Page 5 of 5
Petraeus: No, I’m talking about the organization.
Q: Oh, you mean covert ops.
Petraeus: I think that organization is full of just, heroes. Unsung heroes, which is the way they want to be. And again, so . . .
Q: And I agree with you. With the Arab Spring, you lose or you win it on covert . . .
Petraeus: If you look at . . . we’re not going to go out, do much more, I don’t think — I mean, I was surprised we did Libya.
Q: Oh, that was insane.
Petraeus: I mean, we’ve got . . . so if that’s the extent of what we’re going to do, we’re going to be retrenching militarily.
Petraeus: Again, you’re going to take big budget cuts, and it’s going to be all about . . . it’s going to be the post-, sort of the early 1990s kind of stuff.
Q: Yeah. It’ll be the “peace dividend” after Iraq, and after Afghanistan, it’ll be the peace dividend. Libya is a little bit of a screw-up on that.
Petraeus: Yeah. Yeah. But on the other hand, the other folks — on the other hand — I think are going to be in a growth industry.
Q: You mean Obamacare . . .
Petraeus: No, intelligence.
Q: Oh, the bad guys?
Petraeus: Yeah, the intelligence community, I think, is going to be . . .
Q: The bad guys, or our — you mean our intelligence community?
Petraeus: Our intelligence community. Going to have to be. I mean, there’s so much going on.
Q: Or you opt out.
Petraeus: Yeah. Yeah.
Q: Or you do what Carter did in the 1980s and the late ’70s.
Petraeus: Yeah, well, and if you do that, then I say, well, it’s been great to serve.
Q: And then you come to Fox, and then we all sign up. [Laughter] No, but can I just say that — can I just tell him what I’ve suggested, and that we’ve discussed . . .
Petraeus: Yeah, sure.
Q: . . . is that next time you go to New York you’re going to stop by and see him?
Petraeus: I’d be happy. I would love to see him. I haven’t seen him in a while, so . . .
Q: I think he would very much appreciate the conversation.
Petraeus: I would love to see. . . . Yeah. He’s a brilliant guy.
Q: He is simply brilliant. I don’t know if you’ve ever . . .
Petraeus: He is. Tell him if I ever ran [laughs] but I won’t . . .
Q: Okay, I know. I know.
Petraeus: But if I ever ran, I’d take him up on his offer.
Q: Okay. All right.
Petraeus: He said he would quit Fox.
Q: I know. Look, he’s not the only one.
Petraeus: And bankroll it.
Q: Bankroll it? [Laughs]
Petraeus: Or maybe I’m confusing that with Rupert. No. [Laughter]
Q: I know Roger, he’s done okay, but . . . no, I think the one who’s bankrolling it is the big boss.
Petraeus: That might be it.
Q: Okay. The big boss is bankrolling it. Roger’s going to run it. And the rest of us are going to be your in-house.
Petraeus: Yeah, right. Okay.
Q: We’re all set. . . .
Petraeus: It’s never going to happen. You know it’s never going to happen. It really isn’t.
Q: I know it’s never going to happen.
Petraeus: My wife would divorce me.
Petraeus: And I love my wife.
Q: Tell her it’s a beautiful house.
Petraeus: We have a beautiful house. [Laughter] With his-and-her’s bathrooms, believe it or not. I just want to live in it. I’ve never spent a night in it.
Q: I know, that’s the happiest marriage . . .
Petraeus: Keep your mitts off my dressing room.
Q: My husband and I have had a very long and happy relationship because we have completely separate bathrooms.
Petraeus: Isn’t that . . . I mean, that’s the ticket.
Q: It’s great.