It sure seems unlikely that David Petraeus, the married director of the C.I.A., would be seducing Taiwanese engineers on Skype in order to cash his, uh, paychecks from the NATO operation in Libya, doesn't it? But try telling that to Liu Shuzhen, who is pretty insistent that she and Petraeus are getting married, any day now.

They met online a few months ago, Shuzhen claims, when Petraeus asked her for some help: He needed her to "to wire him money for fuel expenses and to help him cash some paychecks from the recent campaign that toppled the Col. Muammar Qaddafi of Libya." No biggie! Shuzhen wired him $30,000, and in exchange, he sent her the checks—and a wedding ring, promising he'd marry her "even if it will start World War III."

Of course, when Shuzhen tried to cash the checks she ran into a little bit of trouble with the law. They were forgeries (how surprising!), and she was arrested; police apparently spent hours trying to convince her she was being scammed, but she wasn't having any of it:

"How could a scamming group have so much resources at its disposal?" she asked, adding that the man who claimed to be Petraeus was deliberately misleading the media into believing he was a scammer to keep cross-strait issues calm and "protect their love."

In response to the alleged Petraeus' displeasure at media footage of their Skype conversation on Monday, Liu said on Tuesday that CNN should also interview her about the incident, because that would force him "to come to Taiwan sooner."

Hmm. It's worth noting that others have reported of a Skype-based scam in which someone pretends to be Petraeus:

one Saterday [sic] afternoon while we were talking to the family, a pop up came on asking us to please except [sic], so we did and it was a man impersonating [sic] to be Gen. David Howell Petraeus, well we din't [aw, fuck it] know better so we excepted, he explained that he was stationed in Afghanistan and was looking for friends, well to be honest we are not political people

But, hey, maybe this is actually Petraeus just looking for love and some financial assistance in Taiwan? Probably not, though.

[Taipei Times, China Post; image via AP; hat tip to Nign!]