Some Start to Voice Petraeus Affair Conspiracy Theory

Conservates start to see resignation as more than just righting a wrong.

November 14, 2012, 6:23 PM

Nov. 15, 2012 -- It's the soap opera that shocked official Washington and ensnared a previously squeaky clean CIA director at a time when he was supposed to play a role in the accounting for a possible security misstep in Libya.

We don't know all the facts of why the FBI started investigating David Petraeus' biographer and how it ultimately led to his resignation.

But a growing number of conservative commentators contend that the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus is more than simple amends made for a personal wrong.

Charles Krauthammer, the Fox News and Washington Post commentator, believes the Petraeus' sex scandal is linked to a closed briefing that he gave two days after the attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya.

Petraeus is set to speak about circumstances surrounding the tragedy again before a House committee on Friday and possibly at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, as well.

Petraeus' resignation from his post at the CIA in light of his extramarital affair raised the possibility that he would not testify. But on Wednesday morning, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told ABC News Petraeus had agreed to do so.

Krauthammer said on Fox News Tuesday that ties he sees between what Petraeus' told the Congress in September and his fear for his future at the CIA make his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell important to the public.

"The reason that it's important is here's a man who knows the administration holds his fate in his hands, and he gives testimony completely at variance with what the Secretary of Defense had said the day before, at variance with what he heard from the station chief in Tripoli and with everything that we had heard," Krauthammer said. "Was he influenced by the fact he knew his fate was held by people in the administration at that time?"

Krauthammer's comments seemed to imply that the man who wrote the book on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq lied to the House Intelligence Committee to save his skin when he said that the attack was a spontaneous mob spurred by the film, "The Innocence of Muslims."

At the time of his briefings, no one in the White House was aware of the FBI investigation into Petraeus' relationship with Broadwell.

As ABC News' Martha Raddatz reported on "World News with Diane Sawyer," the FBI got involved around May or June tracing emails from Broadwell to Jill Kelley in Tampa, Fla., but President Obama was not informed about Petraeus' indiscretions until November

Former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote an op-ed for the Washington Times Wednesday in which he said Petraeus was clearly forced to resign his post in an effort to keep him quiet.

"In the modern era, office-holders with forgiving spouses simply do not resign from powerful jobs because of a temporary, non-criminal, consensual adult sexual liaison, as the history of the FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ and Clinton presidencies attest. So, why is Gen. Petraeus different?" Napolitano wrote. "Someone wants to silence him."

Napolitano offered no guesses as to what those pressuring Petraeus might be hoping to suppress.

Rudy deLeon, senior vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress, said the American people should allow Petraeus to "speak for himself."

"Anyone who knows Gen. Petraeus, and I've known him since my Pentagon days, knows that his integrity comes first, that he's not a political guy, and that being straightforward is what his considerable reputation has been based on," deLeon said.

In late October, Petraeus personally traveled to Libya to investigate the CIA personnel who were in Benghazi on the night of the attack.

Read more about that trip  HERE.

On the night Petraeus first announced his resignation, Krauthammer said the affair would spur the mainstream media to dig deeper into what transpired in Benghazi.

"It will now become the hottest story around and you can be sure that even the mainstream papers, which did not show any interest whatsoever in this story up to and into the election, are going to get on it," Krauthammer said. "It will unravel."

Implications that Petraeus was covering for the White House play into a larger theory floating around conservative circles that Obama administration officials like Petraeus and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice purposely misled the American people following the attack in Benghazi.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC's Jon Karl Wednesday that they would oppose Obama's hypothetical nomination of Rice to Secretary of State, with Graham saying he didn't "trust her."

President Obama responded to this opposition Wednesday at his first press conference since taking reelection, defending the U.N. ambassador.

"She made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her," Obama said. "If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me."

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