Watch CBS News

Opinion: Petraeus Must Testify On Libya

The Right Politics

By now, most everyone must know that General David Petraeus, the CIA director, has resigned from his governmental post due to an extramarital affair that he had with Paula Broadwell. Petraeus, 60, has known Broadwell, 40, since 2006, and they knew each other primarily due to Broadwell’s writing a biography about Petraeus.

Almost as interesting as the affair itself, over the weekend – since Petraeus’ resignation was accepted by President Barack Obama on Friday – it was revealed as to how the FBI got involved with the story and discovered that Petraeus was having the affair.

A family friend of David Petraeus and his wife Holly Petraeus is Jill Kelley. Allegedly, Broadwell was harassing Jill Kelley via email because Broadwell thought the General and Mrs. Kelley – yes, she’s married – were getting too close. For the record, Paula Broadwell is married with children, also. The email threats were so intense that the FBI became involved and discovered the Petraeus and Broadwell affair when investigating the threats in the G-mail account.

Where is this real-life soap opera leading? It actually does have political and governmental repercussions. David Petraeus was scheduled to speak before a Congressional panel this coming Wednesday regarding the deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Now that Petraeus is no longer the CIA director, he reportedly does not have to appear.

This raises major speculation as to the timing of the affair being made public as well as the allowance of Petraeus to take a pass on speaking. The election is over which means this mess was not influential on the election in any way possible, and keeping a direct source like Petraeus from speaking could be an asset to those who are on the hot seat regarding the non-assistance given to the Benghazi dead before the attack.

Naturally, it is incredibly outrageous to think that Petraeus wouldn’t speak. After all, he was in charge during the incident being investigated by the Congressional committee. Congress – as well as Americans who are extremely concerned about the conflicting stories regarding the Benghazi attack – wants answers and explanations from the man who was in charge in the days leading up to, the day of, and the months after the deadly attack. Petraeus can best give answers to the entire timing of the need for assistance in Benghazi before and during the attack.

Additionally, the Obama administration must avoid the continued appearance of a cover-up by not having Petraeus tell his side of the story – as has already been strongly suggested.

Petraeus must either volunteer to speak as a civilian or Congress must subpoena the former CIA Director to speak to complete the Benghazi puzzle, giving Congress the information it needs and to inform the American people – especially the families of the four dead Americans who truly deserve to find out the truth regarding the Libya incident.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.