November 13th, 2012
09:08 AM ET
2 years ago

Lawmakers react to generals scandal with questions

(CNN) – Lawmakers expressed shock – and a desire for more information – after Gen. John Allen, the top American military commander in Afghanistan, was ensnared in a growing scandal that brought down CIA director David Petraeus at the end of last week.

"Disturbing is the word that has come to my mind since all of this has come to light," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"Really, I think it goes without saying if you're the director of the CIA, if you are a four-star general in the United States Army, that you have to hold yourself to a higher standard. And you can't put yourself in a compromising position," the Florida Democrat said.

Wasserman Schultz made the remarks after authorities announced that 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.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, said the thickening scandal has prompted a lot of "whys" - including why Congressional leaders with oversight over intelligence and homeland security weren't informed of potentially compromised information. The National Security Act of 1947 stipulates the "congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed on the intelligence activities of the United States."

"Congress' role is oversight. There will be oversight hearings, but the real question is about this administration. Why the opaqueness? Why the transparency? What did they know, when did they know it?" Price asked, also on "Starting Point."

"There are real questions that need to be answered," he continued. "This administration and these individuals need to answer questions about whether there was any compromise in American intelligence or security."

Wasserman Schultz agreed that "an investigation has to be done," and that Congressional leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees could have been told sooner about investigations into Petraeus' extramarital affair. But she cautioned against injecting politics into a situation with national security ramifications.

"Let's not have this spiral downward into something that just becomes more politics. We just came off an election," she said.


Filed under: Debbie Wasserman Schultz • Tom Price
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald trump ??????

    How come the gop bafoon cantor new about it in Oct before Obama ,if you want to investagate something ,investagate that !!!!

    November 13, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. TimM

    Actually, Four Star Generals, and everyone in the military is held to a higher standard. No one in Congress (not even the President) is held to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Adultery is an article in the UCMJ, and only the Military is held to this code, not the Civilian Masters. Gen Petraeus and Gen Allen both know about this article, and it is highly likely that they know someone that has violated the Article and lost their career over it. Hold the Commander in Chief and Congress to the UCMJ and there may just be some resolution to the stalemate that has become the standard in DC.

    November 13, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    I can just hear it now........."Impeach Obama. Impeach Obama" The tightie righties will be suffering for 4 more years after their incompetent candidate and his ignorant followers failed yet again

    November 13, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. Ditto Head

    This is great stuff. We needed another new lie we can spread about Obama.
    So all you GOPers here it is.

    Obama is sending woman to our top gerenals to seduce them and get top secrect intell that he can then send back to all his terrorist friends. This is true, Rush just said it.

    November 13, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    Welcome to another 4 years of Obama. Yeah Ha!

    November 13, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  6. Is anyone surprised?

    Yes sirree - welcome to the World of Obama - lies, deceit, no morals, no integrity, bought elections, withholding significant, important information before election. You got what you paid for, Libs!

    November 13, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. Edwin

    jkane does have a point. Cantor knew about the affair a while ago. How is it he knew and everyone else did not? Why didn't he bring that up to the appropriate people?

    November 13, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Obama is a liar

    The most important questions would be what did you know about Benghazi and when did you know it?

    November 13, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. GEN. BETRAYUS..WHOOPS....PETREUS

    Adultery is a crime under UCMJ as TimM stated. However, Mr. Petreus is a civilian. I think everyone needs to sit back and relax and let all of the facts come out. The fact that this woman had classified information on her computer is disturbing. Remember when everyone was up in arms where all the leaks were coming from? We may have just found the source.

    November 13, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Brad

    Does anyone think it's coincidence that this didn't come out until after the election... and everyone seemed to know about it already?

    November 13, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    Ok, this is getting creepy, rich socialites and the FBI and CIA in orgies?

    YIKES!

    And did Cantor know two week earlier than anyone else 'cuz of pillow talk with Petraeus ?(shudder)

    November 13, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. NoTags

    @Edwin; #1-Cantor knew there was no dirt that he could pin on Obama, and #2-Petraeus is a republican and republicans make no mistakes.

    November 13, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. ghostriter

    Of course we need to know who knew what and when. Cantor knew in Oct.

    What I wonder is how republicans are still looking to pin anything on Obama. I guess the new gameplan is to not just go after Obama, but democrats in general. They think that if they just do what they did the past 4 years that somehow the outcome will be different.

    Look, the investigation has begun a while ago. The reports already state that the higher ups were not informed. Therefore, we can start by NOT starting with the Conservative Island conspiracy theories. Please?

    November 13, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Carl Guyer

    The real issue is whether there were prisoners at the Benghazi compound in violation of a Presidential Order as his mistress has said in a public speech. This could all blow up in the face of the CIA which may have been organization trying to coverup not only a sex scandal but a more serious governance scandal.

    November 13, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. I Could Have Been A Contendah

    I'm glad to see that all of America shares my outrage that the Eric Cantor and the GOP his this important information from the American people. Democrats should launch a full investigation as to why Mr. Cantor did not share this information sooner.

    Was Mr. Cantor responsible for the attacks in Benghazi. Its looking increasingly clear that he must have played a role.

    November 13, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  16. plain&simple

    It's not like Cantor has been to busy....he's done nothing in congress except obstructing.....this fits!

    November 13, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. Jan

    Oh the "THE POWER OF THE _______ IN WASHINGTON". Seemingly or very nearly All Men Go There And Find It!!!! They just pull it out and wheeled it all around...and oh the things it gets them!!!! It's good that President Obama is there in Washington now...all of the havoc can be blamed on him!!! God Help!!!! IF I HAD ANY CHILDREN, AND GOD FORBID A DAUGHTER, I WOULDN'T WANT HER ANYWHERE NEAR WASHINGTON!!!!

    November 13, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. GEN. BETRAYUS..WHOOPS....PETREUS

    The conspiracy theorists are out in full effect.

    November 13, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    Right-wingers praise George W. Bush for "keeping us safe", never acknowledging the thousands of lives lost on 911 and the ensuing phony war in Iraq, and yet they show extreme outrage and malice toward President Obama over the Benghazi incident, while it is still being investigated. Truly amazing.

    November 13, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. enuff

    Cantor made an accusation against the President regarding this. But when it was discovered he actually knew BEFORE the President did, and then did nothing himself, he got real quiet. Where is Cantor's continued ranting and raving? Cat's got his tongue?

    November 13, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. joshua

    Obama may be a criminal. Libya must be fully investigated to see why he lied about a stupid youtube video. Let's get to the bottom of the corruption and end it now.

    November 13, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. Chester

    Man here we go again, conspiracy theorists are coming out like rats in the rain. I find it funny that it comes out now and why did the FBI hold on it until now. As for me who sleep with who I do not care, that is between God, him and his wife as long as he was doing his job, but I find it funny that now there is a witch hunt going on.

    November 13, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Two outstanding general but they didn't learn nothing from Cain and wood. Most wife sometime will forgive you if you cheat on them. But don't cheat on the girlfriend with another woman they get mad then they tell everybody. This woman 101

    November 13, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Newtonslaw

    I can see it now. All the old men in Congress want to know if they went to bed, and if they did, what happened, and please be real specific, also turn the lights down. This is a joke! Let's get back to the actual priorities and leave the soap opera dramatics to afternoon TV watchers. The USA has a full plate to deal with and the generals discovery of viagra is not at the top of the list.

    November 13, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This is currently a web of sex, lies, deceit, finger pointing and who knows what else but it's nothing new, it's just JUICY enough for a novel or screen play. I wonder what movie producer is already in play, probably Spielberg or it could be you or me.

    November 13, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
1 2