Retired Marine Gen. John Allen has emerged as a key Obama administration adviser on the stalled Mideast peace talks even as a Congresswoman pressed the Pentagon for a more thorough vetting of Allen's emails with a key figure in the David Petraeus scandal.
"The matter, as far as we're concerned, is closed," Pentagon chief spokesman George Little said Monday despite charges from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., that the Defense Department's Inspector General's office failed to look into the extensive email exchanges from Allen's private account with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley.
It was Kelley's' complaints to the FBI last year about harassing e-mails that led to the disclosure that the emails were from Paula Broadwell, who was having an affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus.
Petraeus resigned his post as CIA director, but Allen, then the commander of U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, was caught up in the investigation because of his exchanges with Kelley. The Pentagon IG later cleared him of wrongdoing, but Allen chose to retire despite his pending nomination to head U.S. European Command.
Speier, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told USA Today that that the Pentagon IG failed to look into thousands of emails between Allen and Kelley to determine if there was an inappropriate relationship.
"The fact that they didn't even pursue accessing the private emails is very disturbing to me," Speier said after seeking information from the Pentagon IG. "The most disturbing part of my discussion with them was that they requested access to his private email and were denied access and took it no further."
However, Little said that "material provided by the FBI did make its way to the IG."
Allen has signed on as a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution and has also undertaken a top advisory role to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry in the ongoing attempts to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas on the West Bank.
Allen's mission was to address Israel's security concerns as part of Kerry's "efforts to pursue Mideast peace," Little said.