The Petraeus mess is getting messier by the hour. Early this morning Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that the top US commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen is under investigation for alleged ‘inappropriate communications’ with Jill Kelley, the woman who receipt of nasty emails from Petraeus’ mistress began the FBI investigation leading to the Petraeus resignation. Allen, who is a four-star general in the Marines, has denied
any wrongdoing, a senior defense official said.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a written statement issued to reporters aboard his aircraft early Tuesday that the FBI referred the matter to the Pentagon on Sunday, and that he ordered a Pentagon investigation of Allen on Monday.
The defense official confirmed the investigation was due to allegations of inappropriate emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a close friend of the Petraeus family who reportedly led the FBI to investigate communications between Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell.
The FBI then discovered Petraeus and Broadwell had engaged in an extramarital affair, which led Petraeus to resign as director of the CIA on Nov. 9.
The defense official says the investigation into Allen involves 20,000 to 30,000 emails that were dated between 2010 and 2012, and that the department is in the very early stages of their investigation
Just think about that for a moment 20,000-30,000 emails over three years. That works out to be 20-30 emails a day. Now if the charge is true, this general had too much time on his hands.
He would not say whether they involved sexual matters or whether they are thought to include unauthorized disclosures of classified information or any criminal activity. He said he did not know whether Petraeus is mentioned in the emails.
“Gen. Allen disputes that he has engaged in any wrongdoing in this matter,” the official said. He said Allen currently is in Washington.
Panetta said that while the matter is being investigated by the Defense Department Inspector General, Allen will remain in his post as commander of the International Security Assistance Force, based in Kabul.
Yesterday, the father of Petraeus’ mistress/biographer Paula Broadwell, told the NY Daily News 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
Is this Gen. Allen part of the scandal part of the something bigger? Or is there more to come?
Meanwhile, Fox News also confirmed Monday night that the FBI is searching Broadwell’s North Carolina home, though they did not say what they were doing there or what prompted the search.
The Associated Press reports FBI agents appeared at Broadwell’s home carrying the kinds of cardboard boxes often used for evidence gathering during a search. They walked through the open garage of Broadwell’s house and knocked at a side door before entering the home, but refused to talk to the media.
And this growing soap opera gets even weirder. Is US Afghanistan Leader General Allen Mixed Up In Petraeus Mess?
Kelley, had complained about the emails in May to her friend, a FBI agent, who referred it to a cyber crimes unit. The Wall Street Journal first reported Monday that same agent was later taken off the case over concerns he was having an inappropriate relationship with Kelley.
The agent now faces an internal investigation over his behavior, which reportedly included sending shirtless pictures of himself to Kelley over the summer.
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that the agent, who has not been identified, appeared to become obsessed with the matter and then was prohibited from participating in the investigation. He later contacted a member of Congress, fearing that FBI leaders would sweep the matter under the rug, the Journal reported.
In the end does any of this matter? If state secrets weren’t passed or if the Administration isn’t using this as a way to cover up Benghazi (and there is no evidence for either) its hard to see this as anything but a salacious distraction to the real issues facing the country.