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Defense / National Security

Panetta Orders Officer Ethics Review

photo of Ben  Schreckinger
November 16, 2012

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced on Thursday that he is ordering a review of the ethical training for senior officers in the wake of the investigation that led to the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus and is threatening the career of Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. 

Pentagon officials said that the review had been planned before Petraeus's extramarital affair was uncovered, prompting his resignation. In the last year, several other high-ranking officers, including two generals and an admiral, have faced accusations of sexual misconduct and other ethical lapses.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also sent a letter to all four-star admirals and generals outlining concerns about recent ethical breaches. “We, as the senior leaders of the military, should fundamentally take charge of our own profession and overcome the challenges that have been posed to us,” he told The New York Times.

 

Petraeus resigned on Friday after an FBI investigation into threatening emails sent to a Tampa, Florida, woman uncovered an extramarital affair between him and his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Allen is under investigation for exchanging “potentially inappropriate” emails with the Tampa woman, Jill Kelley.

The White House has expressed support for Allen as he undergoes the probe.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misspelled the former CIA Director’s name. His name is David Petraeus.

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