The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Bad Memories of Bayshore Boulevard

Posted on | November 14, 2012 | 13 Comments

(Left to right) Natalie Khawam, Gen. David Petraeus, Dr. Scott Kelley,
Jill Kelley and Holly Petraeus at a party in Tampa.

It was August and a hurricane was hovering off the Florida coast that Monday afternoon in Tampa when I set out to find Jim Antle. The senior editor of The American Spectator had my credentials for the Republican National Convention and, at least in my understanding, had agreed to meet me downtown to give them to me.

But after a morning spent coping with traffic hassles — security had Tampa gridlocked — and finally walking the final blocks to reach the hotel that served as media headquarters for the convention, I’d been horrified to learn that Antle wasn’t downtown. He had picked up the credentials and gone back to the apartment where he was staying several miles south, near MacDill Air Force Base.

So now I had to walk more than a mile back to my car and drive to where Antle was, and this turned into a Kafkaesque nightmare. The direct route via Highway 618 to Highway 573 had been shut down by police, and so I was forced to navigate by surface streets without a GPS.

At one point, I found myself lost on Davis Island and had to stop into a 7-Eleven to check a map: Bayshore Boulevard was the route I needed, looping around the side of Hillsborough Bay, and then across Gandy Boulevard to the destination. When I finally neared the place, however, the street numbering was all wrong — evidently there are two roads with the same name, divided by a park — and by the time I finally reached Antle’s apartment, I was in a manic rage. It was past 2 o’clock in the afternoon by then, and I still hadn’t even gotten inside the convention, so after a screaming fit, I grabbed the credentials and rushed back to the car, racing to the Civic Center.

That nightmarish August afternoon in Tampa came to mind unexpectedly last night when, checking for the latest news on the Petraeus scandal, I scanned an article and saw a familiar address that figures prominently in my column today at The American Spectator:

Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard is in the news today because it is the home of Jill Kelley, who played a crucial role in the scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus.
Mrs. Kelley’s complaint to the FBI about threatening e-mails she received in May led to an investigation that exposed an affair between Petraeus, the retired four-star general who had been top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, and his biographer, Paula Broadwell. In recent days, a Tampa TV station reported, Mrs. Kelley has repeatedly called police seeking protection, at one point invoking her status as “honorary consul general.” She has been described as an unofficial “social liaison” at nearby MacDill Air Force Base, and now the media are encamped in front of the home that Mrs. Kelley shares with her surgeon husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, and their three children.
So far as we know, the Kelleys have done nothing wrong and were innocently drawn into this scandal because of the mistaken jealousy of Broadwell, a married mother of two who admittedly carried on an adulterous affair with Petraeus, who is likewise married. However, the FBI is now reportedly examining thousands of “potentially inappropriate” e-mails between Mrs. Kelley and Marine Gen. John Allen, who currently commands all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Even without any hanky-panky on Allen’s part — both he and Mrs. Kelley’s family strongly deny any such insinuation — there are still many intriguing questions swirling around this story. So the camera crews are likely to remain staked out on Bayshore Boulevard, while reporters, editors, and producers explore these questions, including the big one: How does this relate to the apparent failures in Libya that led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens two months ago? . . .

Read the whole thing. The fact that I actually drove past Mrs. Kelley’s house less than three months ago is just a weird coincidence, I’m sure. Meanwhile, Petraeus will testify to Congress tomorrow.

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Comments

  • McGehee

    So from four dead Americans in Benghazi, including a U.S. ambassador, the media have followed the story to … questions about emails between two people, one of whom was dragged unwillingly into the midst of an affair involving the then-director of the CIA.

    Nooz jujmint, let me sho U it.

  • robertstacymccain

    McGehee, you express a widespread attitude, that the Petraeus scandal is somehow a “distraction” from Benghazi, whereas I see it as an integral part of the Benghazi story, illustrating the fundamental unseriousness of national security policy in the Obama age.
    The CIA chief is canoodling with his biographer who is so flaky that she starts sending threatening e-mails to this Kelley woman? And this Kelley woman, who imagines herself deserving of diplomatic protection, is meanwhile carrying on an extensive correspondence with the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan?

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    All I know is that the Kelley sisters have guns that could put Michelle’s to shame. I think I better do a Kinks LLLLLL-Lola post.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    But back on serious, RSM is right on what the problem is.

  • McGehee

    This does not speak of a strict attentiveness to duty on the part of Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Allen, at the very least.

    Agreed. But the institution to which I refer as “the BSM” will never connect those dots. Their nooz jujmint isn’t about substance, it’s about yelling “Squirrel” at the tops of their lungs every minute of every day to keep from having to deal with substance.

  • JeffS

    Exactly, Stacy. Our senior leaders are not taking their jobs seriously. Dipping their wicks (or whatever) is an indicator, not a distraction. Or a weak point.

    Or, if they are taking their jobs seriously, they have personal objectives at odds with the security of America, which could be (in their view) a feature, and not a bug.

    So, keep on digging.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Stacy’s sniffing something here that only dogs and reporters can smell, methinks.

    His [not the dog's] instincts have proven right most of the time, so I say: let him sniff [there's a tip jar treat in it for you Stacy if you fetch the story back!].

  • McGehee

    Absolutely. My criticism was never intended for him, but for the “profession” he unjustly dignifies by claiming to be part of it.

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  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    Yeah, I’m sure you just “drove past”. Your elaborate cover story about getting your “credentials” in Tampa is starting to unravel.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    I know. To your last point: this is why I label Stacy a reporter and not a journalist.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    So you’re saying it’s Bayshore Boulevard that drives people fugbuck?

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Florida’s version of Chinatown, Jake.