Nomination for NATO commander goes forward

  • Article by: PETER BAKER
  • New York Times
  • January 23, 2013 - 8:44 PM

The White House said on Wednesday that it would move forward with the nomination of Gen. John Allen as the NATO commander now that he has been cleared of wrongdoing in connection with a series of e-mails with a Florida socialite.

Allen's appointment had been on hold since the e-mails were discovered during the investigation that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, who was having an extramarital affair.

Allen, a Marine, is currently the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. The Pentagon's inspector general looked into whether his e-mails with Jill Kelley, a socialite from Tampa, Fla., violated policy, regulation or military law. About 15 investigators pored through the e-mails and examined them for indications of an inappropriate relationship or security breaches and concluded that "allegations of professional misconduct were not substantiated," as the Pentagon spokesman put it.

Kelley became ensnared in the investigation after she asked an FBI acquaintance for help with what she considered harassing anonymous e-mails she received warning her to stay away from Petraeus. Ultimately, the FBI determined that those e-mails had been sent by Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' biographer.

Petraeus, a retired four-star general and former commander in Afghanistan and Iraq, acknowledged having an affair with Broadwell and resigned on Nov. 9.

On Wednesday, Allen broke a long silence on the investigation and released a statement in Kabul through his spokesman, Maj. David Nevers.

"From the outset, the general placed his faith in -- and fully supported -- the investigative process," Nevers said. "He's obviously pleased by the outcome. But more critically, he is grateful for the support he received throughout this process from his chain of command, friends, family and colleagues."

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