A fleeting anonymous entry on Paula Broadwell's Wikipedia page back in January might have clued the country in to what was going on between her and then-CIA Director David Petraeus, but the post hardly lasted an hour before it was deleted.
While the Wiki entry on now-infamous biographer Broadwell currently includes a section on the "Petraeus affair," a much shorter bio (apparently created after her January 25 appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart") did not. Yet, as blogger Milo Wendt reported earlier this week, within an hour of the page's creation, an anonymous Wiki editor wrote, "Petraeus is reportedly one of her many conquests."
The comment was the user's first and only Wikipedia edit. Less than an hour later, a more regular editor deleted the sentence and offered the following explanation: "Remove libel / vandalism."
(Little Green Footballs has posted side-by-side screenshots of the page before and after the comment was removed.)
Wendt was unable to trace the IP address behind the curious addition, but Gawker connected the comment to Cisco, a major supplier of defense technology. Gawker quotes a tipster who said that all military communications in Afghanistan and other war zones go through Cisco Systems equipment.
"Since there seems to be trouble locating the IP address," Gawker's source writes, "perhaps it's because the post was made from someone in the military, overseas, behind a firewall?"
While the identity of the cryptic editor remains a mystery, whoever dropped the original hint probably shouldn't worry about being accused of libel. Petraeus admitted to an extramarital affair last Friday and stepped down from his post as CIA director. At the time, sources with knowledge of the investigation that led to the resignation said that Petraeus and Broadwell had been involved in a relationship.