Update 1 : Reuters is now reporting that Broadwell’s computer, attained through an FBI raid, had “substantial” classified data:
A computer used by Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with CIA director General David Petraeus led to his resignation, contained substantial classified information that should have been stored under more secure conditions, law enforcement and national security officials said on Wednesday.
The contents of the classified material and how Broadwell acquired it remain under investigation, said the officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment publicly.
But the quantity of classified material found on the computer was significant enough to warrant a continuing investigation, the officials told Reuters.
Despite the CIA’s denial that the agency was holding militant Libyans prisoners at their annex in Benghazi and the deadly attack on the diplomatic mission nearby was a motivated effort to release these individuals, evidence to the contrary shows otherwise.
On October 26, Paula Broadwell, General David Petraeus’s biographer and former mistress, revealed to an audience at the University of Denver, “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,” she added.
Broadwell’s assertion, regarding the prisoners, was reported by Fox News on the same day Broadwell gave her speech. According to Fox News:
Jennifer Griffin reports that Fox News originally reported on October 26 that based on conversations with sources that the CIA contractors had captured three Libyan prisoners who they handed over to the Libyan authorities when they fled Benghazi. Griffin reports that we’ve now learned the prisoners may have been held at the annex for a few days.
The CIA denies this, saying in a statement, “The CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order 13491 was issued. Any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless.”
Additionally, days before the Benghazi attacks, it appears other militant groups were making demands terrorist demands in other places in the Middle East if individuals imprisoned by the U.S. were not released.
As I posted on October 2, El Fagr, an Egyptian independent newsweekly based in Cairo, posted 3 days before the consulate attack that Jihadi groups in Egypt, including Islamic Jihad, the Sunni Group, and Al Gamaa Al Islamiyya released a statement threatening to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the ground if “Islamic jihadis who are imprisonment and in detention centers in the U.S. including Guantanamo Bay” were not set free.
PJ Media reported:
According to El Fagr, they are calling for the immediate release of the Islamic jihadis who are imprisonment and in detention centers in the U.S. including Guantanamo Bay: “The group, which consists of many members from al-Qaeda, called [especially] for the quick release of the jihadi [mujahid] sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman [the “Blind Sheikh”], whom they described as a scholar and jihadi who sacrificed his life for the Egyptian Umma, who was ignored by the Mubarak regime, and [President] Morsi is refusing to intervene on his behalf and release him, despite promising that he would. The Islamic Group has threatened to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo with those in it, and taking hostage those who remain [alive], unless the Blind Sheikh is immediately released.”
In fact, The Herald Tribune pointed out that, “Al Qaeda said the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in Libya was in revenge for the killing of the network’s number two Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi, the SITE Intelligence Group reported on Saturday.”
On the same day Broadwell gave her remarks in Denver, then-CIA Director David Petraeus released a statement through his spokesman saying that, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”
The intelligence community at this point appeared to be contradicting the administration. As a result of wrongly blaming the Benghazi attack on an obscure online video critical of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, the White House began to blame “bad intel” for their initial accusations.
One day before Petraeus’s statement and Ms. Broadwell’s remarks which included Delta Force operators who could have “reinforced the consulate and CIA annex [in Benghazi] that were under attack,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, “There’s a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking going on here,” Mr. Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon, adding that “the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place.”
On Monday night, Ms. Broadwell’s North Carolina home was raided by the FBI. Agents could be seen walking out of her house with boxes of documents. The New York Times reported that a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Broadwell consented to the search. The raid happened one day after the video of Broadwell’s University of Denver remarks went viral.
If Broadwell’s comments, which were attributed to Fox News, on the October 26 were off the mark, as the CIA deemed them, why is the FBI raiding her home over one month later? After all, The FBI was aware of Broadwell’s relationship with Petraeus well before October 26.