The House Benghazi Committee has announced some big names are about to testify behind closed doors, including former director of the CIA David Petraeus.
As I write in “Stonewalled,” in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attacks, Petraeus first drew ire from some administration colleagues for not reading from the Carney-Obama-Clinton-Rice book of fiction:
While they’re pushing the spontaneous protest narrative, he’s disclosing full information on the suspected al-Qaeda links, to House Intelligence Committee members at a classified briefing, according to those present. Then the talking points his agency approves for public dissemination on September 14 say that the CIA provided warnings on September 10 that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, could come under attack and that Benghazi was in a precarious state. Clinton’s state department sees the inclusion of that damning information in the CIA’s original proposed talking points as a “knee-jerk cover-your-ass moment” on Petraeus’s part. One official later tells me, “We thought, Why are you guys [Petraeus’s CIA] throwing us under the bus? . . . They made it seem like the State Department was given a warning they ignored. [But] no specific warning was given.”
Emails indicate that on September 15, 2012, a CIA representative sent Petraeus the final version of the talking points that had been revised “through the Deputies Committee” after “State voiced strong concerns with the original text.” The CIA’s references to terrorism and early warnings had been removed.
Petraeus expresses disapproval of the final version, writing that he would just assume that they not be used. But his deputy, Morell, and the White House give them the green light.
Is all of this the beginning of the end of Petraeus’s career as CIA director?
Not long after Petraeus butted heads with other Obama officials over Benghazi, his alleged affair with a journalist and biographer suddenly surfaced. The FBI had long been aware of the relationship and had investigated it — but set it aside — months prior. Only after the Benghazi attacks, as Petraeus’s loyalty to the administration falls into question, does the affair become revealed and everything turns sour for the spy chief and he resigns. (Continued below)
You can read much more about Benghazi and Petraeus in Stonewalled.
Petraeus testifies to the Benghazi Committee this Wednesday. The following day, Charlene Lamb, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs for Diplomatic Security testifies. State Department diplomats who worked in Libya said that Lamb repeatedly denied their security requests in the build-up to the Benghazi attacks.
Friday, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies. And next week, the committee hears from former Defense Department Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash.
Watch Full Measure this Sunday for new information on the Benghazi attacks and the rescue that never came.