Senators seek Petraeus testimony on Benghazi attack
WASHINGTON, Nov 13, 2012 (AFP)
Republican and Democratic senators on Tuesday called for scandal-plagued CIA ex-director David Petraeus to testify
about the deadly September 11 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.
“I believe he will (testify). I think he’s a responsible person, and I believe he will come,” Democrat Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said on CNN.
“So we are going to try to set that up today because his view as someone who was actually there… I think that’s important for us to hear.”
Feinstein said she and the committee’s ranking Republican, Saxby Chambliss, were to meet later Tuesday with CIA acting director Michael Morell, who was seen arriving in the US Capitol with a large security detail that prevented
reporters from approaching him.
Washington has reeled from Petraeus’s shock resignation last week when it was revealed he had an affair with a married military reservist and author of a fawning biography of the general, who is also married.
Despite that scandal, lawmakers see Petraeus as potentially vital to their probe into exactly what happened in Benghazi on September 11 when four Americans were killed including the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Republican Marco Rubio, who sits on the Senate’s intelligence and foreign affairs committees, emerged from a classified briefing by the latter body to say there were many unanswered questions and that he hoped Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would testify on the Libya attack.
“She has an invaluable role to play,” Rubio told reporters. “I think we need to hear from David Petraeus as well.”
Retiring Republican Senator Olympia Snowe also said she hoped Petraeus would testify on Capitol Hill.
“Absolutely, I think it would be critical to our efforts in the Senate Intelligence Committee” if Petraeus were to testify, Snowe told reporters.
“My understanding is he visited Benghazi to get firsthand an account and appraisal of the circumstances surrounding the horrific events on September 11 at the consulate that resulted in tragic loss of life.”