Afghanistan Commander “Completely Exonerated” in E-Mail Probe
The Pentagon Inspector General has completely exonerated Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, who is currently heading the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan.
General Allen had been the subject of an official inquiry after former Army General and CIA Director David Petraeus was brought down over an improper affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Broadwell had sent potentially threatening emails to Jill Kelley, a friend of both Petraeus and Allen and a Tampa socialite. Kelley forwarded her emails to an FBI agent friend of hers. This led to an exercise in investigatory thread-pulling that uncovered the improper correspondence between Broadwell and Petraeus, as well as the correspondence between Kelley and Gen. Allen.
The IG investigation into Gen. Allen focused on a lengthy correspondence between Kelley and Allen. Early media reports indicated that there were as many as 30,000 printed pages of emails between the two. However, according to the Pentagon, the sum total of their correspondence uncovered was about 200 emails over several years.
The IG, however, found no evidence that Allen, 59, had done anything to warrant accusations of behavior unbecoming an officer. The vindication was complete.
“The secretary has complete confidence in the continued leadership of General Allen, who is serving with distinction in Afghanistan,” a Pentagon spokesperson said, following the Inspector General’s announcement of the results of his investigation.
Nevertheless, in reports from last November, Pentagon sources characterized some of the emails between the two as “embarrassing.”
Gen. Allen was the Administration’s pick to become the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO. The Administration held off the nomination proceedings, however, when Allen was first implicated in the email probe.
It is not yet clear whether the Administration will go forward with Gen. Allen’s nomination to the SACEUR post.