Gen. David Petraeus to Testify on Libya Attacks
(WASHINGTON) — Former CIA director David Petraeus is set to head to Capitol Hill on Friday to testify before the House Intelligence Committee about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that led to multiple deaths.
Petraeus, who resigned last week after disclosing an extramarital affair, is expected to defend the CIA’s actions during the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The retired Army general, who once commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan, is reportedly eager to set out a timeline of events leading up to and during the deadly attack.
Spokesmen for the committee have said that the hearing will be closed to the public. Petraeus is not expected to discuss his resignation or the affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
Also on Friday, Petraeus will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Senate announced Thursday morning. That hearing will be a closed session as well.
Adm. William H. McRaven, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command and the planner of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2010, on Wednesday night called Petraeus “an American hero.” The praise came at The Hero Summit, an event sponsored by Newsweek-Daily Beast honoring the military.
“[Petraeus ] was the finest general I ever worked for, period.” McRaven said, adding, “I don’t condone what he did, because Holly Petraeus is also a great American hero.”
During the interview with Charlie Rose, McRaven also touched on Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the second top military official, who has become embroiled on the Petraeus scandal for his relationship with Florida socialite Jill Kelley, who received threatening emails from Broadwell. McRaven said he believes Allen’s veracity will shine through.
Allen, a four-star Marine general, is being investigated by the Pentagon’s inspector general for “potentially inappropriate” emails with Kelley, a Tampa, Fla.-area military supporter.
“[Allen is] the finest officer in the U.S. military right now, and he is a man of incredible integrity, and I think the facts will bear that out,” McRaven said.
President Obama said earlier this week that he continues to have “faith” in Allen, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
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