(CNSNews.com) – A Pentagon spokesman said Monday that the Department of Defense (DOD) could not comment on the details of biographer Paula Broadwell's embed with Gen. David Petraeus when Petraeus was an active duty Army officer serving as the U.S. commander in Afghanistan because “it is currently under investigation.”
CNSNews.com asked Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Defense Department spokesman, a series of questions about Broadwell's time in Afghanistan with Petraeus. Breasseale said the Defense Department could not discuss the matter at this time.
Petraeus took over as the U.S. commander in Afghanistan after President Obama fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the U.S. commander there in June 2010. Only a year later, on June 30, 2011, the Senate voted to confirm Gen. Petraeus as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Broadwell co-authored a biography of Petraeus--All In: The Education of David Petraeus--that was published on Jan. 24, 2012. Last Friday, Petraeus resigned as CIA director after admitting an extramarital affair, and multiple news reports said that Broadwell was the woman involved.
Promotional material for Broadwell's biography of Petraeus posted on Amazon.com says: "Broadwell embedded with the general, his headquarters staff, and his soldiers on the front lines of fighting and at the strategic command in Afghanistan to chronicle the experiences of this American general."
CNSNews.com on Monday asked the Defense Department questions about Broadwell's time embedded with Petraeus in Afghanistan:
--“Could you provide the specific dates and locations for when and where Broadwell was embedded there?”
--“Was there any other reason for her stay than to work on her biography of Gen. Petraeus?”
--“What is the process for journalists/writers receiving permission to travel with the troops, and did Broadwell receive the normal process?”
--“Who would have authorized Broadwell's embedment?”
Lt. Col. Breasseale responded in an e-mail: “Generally, I can tell you that all embeds are handled by the host organization and are, therein, approved, too. There simply is no mechanism to approve (or deny) and process the thousands of embeds that have occurred at the Department-level.
“However, specifically," Lt. Col. Breasseale said, "it would be inappropriate to provide comments on this particular issue, as it is currently under investigation and protecting the integrity of that investigation is our chief concern. I hope you understand.”
CNSNews.com then followed up, asking Breasseale to clarify the “host organization” for Broadwell, a West Point Graduate who reportedly spent a year with the four-star general while working on her biography of him.
“Generally speaking ‘host organization’ is the unit of command (from ISAF down to Battalion-level) into which a member of the media, an academic scholar, or think-tank member would embed (what, in NATO parlance is known as ‘accommodated’),” Breasseale said.
Petraeus formally assumed command of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on July 4, 2010, which he led until July 18, 2011--two and half weeks after he was confirmed as CIA director.
Petraeus started as CIA director on Sept. 6, 2011, and resigned on Nov. 9, 2012.
CNSNews.com also asked Breasseale: “You said that ‘this particular issue’ is ‘currently under investigation.’ Who is conducting this investigation? Does this investigation deal with Paula Broadwell's embed specifically?”
“I make no representations about this current issue but take this time only to clarify how ‘embeds’ work, since you asked about embeds,” Breasseale said. “Various legitimate news media sources tell us that multiple aspects of this situation are under investigation.”