Socialite's flirty emails centre of scandal

Wednesday 14 Nov 2012 5:13 p.m.

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By Jane Luscombe

The FBI investigation that led to the resignation of the director of the CIA has taken a new twist and engulfed another four-star general, and it's American socialite Jill Kelley's flirty exchanges that have caused the damage.

The first casualty was retired general David Petraeus, a victim of friendly fire when Ms Kelley unwittingly set the FBI on his case.

But it didn't stop there.

It turns out Ms Kelley has been a busy lady with another man too: General John Allen, who's in charge of the war in Afghanistan.

The FBI is studying more than 20,000 pages, including flirty emails between Ms Kelley and the general.

He had been nominated to become NATO's supreme allied commander, but that's now on hold.

The pair met, along with Mr Petraeus, at Pentagon Central Command's headquarters in Tampa, where Ms Kelley hosted parties.

In return they called her an honourary ambassador, though a State Department spokesman couldn't be clearer it was unofficial.

“She does not work for the State Department and has no formal affiliation with the State Department,” says spokesman Mark Toner.

But that's not the impression she gave during a call to police about reporters trespassing on her diplomatic soil.

“I'm an honourary consul general…they should not be able to cross my property,” said Ms Kelly in a 911 call.

And the generals may be wishing they hadn't got involved in a custody dispute involving Ms Kelley's twin sister, Natalie Khawam.

Both men signed letters supporting the woman, but a judge voiced “profound concerns about her extreme distortions” and said she had an “unsteady moral and ethical compass”.

It's General Allen's morals that are in question now. There's no evidence he compromised military information, but if he had an affair it's a violation of military law.

He denies doing so.

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