By Samuel Burke, CNN
The real scandal playing out in the United States right now is how the most important agencies in American government are handling the ongoing investigations, Tim Weiner says.
The former New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist knows America's top institutions inside and out, having written acclaimed books about the FBI and CIA.
“The scandal is that one FBI agent took the raw reporting in this investigation and delivered it without authorization to a member of Congress,” he told CNN’s Hala Gorani on Tuesday. “That is not how the game is played. That is dirty pool.”
There has been long-standing rivalry between the FBI and the CIA and a turbulent history of a lack of communication and cooperation. Weiner says the lack of information sharing was all too evident after the September 11, 2001, attacks and believes the current scandal does nothing to help the longtime unease.
“The CIA is going to be mad about this because here's a rogue FBI agent destroying the reputation of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. They better not start up that feud again, because this country will be a more dangerous place - more vulnerable if they do.”
Weiner believes too many of the facts still are unknown and so much of the story is being driven by speculation, even though the world does know that Petraeus did indeed have an extramarital affair.
“As a French general once said, it was worse than a crime. It was a blunder,” Weiner told Gorani.
While it may be merely a blunder in the civilian world, an extramarital affair is punishable, according the military's Code of Conduct.
Petraeus was no longer in the military as head of the CIA. But General John Allen is a member of the military, though the U.S. government has made no allegations about him in the ongoing enquiry into his e-mails with Jill Kelley.
The investigation has put Allen’s nomination to become NATO's supreme allied commander on hold and left the CIA without a director. Weiner believes that might be the deepest impact of the scandal so far.
“There have been five [CIA] directors in the last eight years. It's been quite a revolving door,” Weiner says. “It's a dirty, difficult, dangerous job.”
CNN’s Juliet Fuisz produced this piece for television.