business trip to the Middle East on which Ms. Khawam accompanied Mr. Wolfe. The frequency and intensity of the parties' arguments then increased even further following the birth of the parties' child in October 2008, often over accusations of late-night carousing and infidelity leveled at Mr. Wolfe by Ms. Khawam.

In November, Wolfe went back to the middle east, and when he came home, things got worse. In March, 2009, Natalie left with the child flew to Tampa, and never came back. Nor would she tell Wolfe where she was or let him visit the child. Wolfe went to court in Washington, D.C. and got an order of temporary custody. The day after being served, Natalie went to court in Tampa, swore out a domestic violence complaint and got a restraining order against Wolfe:

Ms. Khawam claimed that she had been a resident of the State of Florida for more than six months prior to the filing of her petition and alleged that Mr. Wolfe had committed a wide array of acts of domestic violence against her and the child, including threats to kill her and to take the child to the Middle East; incidents of shaking the child; sexual abuse of her; and assaults of her and the child with shoes, hangers, boots, containers, and belts. Despite a specific question on the form petition requiring her to identify all other pending and past cases involving the parties, Ms. Khawam failed to notify the court in Tampa about the pending District of Columbia custody action or Judge Saddler's temporary custody order.

The court in Tampa issued an ex parte temporary injunction on April 18, 2009, pending a further hearing on April 28, 2009. The injunction directed Mr. Wolfe to stay at least 500 feet from Ms. Khawam and granted Ms. Khawam temporary "100% time-sharing" of the parties' child. It also barred Mr. Wolfe from having any contact with the child and, at Ms. Khawam's specific request, provided that neither party could remove the child from the State of Florida.

That same day, April 18, 2009, Ms. Khawam also made a report to the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency accusing Mr. Wolfe of abusing the child. No prior report of abuse had been made by either party. The Child and Family Services Agency later dismissed the report as unfounded, following an investigation.

A week later, Natalie went back to court in Tampa to seek sole custody and expanded her domestic violence allegations:

Expanding on the allegations contained in her domestic violence petition of April 18, 2009, Ms. Khawam then alleged, among other things, that on repeated occasions Mr. Wolfe had screamed and thrown objects at her and the child (once hitting the child in the head with a shoe); threatened to kill her and make her body disappear; and pushed her in the chest with both hands, run into her with his shoulder, violently shaken the child, and shown him pornography. Ms. Khawam stated further that Mr. Wolfe owned real property in Dubai, Lebanon, and Pakistan and that he had threatened to kidnap the child and take him abroad to a place where she would never be able to find him. Ms. Khawam asked the court to grant her sole custody of the child and to limit Mr. Wolfe to supervised visits with the child within the State of Florida. The court issued an ex parte order on April 26, 2009 granting Ms. Khawam temporary sole custody of the child and, again at the specific request of Ms. Khawam, enjoining both parties from removing the child from the State of Florida.

Natalie kept going back to extend the temporary orders, each time adding details to the domestic assault allegations, "including descriptions of incidents alleged to have occurred in Tampa in April 2009, when the parties were physically separated and Mr. Wolfe was in the District of Columbia....It appears from the record that the court in Tampa issued the temporary ex parte injunctions without hearing any live testimony or receiving any evidence beyond the sworn written statements contained in Ms. Khawam's ex parte petitions."

In June, 2010, the Tampa court reversed course:

On June 22, 2010, more than fourteen months after the issuance of the first temporary ex parte domestic violence injunction, the court in Tampa determined, after briefing by both parties, that it lacked jurisdiction over Ms. Khawm's domestic violence actions against Mr. Wolfe. The court accordingly dismissed, with prejudice, all of Ms. Khawam's domestic violence petitions and all of the temporary ex parte injunctions that went with them.

Also during this time, Natalie filed motions in the D.C. court trying to get Wolfe's case dismissed:

Judge Saddler presided over an extensive evidentiary hearing on Ms. Khawam's motion over eighteen days between May 15, 2009 and February 24, 2010. On May 17, 2010, Judge Saddler issued a lengthy written order denying Ms. Khawam's motion to dismiss and ruling that all further proceedings in the case would be conducted in the District of Columbia.

The D.C. judge ordered Natalie make the child available in Florida and in D.C. for visitation with Mr. Wolfe, but she didn't.

