Dr. Paula Broadwell gave a speech at the University of Denver (where she’s an alum) on October 26th. The 41-minute speech has drawn attention because Broadwell, in responding to a direct question about Benghazi from a person in the audience, shared details on what the CIA was said to have done in taking prisoners that led to the attack on the US Embassy.
Dr. Broadwell shares this information as giving it special, almost secret value, saying “Now, I don’t know if a lot of you heard this…,” like this:
Well, just to create some context for those in the room. As you know, the ambassaador in Benghazi was killed along with a couple of security agents who happened to be CIA security, paramilitary forces. That just came out today in Fox News.
But 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.
But the facts that came out today were that the ground forces there at the CIA annex, which is different from the consulate, were requesting reinforcements.
They were requesting the, what’s called the CINC’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 that were under attack.
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.
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.
But if you remember at the time — the Muslim video, the Mohamed 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.
So you can understand if you put yourself 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, um, the militia members in Libya were watching the demonstration in Cairo and it did sort of galvanize their effort. Um, 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. Um, and something — 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. Um, so the most recent news that came out was a Fox News report by Jennifer Griffin. I got it on a distribution list I’m on, and it has some pretty insightful stuff in it, if you want to look for it.”
I did and what I have determined was that Broadwell did not share what she thought was a secret, but happened to talk about something revealed by Jennifer Griffin. So the idea that Broadwell was giving away a CIA secret, or trying to, does not seem to be the case at all. Indeed, Griffin had mentioned the possibilty of the CIA detaining prisoners in an October 26th Fox News Online report.
But what’s weird is that Jennifer uses Paula Broadwell’s speech as a separate confirmation of CIA activities rather than noting that Paula referred to her work. Griffin needs to clean that bit of echo-chamber misinformation up, ASAP. Paula said in the speech that she is on a distribution list and that’s where Griffin’s report popped up.
I played more of what she said in the speech and in segments. First, you have to understand that her long term objective was to become National Security Advisor, and she mentioned Condoleezza Rice (also a University Of Denver Alum) and Madeline Albright as her role models. I don’t know where along the way she came to that as her objective, as she didn’t mention that in her speech. But it’s important to note because it informs how she has pursued each of her career decisions since then, including her pursuit of General Petraeus.
Third, after leaving the military to start a family with her husband Scott, and do civilian work, Paula was called back after 9-11. Her job was to work with Special Operations Command, and develop terrorist targeting packages for infiltrations into North Africa, the Caucausas, and Afghanitan, and “other parts of the World.”
Fourth, Paula said she met David Petraeus while she was a student at the Harvard Kennedy School Of Government in 2006 (where I almost went for planning school, but selected Cal-Berkeley.)
P4 had come to the Kennedy School to present the counter-insurgency manual that he drafted and was going to use as the “guiding blueprint” for how to quell the violence in Irag. From that point, and she does not explain in detail how she got to be able to do that, but she was running the Jepsen Center For Counter-terrorism studies at the Fletcher School at Tuffs University. She said she commissioned student to do research projects that would support his work in Iraq. But what’s clear in listening to how she came to know P4 is that she was smitten with him from the start, and devised various ways to get closer to him, from the student projects to running with him, to do so.
Paula Broadwell is a driven, strong woman of Wonder Woman stature. She’s also an objector to the Iraq War, saying that we found no weapons of mass destruction.