, Salem, MA


November 20, 2012

Petraeus affair must not distract from Benghazi investigation


When the scandal broke and Petraeus resigned, suddenly his scheduled testimony was off. Who knew that an extramarital affair was a free ticket out of uncomfortable congressional testimony?

Ultimately, Petraeus did testify late last week. And indeed, he did say that he knew that an al-Qaida element was responsible for the organized attack. It was no spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Muslim video as the Obama administration had claimed early on. But al-Qaida references were stripped from the talking points that the CIA disseminated to other administration departments.

Petraeus’ testimony is the clearest indication yet that there was at best confusion over and at worst a cover-up of what the administration knew about the Benghazi attack. Who ordered the al-Qaida references removed from the intelligence briefings? And for what purpose? How was the Obama administration so woefully unprepared for a terrorist attack on the fateful anniversary of Sept. 11, despite clear warnings from our diplomats in Libya?

The extramarital affair of Petraeus and Broadwell is a sideshow. Congress should not let itself be distracted from these far more important questions of national security.

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