Is there something in the air in Afghanistan? The altitude? Or maybe it’s the temperature in Tampa. Or is money the motivation?
Rush Limbaugh Tuesday: “With all these affairs going on, Bill Clinton’s gotta be kicking himself for dodging the draft. The Benghazi story finally has legs. Lots of legs. We have way too many generals taking orders from their privates.”
The Washington Post ponders Leon Panetta’s Pentagon probing General John Allen for sending thousands of “flirtatious” emails to the woman who filed the FBI complaint against Petraeus paramour Paula Broadwell. “20,000 to 30,000 pages” of emails over two years.
The probe postpones this week’s Senate hearing on Allen’s new gig as NATO commander. NYT wonders if there any connection between Petraeus‘s emails to Broadwell and Allen‘s to Kelley.
Before succeeding Petraeus in Afghanistan in 2011, Gen. Allen was in Tampa where Jill Kelley serves as an “unpaid social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base which is headquarters to the U.S. Central Command.”
NYDN: The senior official, who discussed the matter only on condition of anonymity because it is under investigation, said Panetta believed it was prudent to launch a Pentagon investigation, although the official would not explain the nature of Allen’s problematic communications.
The official said 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails and other documents from Allen’s communications with Kelley between 2010 and 2012 are under review. He would not say whether they involved sexual matters or whether they are thought to include unauthorized disclosures of classified information. 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. He praised Allen as having been instrumental in making progress in the war.
The FBI’s decision to refer the Allen matter to the Pentagon rather than keep it itself, combined with Panetta’s decision to allow Allen to continue as Afghanistan commander without a suspension, suggested strongly that officials viewed whatever happened as a possible infraction of military rules rather than a violation of federal criminal law.
Panetta said President Barack Obama was consulted and agreed that Allen’s nomination should be put on hold. Allen was to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Panetta said he asked committee leaders to delay that hearing.
Our story so far: General Petraeus was porking Paula who is married to a doctor. General Allen was emailing Jill Kelley who is married to a doctor. Jill, just “friends” with Petraeus, went to the FBI over “threatening” emails from “jealous” Paula, launching an investigation that triggered Petraeus’s CIA resignation. The Tampa FBI agent and friend of Jill’s who started the probe is yanked off the case after sending topless photos of himself to her.
The official “timeline” of Petraeus and Paula’s illicit liaison doesn’t add up: Paula met the General in 2006, yet they had no sex until after he left the military in 2011 and the affair supposedly ended in July. The months-old criminal investigation was well-known at the FBI and Justice Department, but nobody told Obama or Congress until two days after the election.
Shortly after the Benghazi attacks, Petraeus, in secret congressional testimony, claimed the debacle was caused by that anti-Muslim video, even though that spin had been discredited by his own CIA station chief in Libya and others.
On October 26th paramour Paula, apparently affected by Denver’s altitude, told a college audience that the assault was precipitated by the CIA annex’s detention of some “Libyan militia.” Which the CIA just denied when the speech video hit the fan Monday.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Petraeus is in full-tilt boogie damage control mode, spinning like a top anonymously to journalists under the cover of “close Petraeus associate.”
Apparently Petraeus actually believed his indiscretion wouldn’t come out and he’d keep his CIA job if he parroted the Obama Benghazi line. Washington Post.
Related: John Kerry to replace Leon Panetta at DOD. Wash Post.