Acting CIA Director to Testify on the Hill Next Week Instead of Petreaus
November 9, 2012 - 2:20 pm
Acting CIA Director Mike Morrell will testify before several congressional hearings next week, replacing David Petraeus who resigned as CIA director after admitting to an extramarital affair.
The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus came less than a week before he was scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
A spokesman for the committee said acting CIA Director Mike Morell would testify Thursday in place of Petraeus, who resigned Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair.
Petraeus was among a host of intelligence officials who were on tap to appear at the closed hearing, including James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, and Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. The hearing is the second to be held by the Senate panel on the attacks that killed Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three diplomatic aides.
Petraeus was also scheduled to testify before a closed door hearing of the House Intel Committee as well as an open hearing before the committee next week.
Not to be too obvious, but I question the timing! Should I?
CIA director David Petraeus resigned today citing an extramarital affair, but the timing of the move — late on the Friday after the election — has some people questioning that explanation.
“Petraeus resignation,” media titan Rupert Murdoch tweeted. “Timing, everything suspicious. There has to be more to this story.” Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham floated the idea that the resignation has something to do with the handling of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
“COINCIDENCE?!” Ingraham tweeted. “Petraeus is set to testify NEXT week at a closed door session on Capitol Hill ab[ou]t Benghazi. Did [President Obama] push him out? This stinks!” The Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed that Petraeus will not testify during that hearing, according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller.
Last week, the CIA issued a statement denying that the CIA refused to provide reinforcements to the consulate personnel under attack in Benghazi. “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate,” according to a CIA spokesman.
It is so tempting to try and connect some dots here but really, what dots do we have? One would think that if the administration wanted to control Petraeus that they wouldn’t have allowed him to resign. They would have kept him in place and held the affair over his head to insure cooperation.
If someone wants to argue that forcing Petreaus out was a ploy to keep him from testifying before congress, they are going to have to come up with a reason why it was better to have Petreaus on the outside where they have no control over him rather than the inside where loyalty to the agency — and the affair — would have kept him from straying too far from the administration line.
Quoting Chesterson, “Coincidences are spiritual puns.” Sometimes, even God just can’t make this stuff up sometimes.