On Tuesday night’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer suggested that federal government officials may have leveraged former CIA Director David Petraeus’ extramarital affair to influence what he told Congress about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya.
“I think the really shocking news today was that Gen. Petraeus thought and hoped he could keep his job [after the affair was discovered by federal investigators],” Krauthammer said. “He thought that it might and would be kept secret, and then he could stay in his position. I think what that tells us is really important. It meant that he understood that the FBI obviously knew what was going on. He was hoping that those administration officials would not disclose what had happen and therefore hoping that he would keep his job. And that meant that he understood that his job, his reputation, his legacy, his whole celebrated life was in the hands of the administration. And he expected they would protect him by keeping it quiet.”
Petraeus briefed congressional intelligence leaders just days after the attack on Libya, reportedly telling them he believed the attack was spontaneous and not carefully pre-planned.
“And that brings us to the ultimate issue, and that is his testimony on Sept. 13,” he continued. “That’s the thing that connects the two scandals. And that’s the only thing that makes the sex scandal relevant. Otherwise it would be exercise in sensationalism and voyeurism, and nothing else. 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. Was he influenced by the fact he knew his fate was held by people in the administration at that time?”