Bill Kristol: A source tells me Petraeus wasn’t completely honest in his Benghazi briefing to Congress

posted at 9:36 pm on November 13, 2012 by Allahpundit

Click the image below and pay special attention to the end of the clip. This is quite an accusation. Quote:

Final point, though, he may have been under pressure, as Charles says, to go along with the administration line on September 14th about the video, which he knew was not true. Someone else told me that General Petraeus, on the Hill that day, Director Petraeus I should say, said privately to one of the members of Congress, said, “This is what happened in Benghazi,” he said, “Do you want the official line or do you want the real truth?” So I think he knew that he was not telling the full truth. He is, on the other hand, the CIA director. They were involved in some pretty complicated things, perhaps, in Benghazi. To be fair to him, maybe he thought that national security required him not to fully spill the beans and to kind of go along with a line that was otherwise politically convenient for the administration.

Yeah, but the briefing on September 14th wasn’t a public hearing. It was a closed-door session before the House Intelligence Committee (via Pat Dollard). When is the DCIA allowed to willfully conceal information or even out-and-out lie to them? And if Kristol’s source is telling the truth, Petraeus wasn’t even really concealing it. He was basically telling them that he was feeding them official disinformation about some element of what happened. Presumably it had to do with the local annex there being a secret CIA base, but I’m not sure why the Committee couldn’t be trusted with that information. And if he was lying to protect the annex’s secret role, why did he feel obliged to include the detail about the “spontaneous” protest? That should have no bearing on the annex. This is why he needs to testify.

By the way, if you’re looking for the latest episode of “Real Housewives of CENTCOM,” here you go. Two sources tell Fox News that the e-mails between Gen. Allen and Jill Kelley were in fact a bit more than flirtatious and amounted to the e-mail equivalent of phone sex. I confess, as I was reading the story, I completely lost the plot for a moment as to why it’s newsworthy and how we arrived at the point where we’re all interested in it. It matters, I guess, because Allen has been nominated to be the U.S. commander in Europe and this reflects on his judgment. Or because maybe, depending upon how many e-mails there are, it shows he’s been spending way too much time dallying with Kelley instead of attending to his duties in Afghanistan. I’m not sure how the FBI stumbled onto their e-mail correspondence in the first place, though, or even whether it was the FBI at all or some Pentagon agent vetting Allen for the Europe promotion. (See Marc Ambinder’s list of questions about FBI behavior in this case.) Did Kelley invite the FBI to read her e-mail initially in order to track down Broadwell, and then they inadvertently intercepted e-mails to her from Allen? If that was a risk, why would Kelley invite them to read her e-mail in the first place? Or maybe there’s more here than meets the eye. I’ll leave you with this from the Fox piece about Allen and Kelley:

Sources said officials are reviewing 20,000 to 30,000 pages of documents — mostly emails — between 2010 and 2012. One official would only say “there is the distinct possibility” this case is connected to the Petraeus investigation.


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