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Flashback: General John Allen’s ‘Phone Sex Email’ Scandal

Making himself a political ally of Hillary Clinton, retired Marine Corps General John Allen spoke before the Democratic National Convention and since then has said there would be a military revolt if Trump becomes the commander-in-chief.

But wanting Hillary as president isn’t the only thing he has in common with the Democrat nominee. Like Hillary, Allen also has an email scandal hanging around his neck.

General Allen spoke at the Democrat convention and slammed Trump for seemingly advocating for the U.S. to abandon her allies overseas. And since the convention Allen has claimed that if Trump were to become president the military may launch a full scale revolt against him.

Some, though, have criticized him saying that former members of the joint chiefs should not engage in public politicking. Retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for instance, has criticized Allen for his appearance at the convention saying that officers of his status should never endorse candidates or engage in overt political activism.

But Allen has another reason to have stayed silent. He has his own email scandal to forget.

Back in November 2012, news broke that General Allen, then serving as the American commander in Afghanistan, was embroiled in controversy for having sent “inappropriate communications” with a close friend of the David Petraeus family. When first reported, the contents of these emails were so racy they were deemed little different than “phone sex.”

The emails amounted to several hundred messages spanning two and a half years of time, starting in 2010, right around the same time period as the sex scandal that took down General Petraeus was roiling.

An investigation was launched that year into the ribald emails between Allen and Petraeus family friend Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old socialite. Ultimately, Obama’s Pentagon decided that Allen’s emails didn’t rise to conduct unbecoming an officer, but they were so flirtatious that the damage was done. The investigation was such an embarrassment that Allen resigned his commission and bowed out of the hunt to be named the supreme allied commander in Europe early in 2013.

Emails showed the pair calling each other “sweetheart,” some playfully saying “you rock” to each other, and others discussing “doggy style.” All were discovered among the hundreds of messages which were reportedly exploited by Petraeus biographer Paul Broadwell, according to the investigation.

Other emails in the batch accuse Kelley of groping General Petraeus under a dinner table and “parading around the base” in skimpy clothing.

“Be sure to watch Jill’s hands under the DC dinner table this Friday. They have been seen there before,” one of the emails warned about Kelley and Petraeus.

Despite the finding of no wrongdoing, though, Allen clearly got more involved with Kelley than merely sending a few off-color emails. Along with the “flirtatious” messages the pair exchanged photos of each other through the emails.

In addition, Allen got so involved in Kelley’s life that he wrote letters of recommendation for Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam, in a messy child custody case during a divorce.

Kelley herself had a rather checkered involvement with members of the upper echelon of the U.S. military. For instance, she used her contacts with Allen and Petraeus and other officers to try a wheedle her way in as an “ambassador” for the U.S. government. The emails show Kelley cajoling both Petraeus and Allen, among other Pentagon officers, to make her an Honorary Ambassador to Central Command in Tampa and an Honorary Consul for the Republic of Korea.

One batch of emails also reveals her anger when she found out there may be other such “ambassadors” and features her telling the officers how upset she was over the possibility that her “title” was not as special as she wanted it to be.

“Bob,” Kelley wrote in one email. “WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT??? You never informed me of ‘3’ other Honorary Ambassadors??????”

Naturally, her wished-for diplomatic career was cut short once the emails became public.

Kelley and her husband Scott also founded what even the left-wing Mother Jones magazine called a “questionable charity” for cancer patients. An investigation found that the charity spent most of its cash on parties, travel, and attorney fees before it went bankrupt in 2007. Oddly, the charity was formed with an initial bank deposit of $157,284 but by 2007 had spent exactly that amount on operations, the bankruptcy filing revealed.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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