Petraeus Testimony Doesn't Resolve Questions
He provided fodder for both Republicans and Democrats
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2012 4:58 PM CST
Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, right, followed by security agents, enters his home in Arlington, Va., Friday after testifying on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

(Newser) – David Petraeus finished his testimony on Capitol Hill about what transpired in Benghazi, but don't expect an end to the controversy:

  • "His appearance actually seemed to provide both Democrats and Republicans with additional evidence to bolster their own narratives of the attacks and their aftermath," says the Wall Street Journal up high in its coverage.
  • Petraeus said he believed from the start that the attack on the consulate was a terrorist attack by al-Qaeda affiliates. The New York Times gets to the heart of the confusion: The CIA "and other intelligence agencies prepared unclassified talking points on the attack for members of Congress, and in them the references to Qaeda affiliates were changed to the less specific 'extremists' to avoid revealing to insurgents that American intelligence agencies were eavesdropping on their electronic communications."

  • Rep. Jim Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat, elaborates on the point: "There may have been confusion with the unclassified talking points," Politico quotes him as saying. "Perhaps there's greater clarity in the classified talking points," especially in regard to "different understanding of words—for example, 'extremist' versus 'terrorist.'"
  • And Republican Peter King: “The fact is, the reference to al-Qaeda was taken out somewhere along the line by someone outside the intelligence community. We need to find out who did it and why.”
  • Dianne Feinstein: “We’re learning a lot, but we have in my opinion not come to a point where we can draw a firm conclusion as to exactly what happened," she says in the Washington Post.
One thing that was clear: Petraeus expressed regret at the start of his appearances for his affair, but lawmakers had no interest in questioning him about it, reports AP.

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Nov 17, 2012 7:18 AM CST
"Petraeus Testimony Doesn't Resolve Questions" For me there has been no question from day one. Obama orchestrated a lie. He sent his people out to lie. He fed lies to the press, and they repeated the lie. Obama has demonstrated he will lie about anything to anybody at anytime, even when the truth wold serve him better. Obama, has also proven he can corrupt anyone even Hillary Clinton.
Nov 16, 2012 9:32 PM CST
Know the worst thing about screwing around on active duty--you can go to jail. Know what's worse than that--to be engaging in adultery with someone else who's active duty and below you in rank. Broadwell was in the reserves and sometimes she's active and sometimes not. When she was and he was and they can prove that--well, not good and why he's saying and doing whatever he has to to dodge this bullet. This guy never saw combat till he had two stars. Think he was in the midst of war? He got shot, but it was on a training range when he was a light colonel. In the chest--stupid. Back you can understand but in the chest during training? He's a guy who punched all the buttons and had all the right people and got promoted early at every single point in his career. It's an amazing feat that few achieve and none without juicing the game. It's all caught up with him and now he's dodging like he's always done and hoping that Conservatives will take their eye off his ball and think there's something here other than he's just a douche. And I said that about him here years ago and I'd like some credit.
Nov 16, 2012 5:52 PM CST
""His appearance actually seemed to provide both Democrats and Republicans with additional evidence to bolster their own narratives of the attacks and their aftermath," says the Wall Street Journal up high in its coverage." No it doesn't bolster the republican's narratives. The republicans have been claiming that Susan Rice lied. But the information provided to Susan Rice by the CIA is practically verbatim of what she told the press and exactly what the CIA felt at that time. The CIA's talking points read as follows: "The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations. This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated. The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of US citizens."The republicans are using the murder of 4 Americans to attack the President. This is politics to them.