Everyone’s still trying to figure out exactly what’s going on with the whole Former CIA Director General Patraeus affair, and its relation to his testimony on the Benghazi attack which killed the American Ambassador to Libya, and other Americans on September 11 of this year. On September 14th Patraeus gave testimony on what happened that day, spouting the same version of events as the White House.
Petraeus briefed lawmakers that day that the attack was akin to a flash mob, and some top lawmakers noted to Fox News he seemed “wedded” to the administration’s narrative that it was a demonstration spun out of control. The briefing appeared to conflict with one from the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center a day earlier in which officials said the intelligence supported an Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda-affiliated attack. (Original Article).
So Patraeus gave testimony that backed up the President, but contradicted the FBI’s version of events that the attack was indeed a terrorist attack. What makes this noteworthy is that Patraeus likely already knew about the investigation the FBI had launched into his sexual affair. This means he could have been threatened by someone in the Obama Administration that if his testimony did not match the White Houses, his career would be ruined. That is why his coming testimony to the Senate about what happened in Benghazi is so important. Will his story stay the same, or will it change now that the White House has nothing to hold over his head?
Since so little information has been released to the public, it is hard to do anything but speculate. But the timing of this scandal coming to light seems too perfect from the President’s position. Was the hope that if the affair was revealed Patraeus would not testify for a second time? Did Patraeus himself leak the scandal, to avoid a worse fate if he did not comply with the Presidents’ wishes during his second testimony? Or is it truly a coincidence of epic proportions?
In his analysis of these events, Charles Krauthammer said he believes General Petraeus knew about the FBI probe, and therefore could very well have been under the impression that he would be able to keep his job, as long as the affair remained secret. This certainly could have had a major impact on the testimony he gave on September 14, if he believed a positive testimony for the White House would be the only way to keep the scandal hushed up. So what went wrong? Is this administration trying to dispense with Patraeus as Krauthammer seems to believe?
“Of course it was being held over Petraeus’s head, and the sword was lowered on Election Day… And as soon as the election’s over, as soon as he can be dispensed with, the sword drops and he’s destroyed. I mean, can you imagine what it’s like to be on that pressure and to think it didn’t distort or at least in some way unconsciously influence his testimony? That’s hard to believe.” (Original Article).
To me it seems like the Administration would have no reason to dispense with Patraeus, unless his testimony was going to change. It would have been much safer for the White House to never reveal the affair, and keep Patraeus in their pocket. It doesn’t make sense to me that the White House would reveal something like this about a key witness on Benghazi in the middle of the investigation, unless Patraeus was no longer playing their game, and this revelation was a last ditch effort to bury his second testimony. This story certainly goes deeper, as many involved have hinted.
The woman who Petraeus had an affair with, and also his biographer, Paual Broadwell, spoke recently about the events surrounding Benghazi, and offered some insight into part of what is being hushed up.
“A group of Delta Force operators are very…the most talented guys we have in the military. They could have come and reinforced the consulate and CIA annex that were under attack,” said Ms. Broadwell. “Now I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this, but the CIA annex had actually had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to get these prisoners back. It’s still being vetted.” (Original Article).
Patraeus was originally scheduled to give more testimony on Benghazi this Thursday, and since the scandal has agreed to testify before the Senate from a secure location. It will be interesting to see how deep the scandal goes, and where the plot thickens. Hopefully soon, the truth will be known.