Emails between general, socialite 'beyond flirtatious'
WASHINGTON — The exchange of emails between Marine Gen. John Allen, the top American military commander in Afghanistan, and a Florida woman linked to a roiling scandal contain comments that “go beyond flirtatious and can probably be described safely as suggestive,” a Defense Department official said Wednesday.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the investigation is ongoing into the content of the estimated 20,000 to 30,000 pages of communications between Allen and Jill Kelley, a married mother of three from Tampa who organized social events at MacDill Air Force Base.
The base is home to the Central Command, where Allen — who is also married with children — served as second in command before becoming head of all allied forces in Afghanistan more than a year ago.
The unexpected cloud over the four-star general grew out of the sex scandal involving retired Gen. David Petraeus, a decorated and popular figure who stepped down as CIA director last week after just 14 months, upon the disclosure of an extramarital affair with his biographer.
Allen and Kelley have denied having a sexual relationship. But the FBI investigation uncovered a trove of communication between the two that has not yet been fully discussed or analyzed, according to the Pentagon official.
Still, the official cautioned that media reports indicating some of the messages verged on “an email version of phone sex” probably went too far. What is known is that the scandal embroiling top leaders of the American military and intelligence community does not appear to be dying down.
Allen is slated to take over the role as top NATO commander in Europe. But President Obama, who has spoken highly of the general and has relied on his military acumen, has put the nomination on hold pending an investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general.
The rapidly evolving scandal stems from a request by Kelley that the FBI look into several anonymous emails that she received last summer, which she perceived as threats. But the probe unexpectedly uncovered a bombshell — the affair between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, an Army Reservist and researcher who authored his biography and who appeared to have a close working relationship with him.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- White House evacuated for fence jumper
- FBI, federal marshals join manhunt for survivalist accused of ambushing troopers
- Benghazi death prompts $2M suit
- Astronomers get look at birth of huge galaxy
- Glitch in health care law calculator enables employers to offer substandard health care coverage
- Kids’ poisonings linked to anti-addiction medicine
- Lawyer hopeful tests show dead infants were stillborn
- White House denies threats to kidnapped Americans’ families
- Medal of Honor awarded to veterans of Vietnam War
- Italian village to honor World War II U.S. bomber pilots
- License plate scanner networks gotcha