National security expert John Guandolo is the founder of UnderstandingTheThreat.com and vice president of strategic planning for Strategic Engagement Group. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, John Guandolo has shared his knowledge of counterterrorism on the website Breitbart.
The American government faces the challenge of properly vetting all people who come into contact with government officials. Despite past incidents, the United States has shown leniency in conducting background checks of individuals who pose no apparent threat.
In his article titled “Petraeus Scandal Highlights Dangerous Weakness in U.S. Counterintelligence,” Guandolo highlights an incident in which a young woman by the name of Jill Kelley gained access to several four-star generals and admirals. Having flown under the radar for a period of time as the wife of a Florida oncologist and an unpaid social liaison, Ms. Kelley discovered ways to join and host social functions that were attended by many U.S. Central Command members.
She established influential relationships with leading officials, but her background was never evaluated because Ms. Kelley, née Jill Khawam, appeared safe and was likable. It was not until she issued complaints about General Petraeus’ extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell that concerns of her background came to light. Guandolo’s article proceeds to question the intent of Ms. Kelley’s connection with high officials. In addition, it compares her ability to surpass security measures to a method that would be carried out by dangerous parties, like the Muslim Brotherhood.