Buried in a flattering Washington Post article is a single extremely troubling quote that turns another otherwise tawdry affair into something much darker.

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 officials.

And from the Wall Street Journal

Middle Eastern diplomats in Washington also knew Ms. Kelley, who came from a Lebanese immigrant family and who helped arrange social activities when dignitaries from the region visited Tampa

An inappropriate relationship with top ranking military officers is one thing. An inappropriate relationship between a woman with ties to foreign governments, some of whom are in league with enemies of the United States, and top military officers operating in a theater against terrorists with ties to some of those same countries is wildly problematic.

We are talking Cold War era stuff here.

The question is which of Lebanon’s many political factions did the Khawam family have ties to. They are Maronite Christians, but there are multiple Christian factions, some aligned with the Shiite axis of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. Iran is operating in Afghanistan and an inappropriate relationship involving the US commander in Afghanistan and the director of the CIA is just spy novel stuff.

As more details come out, we’ll no doubt find out, eventually, which Middle Eastern countries the Khawam sisters were linked to. And whether these links were with the Sunni terrorist axis of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the rest of the gang, or Iran and Syria.

Either way it would appear that central command officers used extremely bad judgement in using a woman who may have been a foreign agent as a go-between and getting personally involved with her.

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