Paula Broadwell, the woman revealed to be now-former CIA Director David Petraeus’s mistress, may have revealed that the CIA believes the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi happened as an effort from terrorists to release Libyan militia members being held prisoner in the CIA annex in Benghazi.
Ms. Broadwell addressed the University of Denver in late October and spoke about her military intelligence background as well as how her biography of General Petraeus came to be. During the Q & A a member of the audience asked how challenging it was for General Petraeus to be handling the issues pertaining to the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
35:40 “A group of Delta Force operators are very…the most talented guys we have in the military. They could have come and reinforced the consulate and CIA annex that were under attack,” said Ms. Broadwell. “Now I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this, but the CIA annex had actually had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to get these prisoners back. It’s still being vetted.”
*CBS News is reporting the CIA is denying that the agency held any Libyan militants prisoner in Benghazi before the September 11 attack on the mission.
General Petraeus resigned his CIA position late last week as reports of his affair with Broadwell surfaced. Petraeus was expected to testify on Capitol Hill regarding the attacks in Benghazi, and GOP lawmakers plan to subpoena him if he now refuses.
36:10 “The challenging thing for General Petraeus is that in his new position he’s not allowed to communicate with the press. So he’s known all of this. They had correspondence with the CIA station chief in Libya within 24 hours,” said Ms. Broadwell.
Lawmakers want to know among other pieces of information a fuller timeline as to what happened in Benghazi on the day of the attacks and why the Obama White House failed to react to secure the staff at the embassy. Additionally, many want to know why the administration initially and wrongly blamed an obscure online video written by a southern California man, for the Benghazi attacks.
Broadwell also mentioned why she believed the video was blamed saying, “They kind of knew what was happening, but if you remember at the time, the Muslim video—the Mohammed video that came out—the demonstrations that were going on in Cairo, there were demonstrations in 22 other countries around the world—tens of thousands of people and our government was very concerned that this was going to become a nightmare for us,” she said. “So you can understand if you put yourself in his shoes or Secretary Clinton’s shoes or the president’s shoe’s, that we thought that it was tied somehow to the demonstrations in Cairo.
36:53 Broadwell then added, “And it’s true that we have single intelligence that shows the militia members in Libya were watching the demonstrations in Cairo and it did sort of galvanize their effort. We’ll find out the facts soon enough. As a former intel officer, it’s frustrating to me because it reveals our sources and methods.”
Petraeus had reportedly already broken off the relationship with Broadwell when she gave the talk the the University of Denver at that point several months prior. The trouble with Petraeus’s affair began to catch up with him, when Broadwell reportedly sent threatening e-mails to Jill Kelly, another woman based in Tampa who Petraeus spent time with.