Then it came to light that before the child's first birthday, Natalie changed his name from Grayson to John without telling the father.

At some point before the hearing on August 6, 2010, Mr. Wolfe learned that Ms. Khawam and her family and friends had been calling the child "John" rather than his given name of "Grayson" or his nickname of "Baby Grayson." Ms. Khawam later testified at trial that she decided the child would be called "John" following her removal of the child in March 2009 and that she made the decision on her own, without consulting Mr. Wolfe or even notifying him of the change. Mr. Wolfe learned of his son's informal name change more than a year after it occurred, when he received, in discovery, a photograph of a cake at the child's first birthday party emblazoned "Happy Birthday John."

The first time Wolfe got to see his child was in August, 2010, a year and five months after Natalie took the 4 month old to Tampa.

In September, 2010, Natalie and Wolfe agreed to retain Paul C. Berman, a licensed psychologist to perform a custody evaluation (She has since given notice she will pursue a malpractice action against him.)

Dr. Berman recommended further that Mr. Wolfe be granted sole physical custody, with Ms. Khawam's visits with the child, at least initially, to be supervised by a neutral mental health professional to ensure that Ms. Khawam does not abscond with the child or make additional alienating comments about Mr. Wolfe in the child's presence.

The custody trial began in Jan. 2011, and lasted 18 days.

The court determined on February 16, 2011 that a temporary 50-50 residential schedule, split between the parties' homes in Tampa and the District of Columbia, was in the child's best interest pending the outcome of the custody trial.

The Court found the domestic abuse violations never happened.

Ms. Khawam's allegations of domestic violence are part of an ever-expanding set of sensational accusations against Mr. Wolfe that are so numerous, so extraordinary, and, in Dr. Berman's view, so distorted that they defy any common sense view of reality. The list of Ms. Khawam's allegations, summarized at pages 15-19 of Dr. Berman's report — and including, as just a few examples, Mr. Wolfe repeatedly putting a gun to Ms. Khawam's head and threatening to kill her; Mr. Wolfe pushing and hitting Ms. Khawam in a drunken rage on a daily basis; Mr. Wolfe ripping the nursing child from Ms. Khawam's bosom and screaming obscenities as the child cried with hunger; Mr. Wolfe shaking the child so hard Ms. Khawam thought the child would suffer "brain damage" and become "a vegetable"; and Mr. Wolfe throwing shoes, dishes, and porcelain figurines at Ms. Khawam and the child — is so obviously exaggerated as to cast even further doubt on the credibility of any single allegation on the list.

No physical, scientific, or documentary evidence supports any of Ms. Khawam's allegations. In a case in which virtually every move by both parties has been followed by private detectives and amply documented through photographs, videotapes, and other technological means, the trial record contains not a single photograph or page of medical records reflecting a bruise, scratch, or other injury inflicted in the course of Mr. Wolfe's many alleged violent and armed assaults against Ms. Khawam and the child.

Only 1 of the many witnesses testified to abuse -- Natalie's twins sister Jill Kelley. The Court discredited her testimony.

Yet not a single person, other than Ms. Khawam's identical twin sister, Jill Kelley, testified that he or she saw or heard any of the criminal conduct alleged by Ms. Khawam or observed any scratches, bruises, or other injuries on Ms. Khawam or the child. And Ms. Kelley, who testified that she observed Mr. Wolfe try to push Ms. Khawam down a flight of stairs inside her home in Tampa, was a patently biased and unbelievable witness. Ms. Kelley testified that Ms. Khawam, while holding the baby in one hand and a railing in the other, somehow was able to stand her ground on the staircase as Mr. Wolfe, who is substantially larger and stronger than Ms. Khawam, pushed Ms. Khawam from above with both hands and all of his might. The court does not credit this testimony.

Even Natalie's claim of non-consensual sex the night their child was conceived was contradicted:

Ms. Khawam's testimony about the alleged non-consensual sexual relations in late January 2008, during which Ms. Khawam believes the child was conceived, was belied by several romantic and sexually suggestive emails Ms. Khawam sent to Mr. Wolfe shortly after the incident. For example, Ms. Khawam wrote the following in an email she sent to Mr. Wolfe on February 15, 2008, while Mr. Wolfe was still in the Middle East and before she learned she was pregnant: "Looking forward to phone sex, with an exclamation point." Ms. Khawam's testimony at trial was further undercut by her peculiar attempt to draw a distinction between a "rape" and an act of "non-consensual" sexual relations. Ms. Khawam is a lawyer who surely knows there is no meaningful distinction between the two.

