David Petraeus’ resignation last week set off a torrid of conspiracy theories in conservative circles, namely, that Petraeus resigned after he was blackmailed by the Obama administration into giving acceptable testimony on the Benghazi attack. Last night, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer embraced that theory and took it a step further, saying the Obama administration “lowered” a sword on Petraeus on election day.
“Was he influenced by the fact that he knew his fate was held by people in the administration at that time?” Krauthammer wonders. But moments later, he answers his own question:
KRAUTHAMMER: Of course it was being held over Petraeus’s head, and the sword was lowered on Election Day. You don’t have to be a cynic to see that as the ultimate in cynicism. As long as they needed him to give the administration line to quote Bill, everybody was silent. And as soon as the election’s over, as soon as he can be dispensed with, the sword drops and he’s destroyed. I mean, can you imagine what it’s like to be on that pressure and to think it didn’t distort or at least in some way unconsciously influence his testimony? That’s hard to believe.
Watch the clip:
A number of conservatives have been advancing similar theories. Fox News’ Eric Bolling said, “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.” Chaffetz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity “It’s not a coincidence to me. He is probably the one that knows most about what happened or didn’t happen in Benghazi.”
Today’s news that Petraeus will indeed testify to a congressional committee on the Benghazi attack renders Krauthammer’s and others’ theories moot.