Up | November 18, 2012
>>> it's been interesting to watch conservatives respond to the petraeus news. i think he's fought it well among conservatives. he's always working for barack obama and there's a scandal around him. i wonder, do you think there's a constituency on the right for an actual privacy interest?
>> i'm one of the less liberal conservatives you are going to talk to. the startling thing is there's not enough secret si. i think it's understandable the fbi would want to know that if someone has classified documents whose had an intimate relationship with the cia director , you want to know about that. you might have a leak here. once you discover, it's purely personal, why did it make it into the newspapers at all. in a different time and place, the way it would have been handled, the fbi would have concluded their investigation, shared it with the president.
>> they wouldn't just let you know he knows this about you. fighting a bureaucratic battle.
>> right now, i'm reading the biography of dwight eisenhower . everyone new of his affair. he talked of divorcing his wife. they said if you do that, you will be fired. if you don't divorce your wife, we will keep it quiet. the president could have refused petraeus ' resignation. it seems to me it's like saying new yorkers are threatened by a giant tsunami and the risk of great white sharks . one is so colossal an event.
>> you are talking technology.
>> technology. every humiliating privacy story. remember the woman who wrote an intimate love letter to a man she met and he forwarded it to 87 of his friends? i don't know where she lives now, probably new zealand. the lives of the younger people we know, none of the things that ruined their lives have anything to do with government. it's the technological possibility.
>> what do you say to general john allen ? at a certain point, allen's e-mails seem to be friendly and flirtatious. what we know, the woman gets swept up for reasons that are not clear to myself and other reporters, sent to the pentagon for an investigation because the flirtatious e-mails might indicate adulterous affairs. it's a government issue.
>> if we never read about it, there would have been no problem. the reason it's catastrophic is because it was leaked. this is a story about leakage.
>> it's bizarre.
>> it's not an investigation into the leaking of classified documents . this was an investigation into half a dozen snarky e-mails. i am libertarian. you are individualistic about this. when the fbi was spying on the sexual activities of martin luther king and other activists, members of the supreme court , members of executive agencies was not that it was individually embarrassing for them, in violation of their personal dignity, politically, in a democracy, the kind of power that comes with that information is dangerous beyond, whatever indignity is on the individual.
>> we are going keep a close eye on the private activities, the director of the cia . they have valuable information. there happens to be -- that is something that -- counter espionage is a fact of life, but it doesn't have to appear in the newspaper.
>>> monitoring his e-mail from the cia, you would be less disturbed by it.
>> he said in march, talking the new era of tech. i would like to discuss three challenges, the utter transparency of the digital world , we have to rethink our notions of identity and secret si.
>> when mitt romney , think of the two biggest stories of the romney campaign for presidency. the 47% comment produced because somebody had a smartphone. it will happen again and again to people in politics. it has nothing to do with the stakes.
>> i wonder what your career ending moment might be.
>> it's a delicious buffet.
>> i won't tell anybody. it reminded me of what you are saying about the investigation. yesterday, i was talking to somebody from joint operations command . he said the problem was with the fbi , they investigated. as soon as say thaw the e-mails and what they said about paula they should have dropped the whole thing. i think they should double down and do a full court press on this. there should be a heart break division at the fbi investigating the crimes. i think things will be better there.
>> you think that?
>> yeah. sure.
>> here is the question. now, there's private things. i don't want to minimize this. the question is, as a matter of substance and policy, then the question is, should what we learned about general petraeus cause us to rethink his relationship with the press?
>> we should -- we have so few good generals. the president should have refused his resignation. i don't think a general can retire. you remain on active duty. call him back.
>> his contribution to the cult of petraeus . there's a book of history of generals. we are going talk to them about the legacy of general