Military expert Paula Broadwell, who was allegedly improperly involved with resigned CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, confirmed in October that the CIA annex in Benghazi asked for reinforcements when the consulate came under attack on September 11. She also acknowledged that "there was a failure in the system."
Broadwell was speaking at her alma mater, the University of Denver, on October 26. Her lecture, which is on YouTube under the title "Alumni Symposium 2012 Paula Broadwell," now has added value, because based on the recent disclosures, it can now be assumed that she indeed knew exactly what it was that Petraeus knew about the attack.
Broadwell confirmed the reports on Fox News that the CIA annex asked for a special unit, the Commander in Chief's In Extremis Force, to come and assist it. She also said that the force could indeed have reinforced the consulate, and that Petraeus knew all of this, but was not allowed to talk to the press because of his position in the CIA.
"The challenge has been the fog of war, and the greater challenge is that it's political hunting season, and so this whole thing has been turned into a very political sort of arena, if you will," she said. "The fact that came out today is that the ground forces there at the CIA annex, which is different from the consulate, were requesting reinforcements.
"They were requesting the – it's called the C-in-C's In Extremis Force – a group of Delta Force operators, our very, most talented guys we have in the military. They could have come and reinforced the consulate and the CIA annex. Now, I don't know if a lot of you have heard this but the CIA annex had actually taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner, and they think that the attack on the consulate was an attempt to get these prisoners back. It's still being vetted.
"The challenging thing for Gen. 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 Libya, within 24 hours they kind of knew what was happening."
Broadwell did give some support to the administration, however, for its initial version of events, which tied the consulate attack to protests in the Muslim world.
"If you remember at the time, the Muslim video, the Mohammed video that came out, the demonstrations that were going on in Cairo, there were demonstrations in 22 other countries around the world, tens of thousands of people, and our government was very concerned that this was going to become a nightmare for us," she said.
"So you can understand if you put yourselves in his shoes or Secretary Clinton's shoes or the President's shoes, that we thought it was tied somehow to the demonstrations in Cairo. And it's true that we have signal intelligence that shows the militia members in Libya were watching the demonstration in Cairo, and it did sort of galvanize their effort. So we'll find out the facts soon enough.
"As a former intel officer it's frustrating to me because it reveals our sources and methods, I don't think the public necessarily needs to know all of that. It is a tragedy that we lost an ambassador and two other government officials, and [...] there was a failure in the system because there was additional security requested, but it's frustrating to see the sort of political aspect of what's going on with this whole investigation."