Did Petraeus affair put U.S. national security at risk?
Bob Rice & Penny Lee debate the national security issues caused by General Petraeus' affair
- Duration 13:18
- Date Nov 14, 2012
Bob Rice & Penny Lee debate the national security issues caused by General Petraeus' affair
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Well mine would Bob writes managing partner tangent capital thank goodness is here to make sense of it all -- I guess this.
You know this.
An affair between David Petraeus and his biographer who has -- well they've admitted to -- there are allegations of at the very least flirtatious and inappropriate emails.
Between general Allen.
And Jill Kelly this socialite who keep this all off by complaining that she was getting harassing emails from -- abroad well.
It's it's a recall massive human relations but at the -- of this I guess there -- national security issues.
They're all hard.
Military discipline issues that are very serious there I think as it turns out.
As it turns out there may not be national security issues but there's certainly could have been very serious ones because obviously the problem with these kinds of relationships is it's easy to get blackmailed over Iraq and that's the point here that's.
I mean in any normal circumstances.
Any of -- -- -- between two consenting individuals.
However high up -- off in politics or anything isn't necessarily.
Something on which you have to resign but the question here always with somebody in his position -- the -- -- spy agency is what are you open yourself up to.
Right exactly eight's pretty shocking that a guy like this whoever dornin has admired for years and years and years could put himself could put the country jeopardy it's -- It's kind of this bizarre -- -- -- you -- -- calling hubris I guess to not recognize.
That he is in fact putting himself and did the country at risk because if -- did the FB or this.
Woman down and can't -- and accidentally stumble into this whole thing certainly -- KGB can.
Yeah you know certainly a bit al-Qaeda operatives -- other people can and then all of a sudden you know somebody gets -- -- to -- -- -- -- -- small -- -- You know we're gonna go national with this and then the guy you know.
So then yes it's really amazing that a guy of this caliber you know -- in -- so many people had so much faith.
Could betray SI mean it does remind us of the AL old you know that left leaning organization to -- in the general who -- -- little -- on now.
But it turned out to be.
Accidentally accurate but let's bring in -- penny Lee a former senior advisor to senator Harry Reid joining us from DC good save Fannie.
Get -- -- is this just about men and possibly women behaving badly -- the national -- legitimate national security questions here.
Well -- we're still trying to dig dig through and figure out what all these layers of this onion is it seems like every single day gets more and more bizarre and -- just more more layers so we're still trying to figure out exactly.
What happened but it does appear you know.
Depending on you know what the information whether -- not -- accurate or not it appears that there might be.
Some things that were inappropriately -- or inappropriately.
Transferred into into the didn't have the right clearance but we still don't know.
But obviously it is behavior.
That was out there -- inappropriate and they are all trying to shift through exactly who said what winds and what what was transferred or all of those things but.
You know the premise of it is that this was behavior that was inappropriate.
So but this question is being -- Ball by a certain people in the including some -- some people up on the hill about the timing of this.
General Petraeus had told to members of congress about the attack him on the -- -- consulate consular which it -- lead to the mood there all -- -- of -- Stephens and three other Americans.
-- The authorities know about that was that pressure on General Petraeus to to -- -- a certain point of view.
Because this was being held over him questions that you obviously you and I cannot -- But all of those legitimate lines of course.
Streaming here they are legitimate lots of question but you you know what it -- the Justice Department some people within the Justice Department clearly were aware that this investigation was going -- One of the reasons however that the Justice Department and can handles these things with -- with great insular it would they don't.
Go running into the attorney general's office within this precisely because they don't want these people who are rank and file lifelong Justice Department employees.
Mean they're not political animals and they don't want this kind of information to be used for political purposes so it's precisely to prevent that kind of pressure.
Well unless you you know kind of tilted this way things could you know right it's precisely for that reason.
That things don't go all the way to the top all the time don't get broadcast throughout the entire Justice Department.
Every time any little -- turns up on a public figure.
A lot of times people hero the Justice Department knew when they believe that means Eric Holder knew the assistant attorney general knew everybody knew that's not the case there was somebody who knew.
But my bet is that they were being very careful going oh my god this has enormous political implications we have to be very careful we have to make sure we can't you know this.
This is to do we have to -- super gingerly tonight -- don't what what ever leave the implications.
All of General Petraeus -- behavior.
Whatever the timing all of a -- and and any possible.
Tangential relation to.
What he did or didn't Salem Ben Ghazi doesn't have a -- -- to go to the hill and testify.
-- linking senator finds an event by her just in recently within the last hour has said and that he will be coming Petraeus will be coming to testify.
And give his side of what happened at bank causing some yes he does have that obligation I think it's the right thing for him to do.
Even though he's no longer the CIA director he was there during that time and there is honestly there is conflicting information that we have -- Ben Ghazi.
The CI EA has one set of information the FBI has another the State Department has another DOD has a fourth.
So they do need to because there was obviously something was a mess and something wasn't so you know whether or not the some proper security was and they -- on the front end.
Whether or not there was a spontaneous mob in reaction to the video or -- Grunin and with people with more heavily armed.
Which -- really don't know and he is a central figure into answering many of those questions.
As to what cables were sent out how -- they received how were they reacted to this was basically SE IE -- post.
There and then -- he wanted his people know and whit what Wayne did they know it.
So I think -- -- I think is the right thing for him to do and hopefully.
The news reports that we are hearing that senator Feinstein did announce about an hour ago that he's coming up are true.
