Jansing and Co | November 13, 2012
>>> i'm chris jansing . we knew that the other shoe was likely to drop. but this big. another top general now caught up in that scandal now involvining resigned david petraeus .
>> it's tragic. bottom line , you're talking about families, you're talking about outstanding military leaders and overall questions about the fbi .
>> the pentagon inspector general is now investigating now general john allen . top american commander in afghanistan . fbi has uncover between 20,000 and 30,000 documents. mostly e-mails sent between allen and this woman, jill kelley . a senior defense official tells msnbc that the e-mails were inappropriate. kelley was the target of paula broad we'll's e-mails. the associated press that broadwell thought of kelley as a romantic rival for petraeus affection. he was supposed to start the process this week to be the next commander of american forces in europe and supreme allied commander of nato, allen will remain commander in afghanistan . i don't even know where to begin. how does this happen?
>>> well, i don't know it happens. particularly in the digital age. the idea that people think that if you have thousands of e-mails that they're not going to be picked up and found out it's sort of amazing. what's most disturbing, this is a terrible time from a foreign policy standpoint to have petraeus out. scandals that are taking key players out of afghanistan , syrian discussions. country that the president has a lot going on right now.
>> we were joking coming in that you have to stare at your blackberry because every five minutes something new happens. the one familiar aspect of the david petraeus scandal is that he had an everything else about this story is weird, in the washington post .
>> i was going to see skyfall this weekend. i'm going to stay at home and read the sunday times. this is totally bizarre. there's so much that we don't know, this fbi investigator. not just four people. there's an fbi and cia , infach infatuated with jill kelley
>> let's get this straight. this guy works at the fbi , becomes infatuated. she gets shirtless photos of him allegedly. she goes to him and says i'm getting these weird e-mails.
>> he takes this matter into a federal investigation you have to wonder. an fbi investigation if not for this one agent's involvement and especially him going to congress as a whistle blower saying it wasn't being investigated fairly. it's just very bizarre.
>> once the fbi got involved, why didn't notify the white house and congress right away? the questions go on and on.
>> don't send shirtless picture of yourself, unless they're vacation photos with your family.
>> these e-mails with john allen , 20,000 and 30,000 e-mails. as a member of council of foreign relations , what does this do to the president?
>> david petraeus was a very important part of all of these conversations. he would have been a crucial advisement, the civil war in syria, all of which are among the pressing foreign policy questions right now. he doesn't need him resigning at this moment.
>> let me bring an nbc analyst. you're okay with your ifb and everything?
>> again, i don't know where to begin. we're hearing that they're talking about speeding the replacement process for general allen in europe. the first thing i thought is, i mean, you have two men among the best, the brightest the most experienced, the most respected in the entire military, how deep is the bench to fill in the pieces?
>> well, look, you know, it's a tragedy. loss of petraeus is really a blow to the country. he's an immensely skilled officer. so pulling him at this point is really a problem in this. allen implicated with the same woman indirectly in tampa is astonishing. there's a question, chris, though, about our priorities. we spend $7 billion a month on afghanistan . the two political candidates didn't talk about this war. and now, we become obsessed with the sex life of the cia director and the commander.
>> are you suggesting, general , that it's not appropriate for if he's involved in a sex scandal and some -- we don't know -- possibly some indication, given the speech that he gave at the university of denver that maybe she had some classified information, are you suggesting that maybe it's not appropriate for david petraeus to step down?
>> not at all. i think he did the right thing. it's too shocking. it's too risky behavior. i guess what i'm asking is, i wonder why the country didn't focus on the war during a political election in which this issue should have been front place, now, we're obsessed with a spin-off with some of the characters involved in it.
>> part of it is, i'm not going to defend, again, the amount of attention, but, wasn't everyone who knew david petraeus and general allen for that matter, shocked by this, i mean, this is just so outside?
>> oh, yes. i have known petraeus since he was 25. he's brilliant, talented. he has great judgment. he's been a national hero certainly for the last decade. his loss due to this personal discretion is a tragic loss.
>> raising questions into the fbi investigation, they knew about it over the summer, all of this happens after election day and right before petraeus was set to testify on benghazi? conspiracy theories or is something fishy going on?
>>> they looked at it and said it's not criminal and they decided not to report it to the white house . it's hard to imagine why the attorney general didn't pick up the phone and call the commander in chief in one of his most sensitive officers of government was involved in an investigation. i don't understand it, either. we have to sort out why that happened.
>> let me ask you quickly, general , how much play is this getting over in london where you are?
>> it's global fascination with the u.s. focused on this issue. they listen to what we say to each other and what we think is important. they're listening with some sense of whimsy with what we're up to.
>> general , thank you so much.
>> and speaking of the fbi investigation, i guess, who on capitol hill should have been told, defense secretary leon panetta was asked about that this morning.
>>> that's another issue that we got to look at. as former director of cia and having worked very closely with the intelligence committees, you know, i believe that there's a responsibility to make sure that the intelligence committees are informed of issues that could affect, you know, the security of those intelligence operations .
>> both mike rogers , they're going to press the cia over the time line of the investigation.
>> we have rules and laws that specify when you kick these matters up the command chain . we'll find out if those rules were violated. looking at the fbi part of the investigation, if you're the superior of the guy who had linked to jill kelley .
>> it would have to go to him, right sf.
>> all of sudden, you guys started this, you're asking yourself, what do i real wily have here?
>> what else you have here, you heard the general talking about it is that these are guys who have known for their intellect. flooeter of these women are slouch either. they somehow thought they could hide this stuff.
>> it makes you think that every single person in a security position needs some digital training to really understand the ramifications of all of this. coming at such a bad time from a nati foreign policy standpoint.
>> any other implicatiomplications, by bringing up the benghazi, it will hurt susan rice becoming the new secretary of state.
>> republicans are determined to dea deny her that job. it will be districting. we'll see.
>> making the u.s. inept and distracted on the national stage. i thought that the president articulated a smart strategy on foreign policy . this should be a moment of focusing on coming together.
>> back to the first question that i asked the general , how deep is the bench? how many people, look i'm not saying there are a lot of talented and smart people in the u.s., a handful of stars who really can operate at this level and rona correctly points out, that breadth of experience.
>> these guys were leading our war efforts in some pivotal places in the world. to lose them so quick lly in this kind of fashion is kind of a shock to the system . are there people that can pick up the reins of this.
>> is this the end of this?
>> i don't think so.
>> who knew what when? if the fbi was involved much earlier, why didn't it inform the white house and congress? as you say, why were some of the most important and powerful people in the security and military taking their eye off the ball?
>> i have the same question, how you could not tell the president about this? how does he not know until the last second? very strange.