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CIA scandal is a distraction from Benghazi probe, Middle East wars

Former CIA director David Petraeus is heading to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Intelligence Committee today, and is expected to follow with an appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee. No, he will not be talking to the House or Senate about his affair with his biographer, but rather about Benghazi.

Petraeus will appear before the House committee today at 7:30 a.m., a bit early for most House committee meetings, but it would suggest a sense of urgency in getting to the bottom of what has become a black mark on the Obama administration.

The House Intelligence Committee will probe Petraeus regarding communications his former agency received prior to the attack on the U.S. consulate, including telegrams, intelligence reports and classified emails that were exchanged. He will also have to answer probing questions regarding video footage captured by a drone that caught the assault while it was progressing on the streets in front of the Benghazi facilities.

When the House is done probing Petraeus, who had in earlier statements attributed the attack on the consulate to Muslims angered by a video mocking the Prophet Mohammed, the Senate’s Diane Feinstein, D-Calif, and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee will take a shot at the former director.

Many close to the Petraeus affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell had earlier speculated that Petraeus did not want to step down from his post at the CIA. The Washington Post reported that he did not intend to resign until it became clear that his biographer would become public after a federal investigation of his email accounts.

Well, whether the former director had intended to resign or not, it has placed U.S. national security at risk at a time when the Middle East is roiling with conflict. Syria, Gaza, Iran, Libya, and a host of other hot spots need the undivided attention of U.S. security agencies. This inane distraction over a sexual affair is not what should be on the minds of our nation’s leaders.

It’s time for America to lead, not clean up after sophomoric leaders in Washington who act more like college kids than strategic operators in a volatile world stage.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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