Petraeus Personally Investigated Benghazi
Former CIA Director David Petraeus launched his own investigation of the September 11 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The probe included Petraeus a visit to Tripoli, where he personally questioned the CIA station chief and other CIA personnel who were on hand during the attack.
Petraeus was set to make his own findings on the Benghazi attack known at the House Foreign Affairs Committee this Thursday, but will not testify after resigning last Friday because of an extramarital affair.
“He was looking forward to testifying,” a Petraeus friend told ABC News. “He wanted to be fully prepared.” The friend described Petraeus’ investigation as a “personal review” of both the September 11 attack and the events leading up to it.
“The trip was so recent that the CIA has told the Congressional Intelligence committees that the trip report has not yet been completed,” ABC News reports.
Responsibility for security and military assistance failures during the attack has moved from a blame game in the Obama administration to unraveling many of its foreign policy achievements. After the administration initially blamed an anti-Muslim film for sparking demonstrations that led to the attack, it was later revealed that terrorist group Al Queada planned the assault to coincide with the anniversary of September 11, 2001.
The CIA was initially blamed for refusing aid to the besieged embassy. The spy agency denied the charges, directly contradicting the White House. Two of the Americans killed during the attack were later revealed to be CIA agents, as were a large number of Americans on the ground at the site.
Congressional hearings in October revealed that not only was the State Department aware of several requests for increased security in Benghazi, the department rejected them.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took “full responsibility” on October 16 for intelligence bungling that led to the Americans’ deaths. She will also not testify at the hearing because she will be “out of country,” according to a department spokesperson.
Petraeus reportedly says he should not testify now because all the information he gathered is now in the hands of of acting CIA Director Mike Morrell, who also has more current data. His showing up at the hearing would also create a “media circus,” he is reported to have said.