Petraeus will testify before Congress on Benghazi attack
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Petraeus will testify before Congress on Benghazi attack

Washington : DC : USA | Nov 14, 2012 at 7:46 AM PST
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Former CIA Director David Petraeus, who resigned Friday due to an extramarital affair, has agreed to testify before House and Senate intelligence committees. Petraeus was first scheduled to testify Thursday, but after his resignation the Obama administration was prepared to send acting CIA Director Michael Morell.

While President Obama said that he had full confidence in Morell, lawmakers complained and said that Petraeus' resignation was no reason for him not to testify. Morell held meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill yesterday to explain the CIA's take on the events that led to Petraeus' resignation.

The details of Petraeus' appearance are being worked out. A source close to the retired four-star general said that Petraeus had contacted both the CIA and committees of the House and Senate to offer his testimony as former CIA Director. He is expected to speak off-site to the Senate Intelligence Committee Friday about his Libya report. Apparently the House side is still being worked out.

According to the Seattle Times, aides said that Morell met with Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and the committee's senior Republican, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), onTuesday and will meet the heads of the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday.

Benghazi Consulate attack

As details are being revealed, there are questions why the administration kept depicting the consulate attack as a mob action that resulted from an anti-Islam video. Petraeus made that claim during congressional testimony in September.

The same storyline came from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice during Sunday talk show rounds. Obama mentioned the video at least six times during an address to the UN General Assembly.

The attack killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stephens and three others. It has been alleged by former special operations Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer that the administration watched the attack live via video feeds from drones.

Rumors and speculation: The media

According to the UK’s The 4th Media, the Benghazi consulate was largely used for a secret CIA operation. There are allegations that the CIA Annex also held Libyan prisoners. There are also allegations of involvement in gun-running. Allegedly that was the primary reason for the attack.

There’s growing evidence that US agents—particularly murdered ambassador Stevens—were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.

In March 2011 Stevens became the official US liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.

In November 2011 The Telegraph reported that Belhadj, acting as head of the Tripoli Military Council, “met with Free Syrian Army [FSA] leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey” in an effort by the new Libyan government to provide money and weapons to the growing insurgency in Syria.

Last month The Times of London reported that a Libyan ship “carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria … has docked in Turkey.” The shipment reportedly weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades. SOURCE: The 4th Media

Reuters reports that Syrian rebels have been using those heavy weapons to shoot down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets.

Opinion:

The testimony of Petraeus, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice are essential to the investigation if it is to get to the bottom of the attack and the apparent serious security issues.

There may be national security reasons for depicting the attack as a spontaneous attack based on the anti-Islam video. Unfortunately, the can was kicked down the road until after the election. In the meantime rumors have been rampant and there are all kinds of speculation surrounding Petraeus' resignation.

This story has all the ingredients of a spicy James Bond movie, including secrecy, spying, lies and sex. It is time to get to the bottom of this and get the real story. Petraeus' testimony will go a long way to resolve some of these issues.

Petraeus Affair Timeline

Sources: FOX News Petraeus agrees to testify

Seattle Times

The 4th Media

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The Rise and Fall of an American Hero

Is General John Allen the next high ranking US commander to fall from grace?

Benghazi: Details emerge daily

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David Petraeus
Former CIA Director David Petraeus to testify (AFP)
Karl Gotthardt is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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