Politics

Pat Buchanan asks whether CIA blew it with initial field investigation of Petraeus

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On Friday’s broadcast of “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on the Fox News Channel, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” and former senior adviser to President Ronald Reagan, questioned how former CIA Director David Petraeus got the top spy job in the first place.

“The CIA, we learn from Catherine [Herridge], did what the FBI usually does, a full field investigation of someone to make sure they don’t have problems like that,” Buchanan explained. “How could any full field investigation of Gen. Petraeus in Afghanistan miss this, if it had happened? And when did people find this out? So, what it sounds like is that Gen. Petraeus what was you call blackmail material from the day he entered the CIA until the day he left it. [Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani] had a good point. Why did he suddenly leave now? Did he suddenly become a security risk now? Or it was because the scandal was going to break, or because it was the Benghazi thing that is coming up?”

Buchanan said Petraeus should have known soon after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya that, contrary to claims by administration officials, an anti-Islam YouTube video was not the cause of the violence.

“Now, here’s Gen. Petraeus’s problem, and as you’ve alluded to — It’s September 14. September 11, his own safe house in Benghazi, with a couple of hero SEALs there, who, went over also to the compound — they were killed in a firefight on and off that lasted seven hours. Are you telling me that the head of the CIA did not know three days later that this was a firefight and an al-Qaida attack and he thought it was a protest over a video?”

Buchanan theorized that Petraeus was behind the Obama administration’s messaging in the days immediately following the Benghazi attack, including the White House’s decision to send U.N. ambassador Susan Rice on a Sept. 16 tour of the Sunday talk shows to claim that the U.S. believed the YouTube video had caused the violence.

“The only thing that happened we know is that Gen. Petraeus was the one that went up and told the Congress this,” Buchanan said. “It looks to me like the Central Intelligence Agency generally and General Petraeus specifically moved this story. I would not be surprised if Susan Rice testifies and the White House guys testify to the effect that Gen. Petraeus was the one giving them this intelligence.”