...Every judicial officer who has presided over an adversarial proceeding at which Ms. Khawam's allegations of domestic violence have been addressed has found the evidence supporting the allegations deficient.

One judge had written in an earlier proceeding:

"Defendant [Ms. Khawam] did not flee to Florida in fear of her life, but rather made the unilateral decision to move to Tampa, Florida with the parties' minor child against Plaintiff's [Mr. Wolfe's] wishes. . . . This Court does not credit Defendant's testimony that she and the minor child were being physically abused by Plaintiff or that Plaintiff had threatened to kill Defendant."

Child Welfare in Tampa and D.C. investigated and dismissed her claims:

Ms. Khawam's allegations of child abuse by Mr. Wolfe have been found similarly wanting by every child welfare agency that has investigated them.

The Court writes:

[t]he evidence establishing the falsity of Ms. Khawam's claims of domestic violence raises serious concerns not only about Ms. Khawam's credibility as a witness, but also about her lack of integrity, her alienating behavior, and her lack of commitment to the fostering of a positive relationship between Mr. Wolfe and the child. Even Ms. Khawam's own expert, Dr. Prange, acknowledged at trial that a determination that the domestic violence allegations were false should weigh against Ms. Khawam's request for custody.

On Natalie's psychological impairment (which was found by testing, but Natalie objected to the tests, so the Court ruled based on other evidence.)

The results of the psychological testing are superfluous because the entire record amassed by Dr. Berman in the course of his custody evaluation — and, in particular, the evidence of what Ms. Khawam has done over the past three years to Mr. Wolfe and the child — amply supports the view that Ms. Khawam suffers from severe psychological deficits. It makes little difference to the court whether Ms. Khawam kept Mr. Wolfe from his young son for seventeen of the first twenty-two months of the child's life by intentionally fabricating what she knew to be false allegations of domestic violence, or whether she kept Mr. Wolfe and the child apart because of a profoundly distorted view of reality; either way, Ms. Khawam's actions reflect serious limitations in her psychological make-up.

[Mrs. Khawam] had three or four failed engagements before she met Mr. Wolfe and was terminated from at least four consecutive positions of employment within the first five years following her graduation from law school, is a psychologically unstable person whose unsteady moral and ethical compass and apparent lack of awareness of her own shortcomings make it impossible for her successfully to navigate her surroundings in a consistent and sustainable way.

The Court acknowleged Wolfe has problems too, but then says:

The court rejects Dr. Prange's testimony that Mr. Wolfe has a "Cluster B disorder" and exhibits "clear sociopathic tendencies"; Dr. Prange has never performed a psychological evaluation of (or even met) Mr. Wolfe, and his obviously partisan status as Ms. Khawam's retained expert trial advisor renders his unsupported opinion unreliable.

The Court says both really want primary custody:

The court believes that both parties are sincere in their desire to have primary custody of the child. The court holds this view despite Ms. Khawam's lengthy history of abusing the litigation process, both here and in Tampa, to harm Mr. Wolfe and advance her own selfish interests.

The biggest slap to Natalie:

The evidence established that Ms. Khawam has extreme personal deficits in the areas of honesty and integrity. Ms. Khawam's false domestic violence petitions (and her equally false testimony at trial relating to many of the same allegations) are merely the most stunning examples of Ms. Khawam's willingness to say anything, even under oath, to advance her own personal interests at the expense of Mr. Wolfe, the child, and others. The court found particularly striking Ms. Khawam's testimony at trial about the allegedly non-consensual sexual relations in late January 2008 that Ms. Khawam said likely resulted in the child's conception; this testimony, highlighted by Ms. Khawam's odd insistence on distinguishing between a rape and an act of non-consensual sexual intercourse, was so patently incredible, and so obviously fabricated, that it raised serious concerns in the court's mind not only about Ms. Khawam's credibility as a witness, but also about what appears to be her fundamental lack of integrity. The court's concerns were only heightened by the remainder of the evidence at trial, which included revelations about significant omissions and other misrepresentations on Ms. Khawam's resume relating to her experiences as a law student and young lawyer.

