, Newburyport, MA

November 20, 2012

Our view: What happened at Benghazi?

Newburyport Daily News

---- — The American public daily is learning more about the alleged sexual escapades on the part of Gen. David Petraeus, who has resigned as director of the CIA.

The inquiry that led to his resignation began last summer, but the White House didn’t learn about it until the day after the election. Petraeus resigned last week after acknowledging he’d had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

That investigation has broadened and now includes Gen. John Allen, the current commander in Afghanistan, and his potentially related email relationship with a Tampa socialite. We don’t deny that both deserve scrutiny.

But what about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans?

Gen. Carter Ham, the former commander of Africa Command, was relieved for cause during the Benghazi affair. Around the same time, a Navy rear admiral was relieved as well. It is apparent now that during the firefight in Benghazi a major disconnect occurred within the National Command Authority over potential attempts to rescue Americans in harm’s way at an American consulate.

Over two months have passed since our consulate in Benghazi was burned to the ground and four Americans died in the face of an angry mob. Yet Americans have yet to be told the truth about what happened.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have called for the appointment of a select congressional committee to find and reveal the truth about what happened in Benghazi. We endorse that call for an open, public investigation. Then pressure can be applied to prevent the recurrence of any mistakes made in Benghazi.