David Petraeus & Paula Broadwell's al-Qaeda Email Trick Only Made Them Easier to Catch

general petraeusGeneral David Petraeus may have made a career of keeping secrets, but the ones that pertain to him just keep on leaking. The latest spilt info on the affair between the former CIA Director and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, show how exactly the twosome kept in touch via email.

Hint: It's a trick used by both al-Qaeda and Don Cheadle. I know, this story really does keep on getting weirder.


Apparently, Broadwell and Petraeus set up a joint email account that they never actually sent emails to. They would just save unsent messages to one another in a "Drafts" folder, and then the "recipient" could just log on and read what was written. Pretty clever, huh? Actually, this technique is so clever that it's been used by al-Qaeda. (And, also, in the 2008 movie Traitor starring Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce.) Didn't fool the FBI, though.

We always hear about how it's so easy to get caught cheating now that texting and emailing and social networking sites exist, but on the flip side, it's way easier to cheat because of these things. You don't have to sneak off to a pay phone in the middle of nowhere to call the person you're cheating with, you just need to set up a fake Gmail account that your spouse would never -- in a million years -- know about.

That said, though, if you're going to go to these MacGyver-like extremes, be prepared for things to blow up in your face eventually. No matter how careful you think you're being -- and how untraceable you think you are. Once it's on the Internet, it's there forever. And that's a big risk to take.

Have you ever heard of this email trick?

Image via isafmedia/Flickr

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