Forget the gossip: Focus on Benghazi

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Members of Congress of both parties are clamoring for former CIA Director David Petraeus to testify about the decisions and events surrounding the murder of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi on September 11 of this year.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask for that testimony since the CIA had an important role in Benghazi and Petraeus – to his credit – is the highest level US official to visit Libya since the disaster there.

But fascination with the general’s personal story must not divert attention from the very significant policy failures that helped produce a chaotic security situation in Libya. Petraeus was not principally responsible for those mistakes, nor for similar mistakes that continue in Syria, nor for the misleading suggestion that killing Bin Laden had dealt a fatal blow to Al Qaeda.

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