Ms. Khawam appears to lack any appreciation or respect for the importance of honesty and integrity in her interactions with her family, employers, and others with whom she comes in contact. The court fully expects that Ms. Khawam's pattern of misrepresentations about virtually everything, including the most important aspects of her life, will continue indefinitely.

The court describes her relationships, and finds even her relationship with her twin Jill is "volatile."

The evidence established that Ms. Khawam has been unable to maintain many of the most important relationships in her lifeIn the area of family, Ms. Khawam had three or four broken engagements prior to her engagement to Mr. Wolfe, she has a volatile relationship with her twin sister, and she is out of contact with a brother who lives in New Jersey. In her professional life, Ms. Khawam was terminated from successive positions at the United States Department of Health and Human Services; Holy Cross Hospital; the law firm of Cohen, Foster & Romine; and a law firm run by James Hoyer — all within the first five years following her graduation from law school. The court is not in a position to make definitive findings concerning the merits of the termination decisions made by those various employers, but it is striking that Ms. Khawam has blamed each and every decision on unlawful discrimination or other matters entirely beyond her control.

The Court found she's not trustworthy:

Ms. Khawam has had a very poor record of compliance with court orders in this case except when she understood that she faced the likelihood of an enforceable contempt citation. Ms. Khawam avoided Judge Saddler's orders of temporary custody for more than a year by filing false domestic violence petitions in Tampa and making special requests in those petitions that the parties be prohibited from taking the child out of the State of Florida. She failed to participate in paternity testing as directed by Judge Saddler, again relying on the fabricated domestic violence injunctions in Tampa as an excuse. And she refused to pay her 50% share of the cost of Dr. Berman's court-ordered custody evaluation, despite having jointly requested the evaluation along with Mr. Wolfe and expressly agreeing to a 50-50 division of the fee.

So Mr. Wolfe got full custody, while Natalie Khawam got visitation 3 afternoons a week, which have to be supervised by a psychologist, social worker, or other mental health professional.

The court's concern is that Ms. Khawam will react unreasonably to the ruling and, if not constrained by supervision, will attempt to remove the child once again, escalate her negative comments about Mr. Wolfe, or act in ways otherwise detrimental to the child's best interest. A period of supervised visits extending at least through the Christmas and New Year's Day holidays will provide a helpful buffer for both parties and, most importantly, the child.

It wasn't until September, 2012, after Natalie Khawam lost the custody and the legal fee battle, and sought reconsideration, that Gen. Petraeus and Allen wrote their glowing letters of support for her. Did they even bother to read the court orders explaining why she lost custody? Neither one appears to have been involved in a romantic relationship with either sister. Why would they step into this hornet's nest? Surely, not just because one threw good parties. But Panetta now implies the going down the path of the sisters will go nowhere. The FBI says it's back to investigating Paula Broadwell, to learn where she got the information that may be classified, if not from Petraeus.

Is Broadwell going to be the fall girl, to avoid deeper investigation into the socialite twins? I'm much more interested in how the twins got so close to the Generals than I am an affair between Petraeus and Broadwell.

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    Good Lord... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:56:17 AM EST
    it's hard to read all of that and not come to the conclusion that these are women with some serious issues;  I also found myself unable to comprehend how not one, but two, generals have managed to fall under their spell to the point of seeming to be oblivious to the horror of what was going on in Natalie's personal life that she, herself, appears to have been responsible for.

    So far, none of this makes sense to me; maybe there is more yet to come that will have us all saying, "ohhh, so that explains it," but what that could be, I have no idea.  It does have me wondering if somehow Broadwell figured it all out and wanted to let Kelley know that the days of Kelley being able to lead Petraeus around by the nose were over - and Kelley didn't want to lose whatever that hold was.

    Still can't figure out how Petraeus and Allen didn't know these women were nuts.

    Probably blinded by beauty and money and the (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:29:52 AM EST
     utter adoration and sucking up that went on.  

    Or there is something else, something myeterious, we just don't know and won't learn.

    I saw something last night of interest.  Petraeus' daughter Anne has a blog and in that blog are a couple of posts wherein she mentions Jill Kelley.  In one of them she's wearing a dress that her 'friend' Jill handed down to her.  There's also stuff about the Kelley family visiting the Petraeus home for Christmas and sharing food and gifts.  Sounds like they were really close families.  Why?  It seems weird to me.


