Petraeus mistress may have revealed classified information at Denver speech: The real reason for the attack on CIA operation in Benghazi
By Jennifer Griffin, Adam Housley
Published November 12, 2012
Biographer Paula Broadwell may not be getting investigated by the FBI for sending threatening e-mails to Petraeus family friend Jill Kelley, who neither works for the State Department, nor Joint Special Operations Command.
Now, Broadwell could be facing questions about whether she revealed classified information that she was privy to due to her relationship with then-CIA director David Petraeus.
At an Oct. 26 speech at her alma mater, the University of Denver, Broadwell was asked about Petraeus’ handling of the Benghazi situation.
Her response was reported originally by Israel’s Arutz Sheva and Foreign Policy’s Blake Hounshell.
Broadwell quoted the Fox report when she said: “The facts that came out today were that the ground forces there at the CIA annex, which is different from the consulate, were requesting reinforcements.”
Broadwell’s affair with Petraeus was likely known to Holly Petraeus, according to family friends. The FBI reportedly knew about it months beforehand and White House Counterterrorism advisor John Brennan reportedly was aware that there was a relationship in the summer of 2011.
Broadwell went on to explain more details from the Benghazi attacks.
“Now, I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually, um, had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.”
In the original October 26 Fox News report, sources at the Annex said that the CIA’s Global Response Staff had handed over three Libyan militia members to the Libyan authorities who came to rescue the 30 Americans in the early hours of September 12.
A well-placed Washington source confirms to Fox that there were Libyan militiamen being held at the CIA annex in Benghazi and that their presence was being looked at as a possible motive for the staged attack on the Consulate and Annex that night.
According to multiple intelligence sources who have served in Benghazi, there were more than just Libyan militia members who were held and interrogated by CIA contractors at the CIA Annex in the days prior to the attack. Other prisoners from additional countries in Africa and the Middle East were brought to this location.
The Libya Annex was the largest CIA station in North Africa, and two weeks prior to the attack, the CIA was preparing to shut it down. Most prisoners, according to British and American intelligence sources, had been moved two weeks earlier.
The CIA categorically denied these allegations in response to a query by reporter Eli Lake: “The CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order 13491 was issued. Any suggestion that the Agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless.”
Broadwell, whose affair with Petraeus reportedly ended earlier this year, continued to serve as an informal spokesman for the CIA director. She suggests in her Denver speech that Petraeus knew almost immediately that the attack was a terror attack – possibly to free militia members.
A few days later, Petraeus testifies in a closed session to Congress that the attack was due in large part to an anti-Islam video and a spontaneous uprising, according to reports from the hearing.
Congressional leaders say privately they believe they were lied to by Petraeus when he testified shortly after the attack. Some of these members already considered charging Petraeus with perjury, but said they planned to withhold judgment until he testified this week. After resigning as CIA director, the CIA said acting director Mike Morrell would testify in his place.
All of this raises the question: what was the CIA really doing in Benghazi in addition to searching for Qaddafi’s stash of more than 22,000 shoulder held missiles that could bring down commercial airplanes, and who in the White House knew exactly what the CIA was up to?