Petraeus testifies before committee about Benghazi
According to CNN, Former CIA Director David Petraeus is not following the news or the recent media reports about his affair with Paula Broadwell, but has instead decided to, “maintain a distance and focus on his family at this time.” Petraeus, who admitted to the affair, agrees that the actions he took, while not illegal, were morally reprehensible. Petraeus has stated that he understands that the road for his family and healing will be long and difficult.
Reports indicated that the affair between Petraeus and married biographer, Paula Broadwell, ended months ago, although the two maintained contact as Paula Broadwell completed her dissertation.
Congressional leadership has complained that they were not notified of the FBI investigation earlier. Specifically Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who stated he is increasingly concerned, not only about national security issues, but also “possible links to the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.” Graham has asked that a committee investigate these issues.
Many Republicans question not only how President Obama responded to the Benghazi attack but also how Petraeus’ departure may have been connected to his upcoming appointment to testify at the congressional inquiry about the attack.
Obama has been less critical of the FBI. Stating that he is, “Withholding judgment with respect to how the entire process surrounding Gen. Petraeus came up. We don’t have all the information yet, but I want to say I have a lot of confidence generally in the FBI. So I’m going to wait and see.” Obama maintains that the service Petraeus provided to the country was “extraordinary.”
President Obama also noted that although the affair may have been ill-advised, there is no evidence that national security was breached or that classified information was disclosed.
Petraeus testified last Friday before the House Intelligence Committee, although it was not required. Retired Col. Peter Mansoor stated, after talking to Petaeus, that he agreed to testify because, “He did not like conspiracies going around that somehow he had something to hide on Benghazi.”
According to reports, Paula Broadwell’s government security clearance has been suspended pending the outcome of investigations and FBI agents searched her home on Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her computer has also been given to investigators. No information has been released by the FBI to indicate what they were looking to recover. There is also no evidence so far that Paula Broadwell released classified information. A senior law enforcement officer close to the investigation said they do not expect to prosecute her, although that decision will be made by the Justice Department. Paula Broadwell is currently writing her second book about Petraeus following her first book, “All In,” was about Petraeus’ leadership.
Petraeus has stated that he did not share classified information with Paula Broadwell.
In the days ahead we can expect more news about Petaeus and Paula Broadwell. Did he share classified information with her? Did Petraeus resignation have anything to do with his upcoming testimony before Congress? Was Petraeus pressured to push the video as the reason for the attack on Benghazi? Hopefully, details will be forthcoming by the Obama Administration.