    It IS in my experience weird (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:45:13 AM EST
    Poor child, my heart goes to him. (none / 0) (#51)
    by Menanna on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:08:48 PM EST
    Panetta opened the investigation (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:56:24 AM EST
    into the relationship between Allen and Kelley.

    Why does Leon Panetta say about Gen. Allen and Jill Kelley, "No one should leap to any conclusions here." Unless Kelley had some real role with the CIA or the military, and the volume and nature of the shared documents is explained by that role, why wouldn't it be a matter of concern? Is Panetta trying to keep her role secret?

    Seems that if Panetta wanted to keep Kelley's role secret he would not have opened the investigation to begin with.

    Nuts Inc. (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by koshembos on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:11:18 AM EST
    Wide windows have opened into segments of the life of two top generals. Through the glass, they both seem to have questionable judgment, strange friends and a lot of time on their hands. Mind you, we have the largest expense on the military in the world. Obama now attempts to cut our social security and Medicare so we can continue to support these generals.

    When Bill had Lewinsky no documents were involved. Why do the Republicans need documents with sex?

    Best info I have seen on this story- thank you (5.00 / 9) (#8)
    by mogal on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:19:22 AM EST

    I'm with you Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:43:26 AM EST
    I understand why they must find out though what classified materials Broadwell had and who she got them from if she has them, it is called spillage and containing spillage is crazy when they must do it.  If Broadwell has classified items it is unfortunate and the hunt will go into overdrive then.

    The crazy sisters though, how did they become able to compromise two generals?  I also read that an aide to a different officer in response to Jill Kelley's phone calls told their aide that they would have to manage her for them.  This person is a civilian, granted she is a civilian attempting to display extreme wealth, but when it comes to the business of securing the nation she is no different and is not more important than the woman who you purchased your coffee from on your way to work.

    I think the Kelley's footed the whole bill for the parties.  Party money is pretty tight within the confines of the military.  In the past the families would do a lot of different fund raising activities to make money for our party events, and the parties were nothing as lavish as what Kelley's throw. But then we went to war and families don't really have it in them to get excited about fundraising for a military ball or weekend family event.  Those things are on everyone's back back burner and if we have to expend extra energy to produce those events they might not happen right now.  A lot of events have been skipped, we are no longer good party planners.

    Many civilians have come forward to fill the enthusiasm gap.  4th of July on Fort Rucker had Gary Sinise drop a chunk of his own change on the party.  He had befriended Gen Crutchfield, and it is hard to not like Gen Crutchfield.  He is a great leader and human being.  So because of this friendship Mr. Sinise's band played long into the night for everyone here and extra party foods.  It was nice, and I don't feel like it compromised the leadership.

    How is it that civilian relationships have compromised two of our most powerful military leaders though?  How is it that Jill Kelley is so deranged that Mark Toner had to address the issue that she IS NOT an ambassador at a press conference but top generals were smooching her butt?  What is going on at MacDill?  Don't be too impressed you idiots, it looks like under the covers they are flat broke.

    This morning we learn that the first Broadwell emails were sent to Gen Allen and not Jill Kelley, addressing that Jill Kelley had some problems?  Did Gen Allen take a step back and realize that a pretty crazy civilian was into things she really shouldn't have been to the degree that she was?  No....Gen Allen shared the Broadwell emails he had received with Jill Kelley.  And in the light of all we all understand now, this along with Petraeus' actions seem to indicate very poor judgement.  I'm not sure he should be NATO commander if his judgement about compromising military leadership is this poor.  And I don't care what Rassmussen says about him.

    Those emails to Allen are also the emails I really really want to read.  Broadwell would have likely written a very articulate professional email to Allen I would think.  Maybe not because she was attempting to be anonymous.  She was addressing a General though after all.  I know how seriously my husband takes emails to those of higher rank.  He sweats every word.  I want the exact wordings please!

    I ran across this, from Marcy Wheeler, (none / 0) (#23)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:35:52 AM EST
    and wondered what your thoughts are:

    Here's the first inkling of something Jim and I have been speculating about: that Jill Kelley may have some tie to intelligence, which led the FBI to take Paula Broadwell's harassing emails to her more seriously.

