PERTH, Australia The sex scandal that led to CIA Director David Petraeus’ downfall widened Tuesday with word the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is under investigation for thousands of alleged “inappropriate communications” with another woman involved in the case. Some of the material was “flirtatious,” an official said.
Even as the FBI prepared a timeline for Congress about the investigation that brought to light Petraeus’ extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed that the Pentagon had begun an internal investigation into e-mails between Gen. John Allen and a Florida woman involved in the case.
Some of the 20,000-plus pages of documents and e-mails between Allen and Tampa socialite Jill Kelley were “flirtatious,” according to a senior defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the case publicly. It wasn’t immediately clear who wrote the flirtatious notes — Allen, Kelley or both.
Allen succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011, and his nomination to become the next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe has now been put on hold, as the scandal seemed certain to ensnare another acclaimed military figure.
In a White House statement early Tuesday, National Security spokesman Tommy Vietor said President Barack Obama has held Allen’s nomination at Panetta’s request. Obama, the statement said, “remains focused on fully supporting our extraordinary troops and coalition partners in Afghanistan, who Gen. Allen continues to lead as he has so ably done for over a year.”
It was Broadwell’s threatening e-mails to Kelley, a Petraeus family friend, that led to the FBI’s discovery of communications between Broadwell and Petraeus indicating they were having an affair.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.