Washington Secrets

Petraeus ex-mistress dwelled on his 'legacy'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

In a sign of just how close she was to David Petraeus, his ex-mistress quizzed the son of legendary spy chief William Colby about the legacy the former CIA director would leave--just days before their sex scandal was revealed.

According to Carl Colby, director and producer of a movie about his dad, who served in the Nixon and Ford administrations, Paula Broadwell asked about Petraeus' legacy during an October 27 awards dinner Colby and the couple attended in honor of the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the CIA.

Colby revealed that Broadwell said Petraeus had watched his movie, "The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, C.I.A. Spymaster William Colby," several times, and that it sparked a discussion between them. "She said, oh, that General Petraeus loved your movie, he's seen it several times, he's recommended it to me and to many others," Colby recalled during a discussion about his movie before the Council on Foreign Relations late last month.

Colby continued: "She said, you know, he had one question when he watched the film. I said: 'Really? What's that?' She said: 'He said to me, what's my legacy going to be?'"

The movie director said he was struck by the comment. "Because, in contrast to my father, I don't think he ever thought about what's 'my legacy' going to be. He was just doing his job as best he knew how and holding on to whatever rudder was his lodestone."

Then, the following early morning, at exactly the same time, the duo emailed Colby about the movie.

"I sort of thought not much of it, and then the next morning, 6 a.m., I get emails from the both of them, the general and Paula, sort of talking about the movie and this and that. And I thought, well, this is a little unusual."

Twelve days later, the scandal was revealed and Petraeus resigned under pressure, his spy legacy in shambles.

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