Politics 3

The Petraeus Affair Goes Deeper

Interview with the new ISAF Commander

The probe into General Petraeus’ affair with biographer Paula Broadwell goes even deeper than just the two principals. The FBI investigation penetrated deeper into e-mails surrounding the social circle ensnared by this scandal, and all parties gasped when it exposed another affair involving our chief general in Afghanistan.

General John Allen, the commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, was caught up in the investigation when his e-mails were laid bare and they found over 20,000 pages of e-mails with Jill Kelley, the liaison who made the initial complaint that started this whole thing after Broadwell sent her anonymous, threatening e-mails.

Allen, a Marine, had succeeded Petraeus when the latter took the job to be the Director of Central Intelligence. Kelley, a family friend of Petraeus, was a liaison between military and the State Department. It was an unpaid volunteer job, and she was made an honorary ambassador to the coalition of countries at US Central Command in Florida, but frequently she would refer to herself as ambassador.

This investigation speared into the tight sheath of Allen and Kelley’s e-mails, but as of now the Pentagon has not indicated that Allen will be sacked. Petraeus has resigned. Senior officials close to Allen have flatly denied that anything inappropriate happened between Allen and Kelley, noting that he never hid they exchanged a number of e-mails because Kelley was a socialite who planned a lot of events involving his staff.

Also, the 20,000 pages? Senior officials say that’s an overstatement. E-mails are threaded now, meaning if they print every individual e-mail, each of those e-mails also have the previous replies in the print-out. I.e., those pages have a lot of stuff you’ve read before.

Another thing is that Kelley spoke with Allen about the threatening e-mails from Broadwell (they didn’t know it was her). After discussing the e-mails, she notified the FBI.

What may have triggered the suspicion is Allen’s use of the word “sweetheart” to Kelley. And, as odd as it sounds, many explain that as a product of his growing up in Virginia, where that’s a common usage. Apparently. Allen is not being taken out of his job, yet, but Secretary of Defense Panetta is speeding up the confirmation of his replacement, and put in place a new General for the job Allen was up for.

Question: Do you think Allen had an inappropriate relationship?