Yeah -- did latest we have on that is that he's been invited the Senate Intelligence Committee will look around his schedule.
It looks like he probably will a ball but today it is the right.
Thing for him to do all it actually was ahead of the CIO when the console it was a tough -- say he hassling me kind of must do it in I think out of the sense of duty he will do it.
I'm quite sure he'll be hoping that -- limit their questions to a certain better area run like this one.
As opposed to going off in into you know this affair that he's -- and I think I I expect that he will show up and I think that.
He will give testimony and I think this is going to be one of those many things where.
Depending on you the truth is gonna depend on where you stand there's going to be all sorts there's gonna after he couldn't finish his -- guarantee you.
That there will continue to be massive amounts of confusion -- conflicting information no one's ever gonna get this straight -- And eventually will just Peter out.
But I it's gonna happen up penny the that the questions -- back to the powers of the FBI in all of this.
It appears that this all the whole investigation started because Jill Kelly this socialite.
Downing town who had a lot of connections.
Central -- on the news to throw bodies -- -- -- -- complained that she was getting what she would considered harassing emails from general -- Petraeus his biographer.
His -- well.
The FBI in the course of that found a lot of emails between General Petraeus and his broad well and then.
A lot of emails between general Allen -- The commanding officer in Afghanistan and Jill Kelly the socialite -- is.
Is this bad that they can do this and drag everybody's names through the -- like.
This is an -- that should we be concerned -- Yeah we should be concerned is pretty astounding you know I mean I -- One of the creeds the armed forces is.
That you do in private what you do in public what you -- wanted -- You know you don't want -- to reveal what is in private in your public life you conduct your private life just as much as you would your public life.
And what we're seeing is that compilation.
And what we're seeing is a real break -- that -- fundamental creed of the military.
And you know it in so it does have a devastating effect to all of those underneath and what will -- these men.
-- -- -- gauging un ethical or unsavory terms you know in their prime elect when they're asking not to live both are private and private.
In the same manner you know what what does that say in so.
It is pretty amazing that what -- been which is being relieved I think that's what's been the most interesting part about this whole thing is that it wasn't just.
An email exchange.
Between two consenting adults -- -- -- you can -- married or not but -- two consenting adults.
It is much bigger than that you have now an FBI agent who sent extra shirtless photos who didn't list.
You know upset that did investigation wasn't going on fast enough so then he went to Aaron -- who then didn't want to touch and we didn't want to.
That -- that is being out there in his speed in hopefully.
We can get to some conclusion because right now -- it is salacious it is in Hollywood material.
It is suggest you know -- -- -- out there for everybody weddings when it went in time you desist immediately have really serious implications are top.
Tuned our -- general and our top commander of our intelligence community being brought down because.
You know two women said you know and Johnny you're looking you know you're touching my -- and and laying under the table -- -- it's pretty we seeing but bubble what.
What about the that you -- civil liberties groups have raised concerns -- -- The -- me that the government can now look at all private communications.
I knew going in looking for one this is one of them related concerns is always right they go and looking for one thing.
They go off on another tangent and as somebody I wrote I think it was in the Washington Post yesterday.
If that director of the CIA is not -- safe from the FBI's prying eyes.
What the hope is that for the rest of us is that a genuine concern -- kind of fishing expedition.
Look -- -- it's a it's a deeper and broader question really Jonathan we did the nature of the relationship between individuals and governments is undergoing a serious and profound change because of electronic communication and and that may sound like it's too theoretical and answer but -- I've that are really profoundly believe it -- we said before I really believe the days of privacy are over.
You think -- CIA has this information Google can run circles around them.
About what they know about you.
If -- usually look.
-- this information is everywhere you're electronic footprints are everywhere there is no such thing really literally there is no such thing as privacy anymore.
People have to live their lives expecting.
That whatever they do is gonna become known I mean you have to that's just a way that's the society in which we currently -- It's a shame it's unfortunate in many ways but that's the way it is in the flip side of it is an -- held a get people really -- -- The flip side of it is it has to be that way because it's the only way that you're gonna provide security.
Eight in in a terrorist state it's -- surveillance is going to be necessary sorry I know that's unpleasant and the people hated.
But that's the truth petty would you would you grade and this is -- -- don't -- in which we now live enough of old people who director of the CIA should be aware of that.
In this is -- we -- -- but I do think though there are some precautions.
I you know what I do is surprised about is the lack of the need for warrant dead you know dead because of the way in which they were able to gather in this cyberspace.
That that they were rules that link which used to be that you would have to sit you know.
Go to would judge today and get a warrant to be in an approved whether or not you could wiretap whether or not you could surveillance -- surveillance or other matters.
Did the way into the rules that are -- in now on this on this cyber.
Searching eat it within the rules of the Warner I'm very much -- that was really one of the first questions that I had was who approved this morning wasn't somebody over at the Justice Department.
Watching that to understand.
That the director of the CIA is about to -- is.
You know email you can communicate that I don't play on the -- here you see it's a different story this -- visit precisely what I was just saying.
When you send an envoy I sent an email to you to your to your Yahoo! account linemen I think I shall have given that.
That information to Yahoo! and in this particular case they're using.
Methods of communication they've given the government the right to look at -- that's part of their job.
So they don't think pregame the rights but we all effectively your pre giving -- rights.
By using these common methods of communication right where everyone can see it so you gotta get over the idea that the rules of twenty years ago are done -- -- -- over we will give.