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Right Wing Pushes Conspiracy Theory That Obama Forced Out Petraeus To Prevent Libya Testimony

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"Right Wing Pushes Conspiracy Theory That Obama Forced Out Petraeus To Prevent Libya Testimony"

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Petraeus and Broadwell (Photo: AP)

Former CIA Director David Petraeus’ resignation last Friday has prompted the right to speculate that Petraeus’ abrupt departure was somehow designed by the Obama administration to prevent Petraeus from testifying before Congress on Libya or that the White House held news of the affair over his head to say the attack was sparked by an anti-Islam video.

Fox News’ Eric Bolling provided an example of the logic behind this latter theory:

BOLLING: A lot of people are scratching their heads as to why Gen. Petraeus blamed the ['Innocence of Muslims'] video three days after the September 11th attacks. Two days after he blamed the video, Susan Rice went out there, and since then, subsequent to all of this, we found out that as of day one, the Obama administration, intel community, everyone knew it wasn’t the video. They knew it was a terrorist attack. But why would Gen. Petraeus do it? Was there something being held over his head where they said ‘Hey General, go out there and say video because otherwise we are going to blow this thing wide open.’ That’s one theory.

Both the House and Senate are slated to hold closed-door hearings on the intelligence failures before and during the attack in Benghazi. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) seems to buy the explanation that Petraeus was forced out before he could speak under oath. “It’s so suspicious,” he told Fox’s Sean Hannity last night, adding, “It’s not a coincidence to me. He is probably the one that knows most about what happened or didn’t happen in Benghazi.”

Fox’s Gretchen Carlson piled on this morning on Fox and Friends. “I’m wondering if he did come to testify, and that was under oath, that he would have to stick to that story, that it was the videotape?” she asked.

Watch Fox’s conspiracy-peddling here:

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has already said that there is “no link between Petraeus’ resignation and Benghazi.

And evidence so far indicates that Petraeus turned in his letter of resignation to President Obama of his own free will — on the advice of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — because of an extra-maritial affair rather than anything related to Libya.

A newly uncovered speech by Petraeus’ alleged mistress Paula Broadwell on Oct. 26 also provided ammunition to the conspiracy theorists. In her speech, Broadwell appears to reveal new information about Benghazi, casually mentioning that the CIA had detained several Libyan nationals in the annex that served as its base in the city, possibly prompting the attack that lead to the deaths of four Americans. Such a claim had yet to be reported anywhere in the news media. A CIA spokesperson roundly denied the claim, as it no longer possess detention authority under Executive Order.

Meanwhile, the right is also trotting out another theory that the White House forced Petraeus out to prevent any possible bid by the former general at the presidency in 2016. Fox News analyst Ralph Peters advanced both of theories last night talking to Bill O’Reilly, saying the White House is “lying” about the Petraeus affair because of Benghazi and Obama is trying to prevent Petraeus’ rise to the presidency.

Update

The Daily Show lampooned the right-wing conspiracy theories about Patraeus last night.

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