NewsNation | November 13, 2012
>> bring in msnbc analyst general barry mccaffery. thank you for your time. let me get your first reaction. yesterday we were still scratching our heads over general petraeus , how could this happen. and you wake up this morning and now general allen a part of an investigation. what's your reaction to this one-two punch?
>> well, you know, general petraeus i have known him since he was 25. he's probably the most brilliant commander we have produced since world war ii . so it's a damaging blow to national security to lose him in this position. he had to resign, risk-taking behavior is probably unacceptable by anybody.
>> when you say risk-taking, is it the possibly exposure of his e-mails? you're not talking about his personal life right?
>> well, the cia director gets a lifestyle polygraph. he has a security detachment 24 hours a day . he's under intense scrutiny. so that's why general petraeus said he had to resign. it wasn't acceptable. so off he goes. now the thing with general allen beats me. 30,000 of pages of material, most academics don't produce that much volume during their career. so that one probably need to reserve judgment until the facts come out and they get to the bottom of it.
>> we can't stress that in both of these situations with paula broadwell, you have the fbi going into her home as pete reported. making sure there's nothing there in her home that could be associated or linked to classified information . but our first read team asks about confidence in the institutions. when folks were asking, do they have confidence in, 74% say the military. 42% say the presidency. the supreme court , 33%. we know what they think of congress. that's around 17%, i believe, in some of the polling. but the bottom line , how concern rd you that people will look at this and say what's going on with our generals and see it beyond an issue involving two individuals and something larger?
>> tamron, i wouldn't be at all concerned about it. we get 56,000 killed and wounded in action fighting in iraq and afghanistan. there's 2.4 million people in the department of defense . so i think these are shocking incidents and people gratefully are unsettled. it's a personal tragedy for general petraeus and his family, which makes me sad. but there's a bit of me that says, look, we just went through a presidential election and neither candidate said one word about $7 billion a month in afghanistan and 300 or more killed or wounded a month. sometimes i wonder about america's priorities and what we think is important.
>> absolutely. you have some people who say this is a distraction from the fiscal cliff debate and a lot of other things. do you believe given what we know now and the answers that must be presented, are there legitimate questions regarding if there was e-mails or classified information ? the volume alone that's alleged with general allen , are there legitimate questions that can placed without asking if our priorities are in line? you have to hold people accountable in the armed forces . that's our rule 100% of the time. but again, let me go back to the basics. petraeus is one of the the most talented people we have produced in the country's history. he's been at war for ten years. we needed him as a cia director . i'm sad for him and his family and the country. we have lost him in this manner. general allen , i don't understand that at all. i'm going to wait and see what the facts are, but very strange.
>> general, thank you so much