The CIA has dismissed as “baseless” and “uninformed” claims made by the former lover of ex-agency chief David Petraeus that Libyan militants were held in secret US prisons prior to the deadly Benghazi consulate attack.
Paula Broadwell, the biographer whose affair with Petraeus led to his abrupt resignation Friday, alleged that the assault, in which US ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed, was an attempt to free men being detained in a covert CIA annex.
Speaking last month at the University of Denver, Broadwell further alleged that Petreaus knew about the secret holding cells.
President Barack Obama stripped the CIA of its power to take prisoners through an executive order signed soon after his inauguration in January 2009.
It put an end to the controversial network of secret jails that operated under the administration of President George W Bush.
The 11 September attack on the US consulate in Benghazi resulted in the deaths of four Americans. The assault – and what the White House was told about the need for additional security prior to the attack – has since been the subject of political debate in Washington.
Congressional bodies are due to hold hearings about the incident on Thursday. Petraeus had been expected to give evidence but his resignation has seemingly robbed lawmakers of the chance to grill him over what he knew, and what he passed on to senior administration figures prior to the attack
Broadwell’s allegations over the motive of militants in attacking the consulate are likely to fuel speculation over the timing of Petraeus’s resignation.
In an answer to a question reading the CIA chief’s handling of the incident, the biographer said: “Now, I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually, um, had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.”
She added: “The challenging thing for General Petraeus is that in his new position, he’s not allowed to communicate with the press. So he’s known all of this – they had correspondence with the CIA station chief in, in Libya. Within 24 hours they kind of knew what was happening.”
The comments were recorded and posted in a YouTube clip which has since been taken down.
On Monday, the CIA was quick to shoot down Broadwell’s claims.
“Any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless,” agency spokesman Preston Golson said.
Trump campaign’s ‘stunningly incompetent’ strategy exposed by former federal prosecutor
The Trump campaign is still racking up legal losses in the courts, and even some wealthy GOP donors are reportedly pushing the party to pull the plug on Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Attorney Ken White, a former federal prosecutor, has taken a look at some of the Trump campaign's latest legal filings and has found them to be equal parts "shockingly ridiculous" and "stunningly incompetent."
WATCH: Trump shamed Thanksgiving turkey for refusing to concede White House pardon contest
It was just two years ago that President Donald Trump mocked a Thanksgiving turkey for refusing to concede the election for a White House pardon. As Thanksgiving 2020 approaches, Trump has officially become that turkey.
"This was a fair election... unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount," Trump announced about the battle between Carrots and Peas.
"We're still fighting with Carrots," he joked in a speech. "And I will tell you, we've come to a conclusion: Carrots, I'm sorry to tell you, the results did not change. Too bad for Carrots."
It's unclear if Carrots still maintains the election was rigged, as President Trump does about the 2020 election. He joined Peas at Virginia Tech’s “Gobblers Rest” exhibit in Blacksburg, Virginia. There students and veterinarians within Virginia Tech’s Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences care for all turkeys given a pardon.
Security guard interrupts COVID-denier’s speech and quits on the spot: ‘She’s trivializing the Holocaust’
A video from Germany is circulating on social media, showing a COVID-denier addressing a rally, only to have her speech interrupted by a security guard who was disgusted by her comparisons of pandemic restrictions to the Holocaust.
“I feel like Sophie Scholl, since I've been active in the resistance, giving speeches, going to protests, distributing flyers," the woman says to the audience, referring to the famous "White Rose" resistance fighter who opposed the Nazis during World War II.