The speculation surrounding the sudden resignation of CIA Chief General David Petraeus is focusing in large part on his role in an alleged cover-up of the attacks against the U.S. mission in Benghazi this past September.
Perhaps overlooked is the CIA’s role in purportedly using the Benghazi mission to coordinate U.S. aid to Syrian opposition groups and information those same insurgents include jihadists openly acting under the al-Qaida umbrella.
One week before he was slated to testify before Congress on the Benghazi debacle, Petraeus on Friday night announced his resignation, citing an extramarital affair, and it was reported he will no longer testify.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the House Homeland Security Committee chairman, charged in an interview with CNN that Petraeus is “at the center of this, and there are answers that only he has.” King was referring to the Benghazi attacks.
Asked if he will still call for Petraeus to testify despite his resignation, Rep. King replied, “Absolutely, to me, he’s an absolutely necessary witness.”
Patraeus resigned at a time when the U.S. intelligence community is facing criticism over both its response to the assault in Benghazi and whether it had early warnings of al-Qaida plans to attack the U.S. mission in that country.
The White House and multiple State Department officials had immediately blamed a crude film about the Islamic figure Mohammad for what they claimed were popular protests that preceded the attacks on the U.S. mission.
According to new, vivid accounts provided by the State Department and intelligence officials, no such popular demonstration took place the night of the attack. Instead, video footage from Benghazi reportedly shows an organized group of armed men attacking the compound, the officials said.