Morning Joe | November 13, 2012
>>> time now for the must-read opinion pages. i'm going to read richard cohen out of the " washington post ."
>> talk about a beautiful shot of that. can we go back to that shot?
>> it's a gorgeous shot.
>> look at that shot, you see the lincoln memorial in the background.
>> thank you for that.
>> that's gorgeous.
>> god bless america .
>> you know what? so cynical. you mock me.
>> it's beautiful.
>> richard writes for the -- how beautiful is that?
>> i'm not cynical.
>> no, he's cynical. he's cynical.
>> it's beautiful, it's fantastic, it's my hometown.
>> that's why --
>> how's your dad doing?
>> my dad, he's great, thank you for asking.
>> we need to get him on the show.
>> i know, we've got to do that. that'd be great.
>> are you in town next week?
>> what habit my dad?
>> i love your dad too.
>> i'll try to book him. he's a tough booking.
>> the game change dads.
>> taught you how to roll one.
>> and he knows a lot about --
>> that's actually true.
>> why do --
>> as i'm looking at washington and you're talking about your hometown, i think original, i mean, i think immediately of your dad. all right.
>> american hero .
>> what do you guys think of this?
>> american hero .
>> richard cohen , get petraeus back to work. is there a better man to fill petraeus ' cia seat than petraeus himself?
>> he is blackmail proof and more than qualified for the job. he not only was -- not only was a four- star general , a westpoint grad and a princeton scholar, but in the quite recent past he held the director's job himself. the united states would not only be getting the best man for the job but also striking a blow against sexual mccarthyism that has destroyed so many careers and in wretched silence has aborted many political career before it's announced. i sat opposite of holly petraeus and can only imagine her hurt. but this is her matter. and her husband's, and not ours. he betrayed, not his country. no more need be said, now get back to work.
>> jon meacham , you've written about thomas jefferson , our founding fathers that helped build this extraordinary republic. would not have survived in today's 24/7 media culture.
>> well, there was an issue then. alexander hamilton was being blackmailed because of an extramarital affair, you know -- i love richard 's point. i think that the sexual mccarthyism predates mccarthy in a lot of ways. but i do think one of the points of history in life is to learn and grow, so i think richard , there's a lot to say there. did we learn nothing in the late 1990s but that we should value competence over private moral flaws?
>> well --
>> well, we don't know all the facts.
>> without in any way casting -- my instinct when i hear that clip from richard cohen is to say hear, hear. we are, you know, there's still a lot of facts we don't know. and one of the things that security clearances get based on as you know, joe, there's a clause in the documentation for how you, you know, give security clearances. people display consistent reckless behavior, they are considered problematic for security clearances. so we don't know exactly what david petraeus has done across the board. i'm not accusing him of anything, i'm saying there's a lot of fact pattern here that is still not known. and until we know the full scope of his behavior, it's hard to make a judgment as to whether he -- i mean, we only know a little slice. as of what we know right now, i'm all with richard cohen , but there's also a lot more facts that are going to come out in the facts of this.
>> how reckless was he?
>> mark, obviously, david petraeus , i think what richard speaks to is how effective so many believe david petraeus was. our lives are literally at risk every day. and we count on intelligence agencies to protect us, to protect our cities, to protect our subways, our bridges, to protect our children. and david petraeus is not a bad guy to have as the tip of the spear.
>> to have somebody that smart when so much of the war on terror is prosecuted by the cia , to have someone from the pentagon with his background move over to the cia and head that was incredibly lucky for the country because there are few other people who could've made that change, survived moving from one tough bureaucracy to another and be such a great intellectual and forward-thinking person about how to protect the united states .
>> the other part of this, obviously, is petraeus ' legacy in afghanistan, and being the author of the book on counterinsurgency in a literal sense, to what extent was the implications of that doctrine of the policy decisions that he was part of running up to this are going to be ultimately much, much more important going forward than any -- i think than to go to john's point, who knows what this is. but right now, we should also be having a pretty healthy debate about when we switched from counterterror to counterinsurgency over there.
>>> still ahead, newt gingrich also chair of the dnc debbie wasserman schultz , more " morning joe " in a moment. [ male