    A military officer who is a former member of Petraeus's staff said Kelley was a "self-appointed" go-between for Central Command officers with Lebanese and other Middle Eastern government officials. She was a fixture at social and charity events involving Central Command officials in Tampa.

    Add that to the news that DOD learned of General Allen's emails with Kelley via his NATO command vetting. Why would FBI, in the course of such vetting, be reading Allen's emails in the first place unless Kelley had become some kind of trigger? (Indeed, it may not be-or not just be-that some of the emails included flirtation.)

    If Kelley had some tie with intelligence, then it would explain why the FBI investigated a catfight, particularly given Broadwell's comments indicating close awareness of Petraeus' location. And it would explain why this got escalated into a National Security concern so quickly. And it would explain why Kelley thinks she needs the assistance of Abbe Lowell.


    So, that's one thing to consider - but I still don't understand how even cursory vetting wouldn't have revealed an element of crazy, if not with Kelley, certainly within her immediate circle, that should have had Allen nixing any ideas of getting her involved in anything like this.


    M Wheeler comments invite serious consideration (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:12:59 PM EST
    All the questions raised  and presented by Jeralyn (& others) tend to bring the situation into a place much more interesting than the scandal-soap opera.  For me, the question that keeps popping up ( if one assumes no fever-type romance on the part of General Allen & Jill Kelkey):  Why would Allen take the time to indulge anyone in extensive emails, with massive copy, unless the sender offered/contributed/added something of value to him or his office?  It is difficult to imagine one in his position (or almost any position) expending so much time to "humor" someone?  

    Went to lunch with friends (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 02:14:45 PM EST
    The thing I couldn't understand is why Allen would contact Kelley first.  I mean we keep hearing to not jump to conclusions that they were having an affair.

    A general getting strange emails like that would have reported them, and he would have met with his staff to discuss where they could be coming from and why and what to do about it.  People in uniform bending over their lunches started to snicker.  I still didn't get it.  So was then told that it would seem kind of obvious.  He read those emails and figured he was caught.  He's dirty, he's guilty and he's certainly not bringing this crap to the attention of his staff but he's getting her on the horn pronto.


    Clarification? MT (none / 0) (#46)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:05:54 PM EST
    If I understand your comment correctly, Allen was simply "caught" in a run-of-the-mill sexual imbroglio?  All the parties, entertainment at the mansion, etc. must have stopped rather abruptly....

    Sometimes life & art (and all that.)  So, I was reading the NYTimes front-pagers awhile ago...and, I said to myself "Christinep, you are going off into some noveletta land, but continue reading the news now about Israel's attack on Gaza and the resultant demise of the reputed Hamas leader (Lebanese) there."  

    And, General Allen expended all that time on Kelley's email.


    I think that what has gone down (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:24:28 PM EST
    In Tampa will dramatically change CentCom's civilian interactions there.  It may change all military leaderships civilian involvements.  I won't be a bit surprised.

    The thing that is most strange to me is how Allen responded to receiving Broadwell's emails.  He didn't respond professionally or even like a commander does to such things.  He didn't notify any military authority who would trace the emails, he didn't even gather together his staff to puzzle over what the hell this was about and what needed to be done.  He kept it all to himself and hush hush other than notify Kelley.  Other soldiers seem to see that as the actions of someone who has some dirty hands.  But we are told up to this point that we are supposed to think Allen is clean as far as behavior unbecoming, he has made that a little hard though.


    There's a way to deal with "strange" (none / 0) (#47)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:22:03 PM EST
    e-mails: you change the parameters of your spam filter by giving it specific addresses to quarantine and you make your IT people - or whoever the military equivalent is - aware.

    Quarantined: you never even see them.  Quarantined: they don't get answered.  Quarantined: the sender - if it's a real person - gets the message.  Quarantined and brought to someone's attention: you are protected from being accused of doing something you shouldn't have.  And maybe the sender gets a phone call or a visit or an e-mail from someone advising of the inappropriateness of the contact and a warning to cease contact.

    It's like my husband always says, "just because the phone's ringing, doesn't mean you have to answer it."


    Yes, and the military (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:25:31 PM EST
    Prides itself on having some of the very best IT people.

