What the heck is going on? Now we have General John Allen, Commander of US troops in Afghanistan, caught up in this Petreaus mess.
The FBI probe into the sex scandal that prompted CIA Director David Petraeus to resign has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday.
According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of documents - most of them e-mails - that contain "potentially inappropriate" communication between Allen and Jill Kelley, the 37-year-old Tampa woman whose report of harassment by a person who turned out to be Petraeus's mistress ultimately led to Petraeus's downfall.
Allen, a Marine, succeeded Petraeus as the top allied commander in Afghanistan in July 2011. He also served as Petraeus's deputy when both generals led the military's Tampa-based Central Command from 2008 until 2010.
The FBI first notified the Pentagon of its investigation into Allen's communications with Kelley on Sunday evening, according to the senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the pending case.
In response, Pentagon chief Leon E. Panetta referred the investigation on Monday to the Defense Department's Inspector General for further review, according to a statement released by Panetta early Tuesday as he was traveling to Australia.
The Pentagon did not address the nature of Kelley's alleged relationship with Allen. But another senior U.S. official, who is close to Allen, strongly denied that the general and Kelley had an affair or engaged in inappropriate communication. Allen and Kelley, who threw parties and other social events involving senior leaders at the Central Command, did exchange "a few hundred e-mails over a couple of years," beginning when Allen was the deputy commander at the Central Command, this senior official said. But "most of them were about routine stuff."
"He's never been alone with her," the senior official said. "Did he have an affair? No."
The senior official also questioned the volume of communications reported by the Pentagon, saying "it was nowhere near" 20,000-30,000 personal messages.
I give up. One side is lying and Congress has to get to the bottom of it. Either Allen sent "20-30,000 'potentially inappropriate'" emails or several hundred innocent querries. It can't be both and one side knows the truth.
Kelley is emerging as a pivotal figure. Broadwell suspected something. Allen was obsessed with her, as was the FBI agent who began the Bureau's investigation at Kelley's request. There is something more here than meets the eye, as Broadwell's father suspects:
But Broadwell's father said Sunday his daughter is the victim of character assassination and implied the bombshell story is just a smoke screen for something bigger.
"This is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out," Broadwell's dad, Paul Krantz, told the Daily News outside his home in Bismarck, N.D.
"There is a lot more that is going to come out," said Krantz, claiming he was not allowed to elaborate. "You wait and see. There's a lot more here than meets the eye."
He said he supports his daughter "100%."
"I stand by my daughter. She is an exceptional person," Krantz told The News, adding that Broadwell, a West Point grad, and her family were "doing well, considering."
The FBI and Petreaus partisans are portraying Broadwell as a femme fatale, insanely jealous after the general broke off the relationship. That doesn't add up either. A self assured, strong, independent woman threatening a rival? Get out of here.
At the very least, it raises questions about whether the top command in Afghanistan was so busy with their sexcapades that it affected their ability to fight the war.