The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 13, 2012

General investigated for emails to Petraeus friend



PERTH, Australia (AP) — The career of Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is now in jeopardy due to the investigation of the David Petraeus sex scandal.

The Pentagon said Tuesday that Allen is under investigation for alleged "inappropriate communications" with Jill Kelley, the woman who is said to have received threatening emails from Petraeus' paramour.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a written statement issued to reporters aboard his aircraft, en route from Honolulu to Perth, Australia, that the FBI referred the matter to the Pentagon on Sunday.

Panetta said he ordered a Pentagon investigation of Allen on Monday.

A senior defense official traveling with Panetta said Allen's communications were with Kelley, who has been described as an unpaid social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., which is headquarters to the U.S. Central Command. She is not a U.S. government employee.

Kelley is said to have received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, who is Petraeus' biographer and who had an extramarital affair with Petraeus that reportedly began after he became CIA director in September 2011.

Petraeus resigned as CIA director on Friday.

Allen, a four-star Marine general, succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011.

He had been nominated by President Barack Obama be the next commander of U.S. European Command. Obama has put that nomination on hold, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Tuesday, while urging the Senate to "act swiftly" on his nomination of Gen. Joseph Dunford to succeed Allen as commander in Afghanistan.

The senior military official, who discussed the matter only on condition of anonymity because it is under investigation, said Panetta believed it was prudent to launch a Pentagon investigation, although the official would not explain the nature of Allen's problematic communications.

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