    Party invitations apparently (none / 0) (#36)
    by Towanda on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:49:12 PM EST
    matter a lot to military mucketymucks.

    Seriously.  Reading up about the McDill base, considered a cushy posting for the partypartyparty life, I see a way to cut federal expenditures:  

    Close it.


    yes, I quoted that same paragraph (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:26:41 PM EST
    and that's the purpose of my post: What other role did she have?

    The FBI knew about Kelley/Allen at the same time it knew about Broadwell/Petraeus, but only one story broke at first. And they broadcast Broadwell's name but didn't identify Kelley at first.

    I think they initially were shielding Kelley, maybe because she had some other approved role. Maybe that's why they took her FBI agent friend off the case, he wasn't supposed to know.

    Was her role intelligence? It sounds like it might have been except it doesn't seem logical to me that intelligence agents would communicate directly with top generals rather than through their superiors, but that's not something I know much about.


    Might be why a certain amount (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:48:36 AM EST
    of crazy was tolerated.  I would think though that if Kelley was some kind of intel asset that Broadwell would have at least had an inkling.  She was so close to Petraeus, like skin to skin sometimes, and her background is military intelligence.

    The intel community has tolerated a lot of crazies in the past.  That Dewey Clarridge is at least half Coo-Coo and all his best friends are in Tampa.  Curveball Chalabi was at least half nuts too.  I think it's possible.  I would just hope that it wasn't the reality and our military leadership was literally being held hostage in a way by some deranged intel asset. Because Kelley is a chaotic loose cannon running wild all over CentCom.

    Dunno, wish we could see those Broadwell emails


    I want to know how Paula Broadwell found out (none / 0) (#27)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:14:13 AM EST
    about Jill Kelley.  Have I missed that part of this story?

    Another thing I find strange is Jill Kelley's closeness to not just General Allen but to the entire Petraeus family, spending Christmas with them, exchanging gifts (and this was Jill & Scott Kelley, their kids and the sister Natalie and her son).  


    Paula Broadwell was attached (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:30:56 AM EST
    to David Petraeus' hip, and it would seem that Jill Kelley desired to be attached to all hips belonging to generals :)  They had been together/around each other at CentCom, of that I'm certain.

    Broadwell's affair with Petraeus places her judgement calls in the questionable column.  She does understand how military command must function though and I think she spotted how systemically CentCom command was being compromised by Jill Kelley.  While at the same time she failed to spot how what she was doing could and would compromise the CIA :)


    I read that Kelley said she didn't know Broadwell. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:43:04 AM EST
    I'm wondering if Broadwell found her name in Petraeus' email account, or if she found them from the daughter's blog.  The Kelley's were tight with the Petraeus family.  I would imagine that Petraeus wouldn't want Broadwell to know about them.  

    Broadwell could have just seen the (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:13:34 PM EST
    photos of the Petraeus and Kelley. They were published in the local papers and if she had a google alert for Petraeus, she would have seen them.

    I think Kelley is lying about that (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 02:04:49 PM EST
    I think she knew who Broadwell was, how could she be as close to the Petraeus family as she was and not know the shadow that followed Petraeus every place?  I think she is flat out lying about that.

    Remember what Broadwell's (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:01:30 AM EST
    Anon email name was...KelleyPatrol.  She was patrolling a crazed broke socialite or a crazed intel asset or both :)

    This whole thing is bizarre. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:14:52 AM EST
    This isn't a thread about Bhangazi. (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:52:52 AM EST

    those comments have been deleted (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:14:42 PM EST
    Thank you. (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:41:44 PM EST
    Twins as double agents (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by vicndabx on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:23:15 AM EST
    One twin had the connections abroad, the other had the connections here - insight into middle east politics/powerbrokers maybe?

    I agree, what is the deal w/the sisters relationship to top generals - if they weren't sleeping w/these women (or trying to) what other plausible explanation is there?

    Information (none / 0) (#35)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:21:40 PM EST
    thank you Paula (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:34:10 AM EST

    Jeez. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by scribe on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:35:08 PM EST
    Someone's got to get that trial transcript, and the motion transcripts and all the rest.  It's going to be legal-comedy gold.

    And a gold mine.

