Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People: General David Petraeus

ABC's Barbara Walters interviews Gen. David Petraeus.
3:06 | 12/13/12

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Transcript for Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People: General David Petraeus
And now we argued for months about who should be our most fascinating person. And then a washington scandal solidified our choice. We chose a man who has held this spot before on our program just two years ago. But general david petraeuswas not chosen this year for his war record or his exemplary serviceto his country. This is about military honor colliding with sex and liesin the digital age. They called him "king david," the country's most respected soldier. Determined, disciplined, and so very smart. Under his expert touch, mullahs in iraq negotiated. The press fawned, and legislatures all but saluted. He is, without question, one of the finest officersand military minds of his generation. Then shockingly, he resigned this fall as head of the cia because he'd had an extramarital affair with paula broadwell, his biographer. Secrets e-mails between them had been discovered by the fbi, who thought they had found security leak. The story was irresistible-- the keeper of the nation's secrets unable to conceal his own. Suddenly, moments from the recent past took on new meaning. A mention of his wife holly in this speech. I'm sure glad she's been on my side for 37 wonderful years. This remark frompaula broadwell's book tour... I'm not in lovewith david petraeus. And this one. He, um, is infamousfor his use of e-mail. As the story unfolded, the cast of characters grew. Jill kelley, a florida socialite-- she had gotten threatening anonymous e-mails that paula broadwell had secretly sent. Frederick humphries, an fbi agent-- kelley had asked him to investigate the e-mails. General john allen-- he had sent his own e-mails to jill kelley, the florida socialite. Natalie khawam-- jill's identical twin who had no relation to the story. But who can resist an identical twin? Was the affair just a juicy scandal, or was there anything to be learned from all this? Well, these few tips maybe. Some phrases have double meanings, so be careful what you call your book. Don't get anyone in the fbi mad at you. And above all, be careful when you're in florida. Crazy things can happen there. Still, it was hard to understand how a man like this could fall so far from grace. Was it the femme fatalein fatigues? Did he lose his bearings when he entered civilian life? Or was it simpler? Was he just a man suffering from a severe case of human nature? The contradictions in his character and career are a reminder that no one, however powerful, is free of human frailty or immune to reversals of fortune. And that, for us, makes general david petraeus the most fascinating person of 2012.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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