Former Pentagon official Michele Flournoy: Ethics review "absolutely" needed


(CBS News) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently ordered a military ethics review in the wake of the scandal unfolding around former CIA director David Petraeus. Michele Flournoy is a former high-ranking Pentagon official -- she previously served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy -- and she spoke to "CBS This Morning" about Petraeus' testimony before Congress on Libya, her experience as a woman at the Pentagon, and addressed rumors that she is on the short list to be the next Secretary of Defense.

Addressing Petraeus' testimony before Congress on Benghazi, Flournoy said, "They're going to ask him whether we had any prior warning or intelligence that the attack was going to occur. Then they're going to ask him what people knew and when they knew it and finally they will ask did the CIA respond on the ground?"

Flournoy also insisted that the military ethics review was "absolutely" needed and added that "Leon Panetta is a stickler about ethics and is a stickler about accountability and I think he is doing absolutely the right thing."

She said that the behavior exhibited by Petraeus was not "widespread or in general" but that the ethics review "is an opportunity to...take a step back, look at the question of 'Are we inculcating ethics and the highest moral standards in the officer corps, are we doing enough with training, are we doing enough with mentoring?'"

Turning to Petraeus' extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, an Army reservist and his biographer, Flournoy said that Broadwell's relationship with Petraeus -- including six trips to Afghanistan as a reservist and a trip with Petraeus on his plane -- is "not something you would typically see. I've never seen anything like that before."

Flournoy added, "I don't think people knew the extent of the relationship, but I think the more that's come out, the question is, 'why wasn't this noticed when it was building to the point to just before they started their affair?'"

Flournoy also addressed the rumors about her potential selection as the next defense secretary, saying "I'm honored to be speculated about, but I'm very happy to be where I am at the moment, since leaving public service."