EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

November 13, 2012

Scandal widens; US general's emails 'flirtatious'

(Continued)

That official, as well as others who described the investigation, requested anonymity on grounds that they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

The FBI’s decision to turn over the Allen information to the military suggested that the bureau found no evidence of federal criminal violations to investigate further, such as national security breaches. Adultery, however, is a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Allen was not suspended from his military position, even though his nomination for promotion is on hold. The White House will soon be deciding how many troops will remain in Afghanistan — and for what purposes — after the U.S.-led combat operation ends in 2014. Allen has provided his recommendations to the White House and is key to those discussions.

Still more subplots in the story emerged yesterday with news that both Allen and Petraeus wrote letters last September on behalf of Jill Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam, in a messy custody dispute.

In 2011, a judge had denied Khawam custody of her 3-year-old son, saying she “appears to lack any appreciation or respect for the importance of honesty and integrity in her interactions with her family, employers and others with whom she comes in contact.”

Allen, in his letter, wrote of Khawam’s “maturity, integrity and steadfast commitment to raising her child.” Petraeus wrote that he’d been host for the Kelley family and Khawam and her son for Christmas dinner, and he described a loving relationship with her son. That also indicated how close the Petraeus and Kelley families had been.

Kelley served as a sort of social ambassador for U.S. Central Command in Tampa, hosting parties for Petraeus when he was commander there from 2008-10.

The friendship with the Petraeus began when they arrived in Tampa, and the Kelleys threw a welcome party at their home, a short distance from Central Command headquarters, introducing the new chief and his wife, Holly, to Tampa’s elite, according to staffers who served with Petraeus.

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