    In my practice, the one time I wrote anything to be filed in the US Supreme Court, it was the opposition to a petition for certiorari filed by a disgruntled, crazed ex-wife.  (Cert. denied.) I remember commenting to a colleague, who had brought in the case, that "I'll bet when Mr. Client first met ex-Mrs. Client and started thinking 'hmm, interesting...' he never had the slightest inkling she'd land him in the United States Supreme Court."

    So, guys, remember:  always wear protection.  Always.

    And, yes, I think there was an intel angle to these two and their shenanigans and that's why Abbe Lowell is on the case.

    Also, on the Honorary Consul angle, a friend and fellow lawyer is the Honorary Consul in his state for a European country.  As noted above, the purpose of the job is to help the regular consuls when someone gets into a jam and the regular consuls aren't available or are too far away or something.  Of course, my friend is a very respected, responsible lawyer and carries off the job - all his jobs - with great dignity.  He does put that additional job title on his emails and letterhead, as much for informational purposes as anything.

    Per Josh Marshall at TPM (none / 0) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:39:40 AM EST
    It turns out that Kelley is actually an "Honorary Consul" of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). At first, I thought this was just another one of Kelley's ridiculous faux titles, something you get for throwing a party or perhaps for anything as long as the ambassador drunk.

    But I was too quick to dismiss this. `Honorary consuls" are a real thing. Or at least they can be, whatever Kelley was doing with the title. I talked this evening to a diplomatic from an Asia nation (not Korea) who explained that they're often used when a country doesn't have consular representation in a particular city or region. So for instance if you're from Country X and you're visiting Florida and you get into a jam or lose your passport you can contact the `Honorary Consul" to help you get a new passport or help you out in much the same way your embassy or an official consul might.
    .... But it's a real title and even a job of sorts. ......TPM

    They have "official acts" immunity only and not the type of immunity that Mrs. Kelley was implying.

    She is not all there (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:01:26 AM EST
    Now there are allegations about a fake cancer (none / 0) (#20)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:06:37 AM EST
    charity Jill and Scott Kelley may have set up but is now defunct.



    I saw that it was broke (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:09:47 AM EST
    I sure hope it wasn't a fake, that's awful

    The 20,000 to 30,000 pages (none / 0) (#22)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:18:07 AM EST

    The 20,000 to 30,000 pages numbers need some definition.  It has been reported that an e-mail reply that includes the original is counted as two pages.  A reply to that including the past communications counts as three pages, and so on.  The actual number of e-mails may be a fraction of the number of pages.


    the definition is that the (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:16:02 PM EST
    20,000 to 30,000 pages included e-mails and documents according to military officials. What kind of documents? I don't care about their e-mails.

    And your point is -- what, exactly? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:40:10 PM EST
    Okay, given your two to three pages per e-mail at 20,000 to 30,000 pages, it's entirely reasonable to assume that there was a minimum of 8,000 to 10,000 e-mails sent between those Gen. Allen and the Honorary Counsel General of the Republic of Korea.

    Now, when was the last time you and one other person exchanged 8,000 to 10,000 e-mails with one another over a finite period of time? You have to admit that it looks awfully peculiar.

    Nominally, my attitude about these sorts of things is that the mutual activities of a personal nature between two (or maybe more) consenting adults are really none of my concern. But now that they've caught my attention, I think I'd really like to know:

    • Who is Jill Kelley, exactly?

    • What exactly was Ms. Kelley up to in this particular case?

    • Why and how did someone of Ms. Kelley's rather ordinary stature come to enjoy such extraordinary personal access to the upper echelons of CENTCOM's chain of command; and

    • Who in the FBI authorized the shirtless FBI agent to kickstart a major investigation into the personal life of one of the highest ranking public officials in the land, without any senior White House official or any respective chair / ranking member of the congressional intelligence committees ever being notified that it was even taking place?


    The Number is Pages... (none / 0) (#50)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:26:32 PM EST
    ...not emails.

    For some reason they haven't released the number of emails, why ?  They know how many pages, but not how many emails ?  And who was behind most of them or were they 50/50 ?  And lastly, is this communication person to person, or are others involved.  

    And lastly, if she was running charities or had pet projects, she may have been sending him all kinds of files.  Things he may have never opened, but the FBI is counting.

    To me it is beyond odd to release the number of pages, but not the number of actual emails.  Why would they do that, certainly if they know how many pages, they know how many emails and which party send them.