The Petraeus scandal has become focused on Jill Kelley, the mysterious Tampa woman who reported harassing emails from David Petraeus’ mistress to the FBI, leading to the investigation that ultimately cost the CIA director his job. Several reports have shown that Kelley is a socialite who made her way into the highest of circles at MacDill Air Force Base — the home of U.S. Central Command.
Just how tapped-in was Kelley to the top-ranking officers of U.S. Central Command?
Every year, U.S. Special Operations Command hosts an “Army Ball” in Tampa, FL. The intent of the ball is “to host a prestigious, enjoyable event to celebrate the Army’s birthday,” according to the operations order.
A draft of the VIP invite list for the 2011 Army Ball shows Kelley and her husband alongside a slew of top-level military officers in U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, as well as politicians and other civic leaders.
The list gives you a sense of the kind of social circle that Jill Kelley had made her way into, as an “unpaid social liaison” at U.S. Central Command.
Dozens of flag officers are on the VIP list with the Kelleys, including General John Allen, who is now under FBI investigation regarding 20,000 to 30,000 “potentially inappropriate” pages of emails between him and Kelley.
Civilians on the VIP list (aside from spouses) are put down as “civic leaders,” and they’re mostly mayors, city council members, U.S senators, members of Congress, university presidents, heads of commerce departments — even a Medal of honour recipient.
And she wasn’t just going to the military’s parties — the generals were coming her home as well.
Interestingly, the first in the series of anonymous harassing emails Paula Broadwell sent to Kelley referred to Kelley socializing with generals. Broadwell “suggested it was inappropriate and should stop,” according to a source who spoke with NBC News.
As for the Army Ball, there were 45 General-level officers on the list (most were with their spouses, and some were retired), from the USA, Great Britain, Australia and Canada.
Here’s a sampling of the names on the VIP invite list with the Kelleys, and their roles at the time (April 2011):
- General James Mattis, USMC, Commander, USCENTCOM
- Admiral Eric Olson, USN, Commander, USSOCOM
- Lieutenant General John Allen, USMC, Deputy Commander, USCENTCOM
- Lieutenant General David Fridovich, USA, Deputy Commander, USSOCOM
- Major General Joseph Votel, USA, Chief of Staff, USSOCOM
- Major General Michael Jones, USA, Chief of Staff, USCENTCOM
- Major General Charles Cleveland, USA, Commander, SOCCENT
- Major General Clive “Chip” Chapman, GBR, Sr. British Military Adviser, USCENTCOM
- Rick Scott, Governor, State of Florida
- Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator
- Bill Nelson, U.S. Senator
- Kathy Castor, Congresswoman, 11th District
- C.W. “Bill” Young, Congressman, 10th District
- Artheia Joyner, State Senator, District 18
- Bob Buckhom, Mayor of Tampa
- Bill Foster, Mayor of St. Petersburg
Not bad company for an “unpaid social liaison.”NOW SEE: Jill Kelley: ‘I’ve Done Nothing Wrong. I’m The Victim Here’
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