Friday, November 16, 2012

Petraeus Telling Congress He Knew Benghazi Was Terrorist Attack Almost Immediately

Gen. David Petraeus, the nation's CIA Director until last week's scandal involving his extra-marital relationship with his biographer forced him out, is testifying to Congress as I write about what he knew about the terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Numerous news sources, citing persons knowledgeable with his testimony, report that he is telling Congress he knew almost immediately that it was a terrorist attack and that Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Sharia was likely behind the atttack. This testimony would seem to be at odds with his initial briefing to Congress shortly after the attack which gave credence to the belief that an anti-Muslim YouTube video sparked a spontaneous demonstration that led to the deadly attack.

Petraeus is also distancing himself from comments U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice made on the Sunday talk shows after the attack during which she insisted the YouTube video was to blame for the attack, and that he believes she made those comments at the direction of the White House. President Obama is rumored to be nominating Rice to be the next Secretary of State when Hillary Clinton steps down in January. Leading Republican senators have already said they will fight her nomination. Yesterday, members of Congress heard testimony from CIA officials and were able to view security camera videos taken while the September 11th attack was underway, which reportedly showed Ambassador Stevens' body being dragged from the consular compound. Petraeus' mistress, Paula Broadwell, publicly stated last month that the attack was in response to Libyan militia members being held as prisoners at the CIA annex in Benghazi, a claim denied by the CIA.

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