John R. Allen, as Marine General and commander of the International Security Assistance Force May 2012.
A Pentagon investigation has cleared Gen. John Allen, the top U.S.
commander in Afghanistan, of professional misconduct in exchanging
emails with a civilian woman linked to the sex scandal that led retired
Gen. David Petraeus to resign as CIA director.
press secretary George Little said Tuesday that Defense Secretary Leon
Panetta was informed of the conclusion by the Pentagon's inspector
"The secretary was pleased to learn that
allegations of professional misconduct were not substantiated by the
investigation," Little said, adding that Panetta has "complete
confidence in the continued leadership" of Allen.
matter was referred to the Pentagon in November by the FBI during the
course of its investigation of emails between Petraeus and his
biographer-turned-paramour, Paula Broadwell. The FBI turned up thousands
of emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, who was said to have received
threatening emails from Broadwell.
At the time, officials said 20,000 to 30,000 pages of
emails and other documents from Allen's communications with Kelley
between 2010 and 2012 were in question.
being contacted by the FBI, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta referred the
matter to the Pentagon's inspector general, while expressing confidence
in Allen and deciding that he would remain in Kabul as commander of all
allied forces in Afghanistan.
At the same time, Allen's
nomination to be the next U.S. commander of NATO forces in Europe was
put on hold. The officials said Tuesday the White House had not decided
whether to go forward with the nomination.
matter arose in November, defense officials expressed concern that at
least some of the emails might be judged "inappropriate," but the
inspector general determined that such concerns were "unsubstantiated,"
officials said Tuesday.
Maj. David Nevers, a spokesman for Allen, said he had no immediate comment on reports of his being exonerated.
successor in Kabul, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, has been confirmed by
the Senate and is scheduled to take over on Feb. 10.
had maintained he did nothing wrong in the Kelley communications, but
he has not spoken publicly about the specifics of his email exchanges
with her. She served as a sort of social ambassador for U.S. Central
Command in Tampa, Fla.
Petraeus is a former Central Command commander, and Allen is a former deputy commander there.