TESTIMONY REPORTEDLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF TWO MONTHS AGO
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 16, 2012) — Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified to the House Intelligence Committee early today that the agency knew that “affiliates of Al Qaeda” launched the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, which killed four Americans, including the ambassador. The four-star general who led the CIA for just over a year was reportedly not speaking under oath.
Correction: November 17, 8:59 a.m. EST: Fox News has just announced that Petraeus was speaking under oath on Friday. CNN continues to say that “Petraeus was not asked to testify under oath, King said.”
The Daily KOS reports that Petraeus was under oath, citing an Associated Press report, but the AP does not make that claim. KOS also contends that Petraeus’s statements today “exonerate the White House on Benghazi.”
Petraeus said that he “almost immediately” knew that the Benghazi attack was terrorist-related.
Petraeus resigned one week ago after an extramarital affair with one of his biographers became public. Exactly two months ago, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice stated on five Sunday talk shows that the attack on the compound in Benghazi was sparked by outrage over a little-known anti-Islamic video which few people had actually seen. Rice had asserted from “talking points” given to her the day before that extremism had been involved but that the “protests” were “spontaneous.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has announced that she will not continue in her post for another term, publicly supported that position for more than two weeks, including the day the bodies of those murdered in Benghazi returned to the U.S. in a special ceremony.
Members of the Intelligence Committee were told by Petraeus that the “talking points” he provided to the National Security Director were later stripped of their reference to Al Qaeda operatives. The Obama regime had stated early on that it intended to “dismantle” the terrorist group which had carried out attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. During the 2012 campaign, Obama had claimed that under his leadership, Al Qaeda had been placed “on its heels,” but after the Benghazi attack, he omitted references to Al Qaeda.
After the hearing today, Rep. Peter King told the press that Petraeus’s testimony and that which he provided two months ago were not the same. Democrats disagreed and said that Petraeus’s testimony “clarified” his earlier statements, which were reported to have mentioned Islamic militants but attribute the violence to the video. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger provided his version of the information which Petraeus imparted, which was reportedly that “There were “two different types of situations at play.”
Petraeus reportedly told lawmakers that he never spoke directly to Obama about his assessment of the Benghazi situation. He also said that Rice’s “talking points” used on September 16 were not prepared by him. CNN reports that “Rice’s talking points may have used some of that information but were separate from what Petraeus provided.”
Why would Petraeus have mentioned the video directly after the attack if he knew “almost immediately” that it was irrelevant?
Was someone blackmailing him about the affair he had with the biographer?
Amidst reports that the CIA had told two employees working at the annex close to where Amb. Stevens and Sean Smith were trapped to “stand down,” Petraeus had publicly stated, “It wasn’t me” or anyone in the chain of command of the two men who were killed by mortar fire during the seven-hour siege which members of the White House staff, FBI and State Department saw unfold “in real time.”
According to reports of Petraeus’s testimony today, his assessment on Benghazi was “altered by by someone with direct ties to the Obama White House,” a point which American media appear to be avoiding.
Why were intelligence officials “unable to say” who changed Petraeus’s report on what occurred in Benghazi?
Do they know? Who would have made such changes?