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Fmr. CIA Dir. Petraeus Testifies at Closed-Door Hearings on Benghazi

Washington, DC
Friday, November 16, 2012

Retired General and former CIA Director David Petraeus testified today two seperate classified hearings on the events leading up to and following the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.

Four Americans were killed in that attack, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. Congress is investigating whether the State Department denied a request for extra security at that outpost earlier in the year, and what actions were taken in the moments after the attack began.

As reported by CQ, "There was no official word on what he told either committee, and the few lawmakers willing to offer their summaries essentially broke down along party lines in their descriptions."  Following the hearings, several ranking House and Senate Committee members made general comments to the press.    

House Intelligence Committeeman Peter King (R-NY) told reporters that the United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice's comments on the Sunday news shows immediately following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack did not initially include Al-Qaeda involvement. He said the original “talking points” supplied to her through intelligence reports were intentionally changed as a political cover up heading into the presidential election.

King talked little on the Petraeus affair, but has did mention that Petraeus' demeanor seemed “strong.”

Armed Services Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) dismissed what Rep. King said about the "talking points" changing. He said, "that is completely wrong.”

Following the Senate meeting, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said, "My personal assessment will come out in our initial report." She later added, "I think Ambassador Rice has been treated unfairly."

The former four-star general stepped down last week as CIA director because of an extramarital affair but has agreed to appear voluntarily before House and Senate investigative committees. Both Committees yesterday held a closed hearing with Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, National Intelligence Director James Clapper and others intelligence officials.

Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012 at 1:45pm (ET)

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