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Wikipedia edits suggest prior knowledge of Petraeus affair

A sentence added 10 months ago after the biographer's appearance on The Daily Show was recently uncovered in the Wikipedia edit history.


Kevin Morris


Posted on Nov 13, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 7:31 am CDT

While top military officials have claimed they never suspected anything inappropriate in the relationship between former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus and his biographer, at least one person was on to the affair as early as January 2012.

Just check Wikipedia.

The day after Paula Broadwell made an appearance on The Daily Show on Jan. 25, 2012, someone created a Wikipedia page for her. As first reported by blogger Milo Wendt, an anonymous user appended this sentence to the entry, less than an hour after it was created:

“Petraeus is reportedly one of her many conquests.”

A Wikipedia editor shortly deleted that sentence for “libel/vandalism,” and soon the entire article had been shut down; editors claimed Broadwell wasn’t “notable” enough to deserve an entry. That obviously changed after her affair with Gen. Petraeus came to light. So when her entry was reopened on Nov. 9, the 10-month-old edit history was revealed.


Was the edit made by someone close to Petraeus or Broadwell who knew about the affair? Or was the mystery editor just an a mischievous Daily Show viewer? Regardless, the deleted sentence surely shows that someone was on to the relationship between Broadwell and Petraeus well before the affair was made public late last week. Could Petraeus’s colleagues in the military and CIA really have been so ignorant?

Photo via The Daily Show

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*First Published: Nov 13, 2012, 11:03 am CST