I guess if you create a culture in which generals are treated as rock stars, they eventually begin to act like, well, rock stars.
Complete with groupies.
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT — The FBI probe into the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday.
According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” e-mails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Tampa woman whose close friendship with Petraeus ultimately led to his downfall. Allen, a Marine, succeeded Petraeus as the top allied commander in Afghanistan in July 2011….
The latest development in the unfolding scandal has shaken President Obama’s national-security staff and upended his carefully chosen plans for his military and intelligence team in his second term.
It also further calls into question the personal behavior of two of the U.S. military’s highest-ranking and most respected figures, who apparently ignored concerns about the highly sensitive nature of their jobs as they embraced personal relationships with younger women who were not their wives.
It was unclear whether Allen could be subject to criminal prosecution. The senior defense official said the Pentagon was still reviewing the e-mails and declined to comment on the nature of the relationship between Allen and Kelley. “Gen. Allen disputes that he has engaged in any wrongdoing in this matter,” the official told the Associated Press.
Under the military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice, adultery is classified as a crime.
Apparently, one of the anonymous emails sent by Broadwell had accused Kelley of “inappropriately touching” Petraeus — or “Peaches,” as we now he is called by some — beneath a dining table. Unfortunately, these are just the latest and most high-profile scandals in a string of incidents involving senior military officials. And as the New York Times reports, the way this investigation has unfolded does not exactly inspire great confidence or respect for some of those entrusted with law enforcement in our country either:
“Ms. Kelley, a volunteer with wounded veterans and military families, brought her complaint (about Paula Broadwell) to a rank-and-file agent she knew from a previous encounter with the F.B.I. office, the official also said. That agent, who had previously pursued a friendship with Ms. Kelley and had earlier sent her shirtless photographs of himself, was “just a conduit” for the complaint, he said. He had no training in cybercrime, was not part of the cyber squad handling the case and was never assigned to the investigation.
But the agent, who was not identified, continued to “nose around” about the case, and eventually his superiors “told him to stay the hell away from it, and he was not invited to briefings,” the official said. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Monday night that the agent had been barred from the case.
Later, the agent became convinced — incorrectly, the official said — that the case had stalled. Because of his “worldview,” as the official put it, he suspected a politically motivated cover-up to protect President Obama. The agent alerted Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who called the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, on Oct. 31 to tell him of the agent’s concerns.
The official said the agent’s self-described “whistle-blowing” was “a little embarrassing” but had no effect on the investigation.
Everybody’s human. Everybody makes mistakes. Wearing a uniform or a badge doesn’t endow a person with some kind of immunity to temptation or bad judgment.
But still …
– Jay Bookman