Though the David Petraeus affair had overshadowed most of Washington for the past week, including even President Obama’s historic re-election, it did not derail the former CIA director’s testimony to Capitol Hill regarding the Sept. 11 attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that saw the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Testifying before both the House Intelligence Committee and its Senate counterpart, Petraeus gave evidence on the matter and was quoted to have said that explanation given to the public in the wake of the incident was indeed “edited.” This confirms suspicions that during the protests in the city over the release of an anti-Islamic film, the attack on the US Consulate was not spontaneous, but was in fact planned by terrorist elements.
Petraeus’ testimony on Friday was not revealed to the public. However, congressmen and senators involved in the hearings did comment later on, with New York congressman Peter King saying that the former CIA director had said that he was “aware” that the consulate attack had been planned by terrorists “from an early stage.” King added that the testimony conflicted with what Petraeus had said in his testimony on Sept. 14 and that he had a “very different recollection” of it.
Meanwhile, Representative Adam Schiff said, “The general was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda. He completely debunked that idea.” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio added that Petraeus’ testimony showed that “clearly the security measures were inadequate despite an overwhelming and growing amount of information that showed the area in Benghazi was dangerous, particularly on the night of September 11.”
Of course, Petraeus was quizzed on the affair that he had with biographer Paula Broadwell. The former CIA director was asked about his personal life, but the committee was satisfied that Petraeus’ relationship with Broadwell did not in any way compromise national security.
In related news, the CIA did launch an investigation into Petraeus’ affair to, as a spokesman put it, learn from the incident and also investigate any possible leaks of classified information which Broadwell possessed but which was not revealed to her by Petraeus. The CIA termed the probe as an “investigatory report.”
Meanwhile, the probe into General John Allen has also intensified, as investigators are trying and ascertain the exact relationship between the general and Florida socialite Jill Kelley.