A senior defense official initially described the nature of the communications between Allen and Kelley as “flirtatious.” However, two U.S. officials later told Fox News that Allen’s contact with Kelley was more than just general flirting. One official described some of the emails as sexually explicit and the “equivalent of phone sex over email.”
Another official said Panetta would not have referred this matter to an internal investigator without knowing the devastating impact this would have on war efforts and on Allen and his family, noting that it was a serious enough matter that those who examined the emails thought it should be referred to the secretary of defense, and the secretary made the decision to turn it over to the inspector general.
Foreign Policy reports that a diplomatic source says that Kelley is an ‘honorary consul’ of the Republic of Korea (South Korea), a symbolic title that has no official responsibilities. Kelley assumed this position last August thanks to her good connections and network. The source also said Kelley played a role to improve the relationship between the ROK and the U.S., including getting support for [the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement]. She also arranged meetings between the ROK Ambassador to Washington and local businessmen when the ROK Ambassador visited the Tampa area.
There’s no implication that the South Korean government has anything to do with the growing scandal that involves Kelly, Allen, Petraeus, and Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s biographer and alleged mistress. But her work on behalf of the South Koreans may explain some of the 20,000 to 30,000 pages of e-mails between her and Allen that the Defense Department’s Inspector General’s office is investigating now.
Kelley’s Mercedes has license plates that say “Honorary Consul,” and she invoked her honorary diplomatic status in a Nov. 11 911 call when she was complaining about trespassers on her private property. However, “honorary” diplomats have no specific privileges or protections under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The FBI uncovers between 20,000 and 30,000 documents — most of them e-mails — of “potentially inappropriate” communications between Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, and Jill Kelley. Allen, a Marine, succeeded Petraeus as the top allied commander in Afghanistan in July 2011. He also served as Petraeus’s deputy when both generals led the military’s Tampa-based Central Command from 2008 until 2010.
The FBI first notified the Pentagon of its investigation into Allen’s communications with Kelley on Sunday evening (11 Nov), according to a senior defense official.
The New York Post reports that Petraeus and Allen intervened in a custody case involving Natalie Khawam, Kelley’s twin sister and the father, Grayson Wolfe’s, over their over four year old child. Khawam took her son to Florida when he was four months old after a heated argument. Both Petraeus and Allen wrote letters supporting Khawam and praising her as a mother.
According to court documents Wolfe was unable to see the child for more than a year. The judge overseeing the case cited Khawam with “outrageous conduct,” “bad faith litigation tactics,” and “illogical thinking,” awarding full custody to the father leaving Kelley with $350,000 in legal fees.
Besides the emails sent directly to Kelley, Broadwell also sent emails denigrating Kelley from a pseudonymous account to senior military officials. In the email received by General John R. Allen, Broadwell — writing under the pseudonym KelleyPatrol — described Kelley as a “seductress” and warned the general about being entangled in a relationship with her. Gen. Allen was concerned by that email and forwarded it to Kelley.3