In what appeared to be another twist in the scandalizing saga, the Pentagon said on Tuesday that the top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen is under investigation for alleged inappropriate communications with a woman.
According to the reports, General John Allen is under investigation for inappropriate emails to Jill Kelley, the woman linked to the sex scandal involving former CIA director David Petraeus. The revelation represented yet another stunning turn in a widening scam that has jolted Washington.
Leon Panetta, the defence secretary released a statement saying that the FBI referred the matter to the Pentagon on Sunday. The FBI had uncovered a trove of 30,000 pages of correspondence between Allen and Jill Kelley, a key figure in the scandal that brought down the storied former general and CIA chief, he added.
It is vital to mention here that Petraeus resigned abruptly last week over an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.
Gen Allen was deputy commander of central command, based in Tampa, before taking over in Afghanistan. He also is a veteran of the Iraq war.
He said Allen would remain in Kabul as the commander of NATO-led security forces but that he had asked the Senate Armed Services Committee to delay action on Allen s pending nomination to be NATO s supreme allied commander.
He, however, praised the general’s work in Afghanistan, saying his leadership has been “instrumental” in securing progress in the war against Taliban insurgents. He said he requested that the Senate committee move promptly on the nomination for Allen s successor in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford.
It remained unclear what allegations Allen faced, and officials declined to comment as to whether the Marine general was accused of using his work email to communicate with Kelley or had disclosed any classified information.
He was of the opinion that it was far too early to speculate on what the IG (inspector general) might find. “There is enough concern that we believe it was a prudent measure to take appropriate steps to direct an investigation and notify Congress,” he said.
Panetta stated, “We need to see where the facts lead in this matter, before jumping to any conclusions whatsoever. General Allen disputes that he has engaged in any wrongdoing in this matter.”