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The David Petraeus scandal: Cast of characters: A scandal that began
with the relationship between retired Gen. David Petraeus, the director
of the CIA, and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, had mushroomed. Here’s a
look at the people mentioned in the case.

By ,
Wednesday, January 23, 9:20 AM

The Pentagon’s inspector general
has cleared the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan of wrongdoing
following an investigation into whether he exchanged inappropriate
e-mails with the same Tampa socialite involved in the scandal that
prompted David H. Petraeus to resign as CIA director, U.S. officials said Tuesday.


The FBI uncovered messages from Marine Gen. John R. Allen
during its investigation of Petraeus last year. The tenor of some of the
e-mails, which senior defense officials described as racy and
flirtatious, prompted Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to order a formal inquiry.


Craig Whitlock JAN 19

Washington saw Algiers as a keystone for combating militants in the Mali and the Maghreb.

In a letter sent to Allen on Friday, the inspector general
wrote that Allen had not violated military prohibitions against conduct
unbecoming an officer, according to the senior U.S. officials, who spoke
on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to
discuss the matter on the record. “He was completely exonerated,” one of
the officials said.

Panetta was informed that the investigation
had cleared Allen, according to Pentagon spokesman George Little. “The
secretary has complete confidence in the continued leadership of General
Allen, who is serving with distinction in Afghanistan,” Little said.

Allen
exchanged the messages with Jill Kelley, 37, who ingratiated herself
with several senior officers at the Tampa headquarters of the U.S.
Central Command. Kelley’s complaint to the FBI about another set of
messages — ones that were harassing — eventually led to the discovery of
an affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The FBI determined that Broadwell, for reasons still not clear, had sent Kelley the harassing e-mails.

A spokesman for Allen declined to comment.

The
inspector general’s investigation prompted the White House to place on
hold Allen’s nomination to become the supreme allied commander in
Europe. Allen is scheduled to relinquish command in Afghanistan early
next month, and the Pentagon has not yet requested that the Senate Armed
Services Committee reschedule his nomination.

Defense officials
have said Panetta’s decision to refer the e-mails to the inspector was
driven by the content of some of the messages and by a desire to show
that the Pentagon was not trying to ignore any potential miscount in the
wake of the Petraeus scandal.

Although the messages have not
been released, some military officials sympathetic to Allen questioned
whether Panetta overreacted, placing a cloud over the general’s head at a
critical juncture in the Afghan war. A senior defense official said
Panetta referred the matter to the inspector general upon the
recommendation of civilian and military attorneys.

Allen has spent
the past few weeks refining his recommendations for the number of U.S.
troops that should be withdrawn from Afghanistan this year and the
number of forces that should be stationed in the country once the U.S.
and NATO combat mission ends in 2014.

Senior military and
administration officials expect Allen’s preferred options, which have
not yet been formally submitted to the Pentagon, to entail more troops
than those favored by top civilian aides to President Obama. Allen wants
to keep about 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, while White
House officials are leaning toward a force of 2,500 to 6,000.

Although
initial reports described the volume of messages between Allen and
Kelley as up to 30,000 printed pages, the two exchanged only a few
hundred messages over a multi-year period, one of the U.S. officials
said. “Some of the messages are not the sort of things you would print
in a family newspaper,” the official said. “But that doesn’t mean he
violated military regulations by sending and receiving them.”

Officials
close to Allen have long insisted that he did not have a sexual
relationship with Kelley. Allen’s partisans said that Kelley was a close
friend to Allen and his wife, Kathy.

Many of the messages
related to social events or to items Kelley had seen in the news, said a
senior official close to Allen. Sometimes she wrote to compliment the
general on a television interview, the official said, and sometimes she
copied him on a message intended for his wife. “He returns almost every
e-mail,” the official said soon after the investigation commenced. “To
him, it’s a sign of politeness.”

The disclosure that Allen
exchanged potentially inappropriate messages with Kelley prompted
disbelief among many officers who worked with him. The 6-foot-tall,
silver-haired Allen has the demeanor of an avuncular professor, not a
hard-bitten Marine prone to flirting and carousing.

Allen, a
native of Warrenton, Va., was the first Marine to serve as the
commandant of midshipmen at the Naval Academy. He spent two years in
Iraq’s Anbar province, where he led an effort to reach out to Sunni
tribal leaders to try to persuade them to stand against al-Qaeda
militants — a shift that helped turn the course of the war in western
Iraq.

He eventually became Petraeus’s deputy at the Central
Command, where his portfolio focused largely on Iran. The job afforded
him the opportunity to brief Obama, who grew impressed by the general’s
analyses. When Obama appointed Petraeus to head the CIA, Allen was
tapped to go to Kabul in 2011.

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Comments

  1. Gen Allen is the soul of honor and courtesy. He defines chivalry in the old sense, and models himself after Robert E. Lee. I never for a moment doubted him, though I certainly doubted the fairness of the administration. I am glad to see him vindicated.

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