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Natalie Khawam: Here's Gloria


The Real Housewives of Tampa evolve into Desperate Housewives: If you thought Natalie Khawam and Gloria Allred were going to answer questions about Gen. Petraeus, Gen. Allen or her sister Jill Kelley's relationship with them, you'd be mistaken.

Today's news conference was a publicity fest about Khawam's custody battle which Allred wants to turn into a women's rights issue. Does anyone care that Natalie and Jill played softball and tennis and like cooking and playing chess and piano? [More...]

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Tampa Releases Jill Kelley E-Mails:"Hostess with the Mostest" Edition

The most excellent adventures of the Real Housewives of Tampa continue. Today's installment: Jill and Natalie's White House excursions. We even get a new unnamed player: the White House lawyer who invited them.

More interesting: Mayor of Tampa Bob Buckhorn has released his e-mails with Jill Kelley. The latest is Nov. 14, in which she refers to Paula Broadwell as a stalker and a criminal. What a name-dropper. In one, she calls Gen. Petraeus "Dave" . In another she knows that Gen. Allen will be calling her at 1:00 pm. that day. You can read them here.

My summary is below: [More...]

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Jill Kelley: Tried to Parlay Connections into $80 Million Fee

Financially beleaguered Real Housewife of Tampa co-star Jill Kelley thought she'd try her hand at a business deal (using her closeness to Gen. David Petraeus and her honorary South Korea title.) She was rebuffed as an amateur, when she asked for an $80 million commission.

Adam Victor, president of TransGas Development in New York, recounts the adventure to the Tampa Bay Times. He met Kelley at an event at the Tampa Convention Hall at the Republican National Convention.

Victor said Kelley described herself as a close friend to Petraeus, which impressed him. In fact, he said, Kelley told him she might help him with a coal gasification project in South Korea. She said she could gain him access to the highest levels of the South Korean government, Victor said. Kelley told him she was an honorary consul for South Korea, and Victor said she told him she had obtained the position with the help of Petraeus.

Kelley followed up with Victor at a meeting in New York (his company flew her there first class.) Kelley told him that if the deal went through, she expected an $80 million commission. [More....]

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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.

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Jill Kelley and Sister Natalie: The Soap Opera Continues

Jill Kelley has retained lawyer Abbe Lowell and crisis manager Judy Smith, who once represented Monica Lewinsky. Like Paula Broadwell, she is married to a physician, cancer surgeon Scott Kelley. Jill Kelley has a twin sister Natalie Khawam, who recently lost an ugly custody battle. Both Petraeus and Gen. Allen wrote support letters in support of her attempt to overturn the ruling. (You can read them here.)

Kelley, who grew up in Philadelphia, is of Lebanese descent. Her family, Maronite Catholics, immigrated from Jounieh, Lebanon, in the mid-1970s, according to a 1988 article about her family's restaurant, Sahara, in The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has a twin sister, Natalie, the article said.

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FBI Search Paula Broadwell's Home

The FBI began searching Paula Broadwell's home around 8:40 pm ET tonight, according to WCNC reporter Dianne Gallagher, who is updating on Twitter. The search is still going on. Gallaher says there are lots of media outside the home, and she'll have a live report at 11 (RT) on WCNC.

Broadwell and her husband were out of town on a romantic getaway to celebrate her 40th birthday when the scandal broke. Friday night, her husband emailed guests who were scheduled to attend a birthday party for her, telling them it was canceled. It sounds like they haven't been home since, although they checked out Friday. The Broadwells are now at an undisclosed location. [More...]

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Second Woman in Petraeus Email Probe Identified

Jill Kelley, 37, of Tampa, Fla., an unpaid State Department liaison to the military's Joint Special Operations Command, located at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa (also home to the military's Central Command) has been identified as the woman who reported receiving threatening e-mails from Paula Broadwell.

Kelley and her husband are friends with Petraeus and it doesn't seem like they were having an affair.

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CIA Chief Petraeus Resigns Over Extra-Marital Affair

CIA Director David Petraeus has resigned after the FBI (apparently inadvertently) discovered he is engaged in an extra-marital affair. From his resignation letter:

“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Mr. Petraeus said in his statement, expressing regret for his abrupt departure. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”

Why does an extra-marital affair compromise his position as CIA Director?

By acknowledging an extramarital affair, Mr. Petraeus, 60, was confronting a sensitive issue for a spy chief. Intelligence agencies are often concerned about the possibility that agents who engage in such behavior could be blackmailed for information.

Doesn't sound like much of a reason to me. Is this really about his affair? [More...]

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