Bill Kristol: "The FBI Is Totally Out Of Control"
BILL KRISTOL: Let me begin with General Allen, who I think has been smeared, similar smeared by an FBI investigation that got out of control. The Allens knew the Kelleys in Tampa for a couple of years. Apparently, more than half of those e-mails involve Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Kelley or they're C.C.'ed, dealing with various arrangements.
The way it was released, sensationally by the FBI, or whoever is trying to smear General Allen is 20,000 pages. There is accounting each e-mail as a page. When you hit reply, that's another two pages and there's some attachments about various parties, I don't know, Mrs. Kelley was having. I don't know, obviously. But there is no reason to believe that General Allen did anything inappropriate. I believe he'll be vindicated.
But meanwhile, the front page of the Washington Post, "FBI Probe Widens To Second General." The FBI is totally out of control. It's unclear to what they were investigating all of this for in the first place. It's unclear if the emails were originally threatening. She went to some FBI guy in Tampa who sounds like he was out of control. It went up the chain. No one found a criminal problem, no one found a national security problem to our knowledge.
General Petraeus obviously thought, as Charles said, that this was going to go away, an unpleasant, unfortunate and inappropriate interlude in his life. But he thought it would stay private. He was wrong about that. The White House asked him to leave, maybe they were right to ask him to leave. And he left.
Final point, though, he may have been under pressure as Charles says, to go along with the administration line on September 14th about the video, which he knew was not true. Someone else told me that General Petraeus, on the Hill that day, Director Petraeus I should say, said privately to one of the members of Congress said, 'This is happened in Benghazi.' He said, 'Do you want the official line or do you want the real truth?. So I think he knew that he was not telling the full truth. He is, on the other hand, the CIA director. They were involved in some pretty complicated things, perhaps, in Benghazi. To be fair to him, maybe he thought that national security required him not to fully spill the beans and to kind of go along with a line that was otherwise politically convenient for the administration. So as a total defender of General Allen in this, and I think, frankly, people should be careful before they assume that Petraeus wasn't doing what he thought was right for country then, too.