General Petraeus testified behind closed doors today, but reports are coming out that Petraues says he believed it was a terrorist attack from early on and that he was going off of ‘talking points’ when he mentioned the video. So, who wrote the ‘talking points’ for him to read? Glenn reacted to the news on radio this morning.
“The good general, General Petraeus, is up on the Hill now. He is up testifying before closed doors in congress. He says that he knew that it was a terrorist strike within 24 hours. Now, this is a big deal because this is, remember, the president said a week later that Ambassador Rice only said those things because that’s what the intel from the CIA said. He also ‑‑ and apparently this is a very big deal. He also said that when he appeared in front of congress on the 14th after he knew it was a terrorist strike, he appeared in front of congress and he said that it was ‑‑ had something to do with this video. He said he was using talking points,” Glenn said.
“The talking points, that’s a political reference. The CIA doesn’t use talking points. They use briefings. So a source close to the general revealed late last night, early this morning that he was going to talk about these talking points. We’re not sure if he’s going to say who gave the talking points. It appears that they were based on a briefing and then it went through several hands of several different agencies. He is going to say he doesn’t know who gave the final draft of these talking points.”
“Here’s my speculation, and it’s pure speculation. Anything could happen today. But I’m trying to put myself into the shoes of a general who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. But more importantly, he took an oath to his brothers in arms. He took an oath of loyalty that he would be there for them, and I think this man saw himself slide. I think when he was ‑‑ remember when he was testifying on the 14th, he had just been notified that he was under investigation by the FBI. Now, if that doesn’t ‑‑ if that doesn’t give one moment to pause, at the height of a campaign. Let’s put the ‑‑ let’s put the ‑‑ let’s put the events in order here. Benghazi happens. The word is, is that General Ham, a friend of Petraeus, is readying the troops to go, getting them out, getting them launched. Somebody gives them the order to stand down. That’s not something that comes from Petraeus. Petraeus is an old soldier and a friend of Ham’s.”
“Now, they would all be talking amongst themselves. Ham is apparently the guy who said, “We’re not standing down; continue to ready the troops. We’ve got to launch the troops.” That’s when Petraeus apparently said, “General Ham, stand down.” Now, the only one that can give the order really to stand down is not the Secretary of Defense but that’s the president of the United States. The only one that can issue the order to launch, the only one that can issue the order to stand down would be the president of the United States. Secretary of Defense was with the president of the United States. My speculation is that Petraeus was on Ham’s side, but Petraeus, whatever was going on in Benghazi, knew what was going on in Benghazi. He was already deeply involved and, quite honestly, I think the man’s ‑‑ I think the man’s soul had already started to wither away. He had been making really bad, wrong decisions. But there’s nothing more sobering than body bags. Stand down.”
“So he stands down, and he says nothing. And SEALs die, and he has to live with it. Now, did he do everything he could to save them? As the CIA director, yes. There’s nothing he could do. The guys who were the SEALs that died, they were CIA. They weren’t military. And they went, but Petraeus had no authority to send in more drones, armed drones. He couldn’t do anything. He couldn’t launch an aircraft. He couldn’t send another SEAL team. He couldn’t send in Delta Force. His hands were tied.”
“But I’ve got to believe that a man like Petraeus wondered to himself, ‘What the hell am I doing,’ and then the phone call came: ‘By the way, General, you’re under investigation with the FBI.”‘Well, I know what? ‘Oh, by the way, you have to testify in front of congress. By the way, we have some talking points based on some intel that we’ve collected from several different agencies.’ I believe he took the talking points. I believe he just went with them and said, ‘I am in so much trouble right now.’ And the minute he gave that testimony, I think he regretted it. Because once he gave that testimony, if I’m ‑‑ if I’m a movie writer and I’m trying to write a movie that you will believe, that’s when somebody else comes into his life and says, “Good. Now General, we need you to continue to say this.” And he’s driving home or he’s at home and something happens and he’s like, “What the hell have I even turned into? I am going to ‑‑ I’m going to clean up my life. They’re not going to hold this over me. I’ve become everything that I swore I never would. When I was a young cadet, I believed in something.” This is the movie that I hope is being made right now. “I believed in something. I’m not going to play this game anymore. I will tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may,” but the devil on his shoulder says, ‘But General, if you do that, you will go in front of congress and you will have to ‑‑ you’ll have to tell them that you lied.’”
“Now, if he’s truly redeemed, he will do that today. It seems to be that he is dancing around that, but a man with real honor will redeem himself and say, ‘Yes, I understand that I can go to prison for lying to congress, but I was afraid. I was afraid to bring this out in front of my ‑‑ for my family, my wife. I had made mistakes. I was under investigation. I had pressure on me. I made a mistake. I lied. But I want to correct it now. And if it means that I go to jail, then it means I go to jail. I’m prepared for that consequence.’ That’s a real hero. Don’t know if he’ll do that. But I’m hoping that he has had a moment of redemption because we all have our own bottoms: Did this guy bottom out with this sex scandal. Has that wrecked his life enough? Has he felt enough pain to where he says, ‘I just, I want to surrender. I’ll just do whatever I have to do to set things right.’ We will see. Testimony today. Testimony right now with General Petraeus.”
Following Petraeus’s testimony, Rep. Peter King gave FOX News some of the information that was shared at the testimony. TheBlaze reports:
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said former CIA Director David Petraeus told lawmakers Friday that he believed all along that terrorists were involved in attacking the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya — at odds with his initial testimony two months ago when he labeled the Sept. 11 assault a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islam video.
“General Petraeus’ testimony today was that from the start he told us that this was a terrorist attack, that terrorists were involved from the start,” King told reporters after the closed-door hearing before the House intelligence committee. “I told him in my question I had a very different recollection of that.”
King added, “The clear impression we were given was that the overwhelming amount of evidence was that it arose out of a spontaneous demonstration and it was not a terrorist attack…he has I think a different impression of the impressions he left on Sept. 14.”