KABUL—U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Tuesday asked the Senate to put on hold the confirmation of the top commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, as the new NATO supreme allied commander for Europe following the discovery of allegedly inappropriate communications between the general and a Tampa social planner.
The planner, Jill Kelley, is at the center of a scandal involving Gen. Allen’s predecessor as the top coalition commander in Kabul, Gen. David Petreaus, who resigned as CIA director last week after acknowledging an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation began probing the matter earlier this year, after Ms. Kelley complained about harassing emails that, according to officials, were eventually traced to Ms. Broadwell. Both women are married, as are Gens. Petreaus and Allen. As part of this inquiry, the FBI also uncovered some 30,000 pages of emails between Ms. Kelley and Gen. Allen, a senior defense official told reporters traveling with Mr. Panetta.
Mr. Panetta said in a statement that the Pentagon received the information concerning Gen. Allen from the FBI on Sunday, and has opened its own investigation. Adultery is a crime under the military code of justice. Gen. Allen’s spokesman declined to comment on the matter and referred all queries to the Pentagon.
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