General Allen CLEARED in Email Scandal

Posted on January 22, 2013


Way back in mid- November, we wrote about USMC General John Allen being dragged into the mire of the Petraeus-Broadwell affair, when it was noted that he had exchanged some emails with Tampa socialite and name-dropper Jill Kelley.  Reports on the content of those emails swung wildly between “innocuous” and “the equivalent of phone sex.”  His nomination to the post of NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe was put on hold.  The Pentagon’s Inspector General began sifting through thousands of emails to determine if there was wrongdoing on Allen’s part.

I was pretty flabbergasted.  As I wrote previously, I knew General Allen somewhat; we had worked on some of the same policy issues for our respective bosses in the Pentagon some years ago.  I only knew him in the context of work, but I just could not believe he would ever engage in impropriety, and especially not an affair.  Never mind the bit about endangering his career or his marriage; he just didn’t seem the type.  I could well imagine it with certain other acquaintances (both male and female), but not General Allen.

Sometimes you just know.

Now here we are, a little more than two months later, and General Allen has been “completely exonerated,” as the Washington Post reports.  It is a relief.  There are still good and decent senior leaders out there, and their character stands up even under rumors, titillation, and the scrutiny that results.

General Allen’s nomination is still on hold.  Now the question is:  will it go forward, in recognition that he is still the stellar candidate that was already nominated before all of this, and nothing has changed?  Or will someone else get the nomination, in recognition that no matter how stellar we may be, and no matter how innocent of wrongdoing, all it takes to derail any of us is the stain left by an accusatory finger belonging to a dirty mind?

I was pretty sure General Allen would be exonerated, because that was the measure of the man.  I’m not so sure what will happen to his nomination, because that is a measure of our political culture.

Related Post:  Rushing to Judgment: A Word on General Allen