Petraeus Secretly Visited Libya After Benghazi Attack

Congress wants to know what he learned there

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 14, 2012 7:53 AM CST

(Newser) – Resignation or not, Democrats and Republicans alike are clamoring for David Petraeus to testify at this week's congressional hearings about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, and this could be why: Petraeus took a secret trip to Libya last month, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens. Officials tell the Daily Beast the purpose of the trip was to look at the remnants of the CIA's presence in the country after the US abandoned the diplomatic mission. The CIA has not yet turned over Petraeus' report from the trip; one Senate staffer says the agency claims it hasn't finished processing it.

Congressional committees want it. “Yeah, we will eventually get that,” Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss says, and a CIA spokesperson acknowledges the report will eventually be submitted. On Sunday, the Daily Beast reported that Petraeus lover Paula Broadwell appeared to speak for the general last month with regard to the Benghazi attack. She claimed one reason for the attack could have been that the CIA base there had detained Libyan militia members, but Chambliss says that's nonsense, because "the CIA doesn't hold prisoners, they don't have any authority to hold prisoners. As far as I know they did not have any there."

In this June 23, 2011 file photo, then-CIA Director-desigate Gen. David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
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