Martin Bashir | November 12, 2012
>>> as the nation pauses to honor its veterans, anonymous pal hangs over the cia and the u.s. military . not only has general david petraeus resigned in scandal as director of the cia , with more details emerging about his extramarital affair and how it was exposed, but the pentagon faces potentially critical budget cuts as congress prepares to take on deficit reduction in the fiscal cliff negotiations. retired u.s. army colonel jack jacobs is an msnbc contributor and recipient of the medal of honor for his service in vietnam. it's a great honor to have you here.
>> thank you.
>> despite resigning, the plot keep thinkckening.
>> there will continue to be disclowe schurs about what the affair was all about and how it was discovered and what role the fbi played and what role the white house played and the possibility of delaying the announcement. there will be plenty of speculation, but in terms of an effect on the cia , on the mission, i don't think it will have any affect whatsoever. it's a large organization with lots of missions. the man who is currently the acting director and very, very able. eventually he will be replaced and there will be somebody who will be nominated to take his place and petraeus' place, but the cia will carry on doing what it needs to do and being part of the overall intelligence apparatus of the american government .
>> sure. well, congress is likely to call petraeus to testify on benghazi, even as they question why they were kept in the dark about an fbi inquiry which led to his resignation. do you think the sex scandal in any way affects the way he's questioned before congress?
>> oh, i think it will. it would be interesting to see what tenor it takes and what the senators and congressmen, assuming he gets before both houses, have to say before talking to him. as you know, these hearings have a tendency to be less a question and answer period than it is an opportunity for the members to vent their spleen or talk about what they want to. so that part will be very, very interesting. in terms of extracting real information about what actually took place and what role the cia had in what took place in benghazi, i believe that any investigation will determine that they had no role, that by the time the cia could do anything it was all over.
>> well, let me ask you a kind of sociocultural question. a lot of those senators have themselves had affairs, either acknowledged or not. nobody hands are clean and everybody has blood. don't they have to tread just a bit more carefully lest their own bad laundry be exposed to the world?
>> le, lwell, i think that's one of the reasons what i said earlier will probably pertain. they might tread lightly in talking about him and to him. they will probably talk initially about how they're just going to get after the facts, and my guess is they and their staffers will try very, very hard to do only that and exactly that. i'll be surprised if very much about his relationship outside the cia is going to have -- is going to boil over in the hearings themselves. meanwhile, there will be lots in the press you can bet.
>> no doubt about that. inquiring minds want to know. with the war in iraq over and the president winding down the war in afghanistan , the pentagon faces some deep budget cuts. defense secretary leon panetta has called the cuts potentially devastating. what do you think that means and what would likely get cut?
>> everything is going to get cut. if there's no agreement made across the board cuts will be made. i think you're talking about $483 billion. that's a great deal of money. and it's going to be arbitrary and it's not for nothing that secretary panetta is running around with his hair on fire. this is a guy, by the way, who made his name cutting budgets. so he knows what he's talking about, but you can't cut across the board any budget, including but especially the defense budget , without having a really devastating impact on things like flight hours, am niths, training, all the things that we need to keep the army, air force , navy, and marine corps prepared and operating. that sufficient is going to get slush eed arbitrarily. that's what panetta is worried about, what i'm worried about, and that's why there's got to be some agreement before all that stuff gets cut just arbitrarily.
>> colonel, we'll leave it there. colonel jack jacobs , hthank you so much for your service and your time.
>> thanks for having me on