Gina Chon quit under pressure after the disclosure of her relationship with Brett McGurk (pictures seen above in video) in Baghdad in 2008 came to light, the Washington Post reports
Chon worked for The Journal in Iraq from 2007 to 2009; at the time, McGurk was working in Iraq for the National Security Council under then-President George W. Bush.
The e-mails were posted anonymously on the photo-sharing site Flickr
with a special message to McGurk: "A tribute to Ambassador Brett McGurk's professionalism."
The couple joked in the e-mails about trading sexual favors in exchange for access and information. In one
, Chon jokingly refers to reporters as vultures attacking sources, to which McGurk smoothly replies, “If treated to many glasses of wine — you could be the chosen vulture.”
Blue balls and wine
And he knows it, too : "From my first message to you through our Chinese dinner to the blue balls banter and then my coming over to hook up with you for the first time (on June 23 -- a night the world should celebrate). 'I am so f****** smooth!"
"I had a very good day with the Iraqis — the best yet. Can't tell you about it of course," McGurk teases in another email.
Chon’s reply: 'This is like a journalist's version of blue balls and it's really not fair.'
He doesn't miss a beat: "Well it's only fair — since I had a very real case of blue balls last night!' He goes onto mention ‘self-healing’ exercises to cure the problem."
Chon and McGurk are now married-- and so was he, at the time, according to Gawker
"McGurk, who married a woman named Caroline Wong in 2006, was reportedly still married at the time the affair began."
The Wall Street Journal issued a statement Tuesday, saying
it "found no evidence that her coverage was tainted by her relationship with Mr. McGurk." But it did find evidence of her "acknowledging that while based in Iraq she violated the Dow Jones
Code of Conduct by sharing certain unpublished news articles."
Dow Jones is a News Corporation company. Yes, the same News Corp owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch that's involved in the largest news paper phone-hacking scandals in Britain's history.
Obama administration stands by their man
As if it couldn't get any worse, news of the leaked emails comes at a time when McGurk's confirmation to serve as U.S. ambassador to Iraq is pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Some Republicans such as Sen. James M. Inhofe (Okla.), a conservative who is the second-ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, have some "concerning issues" with McGurk because of the e-mails.
“Senator Inhofe always prefers to meet with nominees personally before giving his support,” said Inhofe spokesman Jared Young, the Post says. “In regards to this nominee, Senator Inhofe has heard some concerning issues, and until those issues are cleared up, he will not meet with Mr. McGurk.”
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the White House is standing by McGurk.
“We consider him uniquely qualified,” she told reporters. “All of the necessary things were done before his nomination, and we urge the Senate to confirm him.”
The GOP may ultimately stand by him, too, according to ABC
news. Although the process might be messy and will make both McGurk’s friends and detractors on the Hill uncomfortable, (See above: Blue balls), the source says, as a Republican and former Bush White House national security staffer, McGurk has a good chance of surviving the scandal.
For your uninterrupted reading pleasure, the site Cryptome
has published copies of the steamy e-mails.