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November 14th, 2012
08:15 AM ET

Ret. Gen. Marks says behavior in Petraeus scandal is 'very troubling' but 'not a cultural issue'

The plot thickens in the scandal surrounding fmr. CIA Director David Patraeus after announcing his resignation Friday, citing an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. But the scandal now entangles the woman who blew the whistle on the affair, Jill Kelley, and the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen. CNN Military Analyst and Retired General James "Spider" Marks, who has known Petraeus since high school and previously worked with Broadwell, joins “Early Start” with his take on the widening scandal.

Emails between General Allen and Kelley are being closely scrutinized, especially the use of terms like “sweetheart”. He says words like that are

“When you’re a four star general and you’re that far up the chain, you’re extremely exposed,” General Marks says. “Every activity, action, every utterance will be parsed.”

“It’s inappropriate when you’re a four-star general or when you’re at any level in the military to refer to somebody obviously not your spouse, not your children, using that term...It can be taken completely out of context, as it probably will be right now,” Marks adds.

Marks also addresses if this inappropriate behavior is part of a cultural problem within the military. General Marks admits it is "very troubling" but stresses that it is not standard.

“I can tell you emphatically it is not a cultural issue,” General Marks says. “The Army does a magnificent job of correcting itself.” He even expects the military to possibly declare a ‘values attention time’ to reform these issues. “It’s extremely disappointing, but it’s not endemic to the Army certainly.”

November 13th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

Investigation into Petraeus scandal widens – fmr. FBI dir. Fuentes on where it goes from here

The investigation into the sex scandal between Former CIA Director David Patraeus and his former biographer Paula Broadwell continues. The FBI searched Broadwell's home last night, but new questions have emerged about the FBI agent who launched the investigation. There are also questions about why FBI was involved at all.

Meanwhile, congressional leaders have spoken out about why they were not alerted about the affair earlier. Fmr. FBI Assistant Director and CNN Contributor Tom Fuentes joins Zoraida Sambolin live from Washington D.C. to discuss the latest in the investigation on “Early Start”.

The FBI has referred the case to the Defense Department, raising more questions about their involvement. “It suggests that they only see something that’s gonna be internal to military, potentially military violations, as opposed to criminal conduct that could be prosecuted in regular criminal court, or security breaches that are also, would be a violation,” Fuentes explains.

The Army will investigate the case and “determine what they can find and how they wanna proceed, whether the charges are unfounded, or whether it turns out they wanna have a court martial, or refer it back to the FBI,” he adds.

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Filed under: FBI • Petraeus scandal • Uncategorized
November 13th, 2012
06:06 AM ET

US Commander in Afghanistan Gen. Allen investigated amid Petraeus scandal – Chris Lawrence reports

From CNN Wires:

The spiraling scandal that took down former CIA Director David Petraeus has apparently ensnared another powerful general, as authorities announced that Gen. John Allen is under investigation for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to Jill Kelley, a woman who has been linked to the Petraeus scandal.

Allen, who is the commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, has denied any wrongdoing, a senior defense official said.

Details of the latest angle of the scandal that has shaken the highest level of the military were sketchy early Tuesday.

Some details about Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, came from an overnight statement by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, while he was on his way to Australia.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Chris Lawrence reports on the latest.

READ MORE: ISAF chief Gen. John Allen under investigation amid Petraeus probe

Filed under: Petraeus scandal
November 12th, 2012
07:55 AM ET

Was national security at risk as result of Petraeus affair? Richard Socarides and Oliver Mcgee weigh in

CIA Director David Patraeus resigned in a statement he released on Friday. The retired four-star general cited an extramarital affair with his one-time biographer Paula Broadwell. The shocking resignation has prompted concerns of a breach of national security among some leaders in Congress. They've also questioned the timing of the resignation. Richard Socarides, fmr. senior adviser to President Clinton and writer with the NewYorker.com, and Oliver McGee, Republican strategist and author of "Jumping the Aisle," join “Early Start” this morning to weigh in on the issue. They also discuss the topic of potential gridlock in Washington and the looming fiscal cliff.

The FBI started investigating the scandal early this summer, yet didn’t notify the White House until early this month. “It seems like there was some confusion around exactly what happened and what people were thinking early on,” Socarides says. “But it is fairly remarkable that in a situation like this, that the President and the White House would not be told until right before his resignation. And certainly I think the mistake that was made is that Congress ought to be informed at the same time that the senior people on the national security establishment are told.”

Congressman Peter King has stated that “it just doesn’t add up,” regarding the timing of events following the investigation and when Congress was notified.

“Essentially, what we’re looking at is a question of executive judgment,” “Falling on McGee says. “And executive judgment is about empathy, asking proper questions, and ultimately service. And when we look at the service of General Patreaus, he’s a war hero.” McGee says it is the responsibility of Congress to ask the appropriate questions of General Patreaus with consideration for his personal life and simultaneously ask, "is there really a national security risk associated?” McGee says, “So far, I’m not seeing what I’m seeing right now that there is not.”

November 12th, 2012
07:26 AM ET

Timing in question behind Petraeus affair revelation – Barbara Starr reports

Leaders in Washington are reeling after learning of the resignation of decorated retired CIA Director David Patraeus. Patraeus resigned in a statement he released on Friday, citing an extramarital affair with his one-time biographer Paula Broadwell. House and Senate leaders have raised questions about any potential threats on national security as a result and why they weren’t notified earlier about the investigation leading to his resignation. CNN’s Barbara Starr has the story.

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are questioning the timing behind the revelation,” Starr says. An investigation into Patraeus’s affair was already underway by October. “The White House says it was notified the day after the election, and the president, the following day.”

Patraeus’s resignation announcement stated, "After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

The retired general was scheduled to testify later this week at Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill “to talk about what he knew and when knew it” regarding the Benghazi consulate attack, Starr reports. “Now, it will of course be his Deputy, and it remains to be seen whether Congress will take the extraordinary step of issuing a subpoena to compel him to appear at some point.”