Petraeus Orders Probe of Rolling Stone Allegations

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2011 — Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, com­man­der of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, will appoint an inves­ti­ga­tor to deter­mine the facts of issues raised in a Rolling Stone mag­a­zine arti­cle that appeared today.
The arti­cle alleges that Army Lt. Gen. William B. Cald­well IV used infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions offi­cers in an attempt to influ­ence dis­tin­guished vis­i­tors to his com­mand, NATO Mil­i­tary Train­ing Mis­sion Afghanistan.

Caldwell’s com­mand is respon­si­ble for train­ing Afghan sol­diers and police. Afghan and NATO plans call for Afghan secu­ri­ty forces to take over lead respon­si­bil­i­ty for secu­ri­ty in their nation by the end of 2014.

The inves­ti­ga­tion “is not focused on any par­tic­u­lar per­son oth­er than deter­min­ing the facts and cir­cum­stances that were raised in that sto­ry,” said Pen­ta­gon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan.

The arti­cle alleges an infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions team was ordered to pre­pare dossiers on vis­it­ing dis­tin­guished vis­i­tors, includ­ing sen­a­tors, con­gres­sion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tives and senior mil­i­tary offi­cers.

Cit­ing the pend­ing inves­ti­ga­tion, Lapan would not com­ment on the specifics of the arti­cle, but speak­ing gen­er­al­ly, he said, vio­la­tions would depend on the cir­cum­stances.

“On the face of it, it doesn’t have to be [a vio­la­tion],” he said. “It’s the actions, not just the assign­ment.”

What is being done with infor­ma­tion and how it is used deter­mines if there is a vio­la­tion, the colonel said. This would be the same no mat­ter who com­piled the infor­ma­tion, he explained, be it a pub­lic affairs offi­cer, a pro­to­col spe­cial­ist, a leg­isla­tive affairs offi­cer or an infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions offi­cer.

The inves­ti­ga­tion will deter­mine what actions took place and if any of them were inap­pro­pri­ate or ille­gal, Lapan said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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