Jill Kelley: I Learned First-Hand About Govt Spying

Image: Jill Kelley: I Learned First-Hand About Govt Spying

Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 05:18 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Jill Kelley, who found herself in the center of the situation that led to the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, says she learned first-hand about the National Security Agency's spying capabilities.

"Millions of innocent Americans should be very concerned about Washington's massive surveillance apparatus, which seems to know no bounds," Kelley wrote in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. 

Kelley explained that she and her husband were being sent "threatening email messages" that were very alarming. They reported the emails to the FBI, following the recommendation of several military leaders.

"We authorized the FBI to look at one threatening email we received, and only that email, so that the FBI could identify the stalker," she said.

"However, the FBI ignored our request and violated our trust by unlawfully searching our private emails and turning us into the targets of an intrusive investigation without any just cause — all the while without informing us that they had identified the email stalker as Paula Broadwell, who was having an affair with Mr. Petraeus," she said.

Kelley said she doesn't know why Broadwell was stalking her, and said Broadwell has still not been charged with any crime.

"Adding insult to injury, the FBI then leaked our identities to the media and distorted the contents of the emails it had illegally obtained, throwing my family into a destructive media vortex," Kelley said.

The Florida woman said rumors started flying "about an inappropriate relationship with Gen. Allen ... sullying my reputation and honor, to the great distress of my family."

"To this day the government has not apologized for its indefensible conduct," she said.

She thinks that what she went through "is a case study about the damage that can be caused by the government's electronic overreach."

As a result, Kelley is now "an advocate against unwarranted spying on personal communications," and she is pushing "for new legislation and better enforcement of existing privacy laws."

Kelley and her husband, Scott, filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon and the FBI in June, saying the government willfully leaked the false information to the media in violation of the Privacy Act.

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