November 14, 2012 07:56
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is denying a claim by former CIA chief David Petraeus' mistress and biographer Paula Broadwell that the agency detained militants in Libya before the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
CIA spokesman Preston Golson said "any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless."
In January 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama stripped the CIA of its power to take prisoners. The decision meant the CIA could no longer operate secret jails around the world.
In a talk last month at the University of Denver, the capital of the western state of Colorado, Broadwell said the Benghazi attack was an attempt to free militia members held at a CIA annex in the city. Four Americans were killed in the attack, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
The university posted a video of the speech on YouTube. Broadwell did not say where she got the Benghazi information, but said it was "still being vetted." Some reports suggest she may have gotten the details from a report by FOX News, which she cited as a source for other information.
Because of Broadwell's relationship with Petraeus and what she has described as "unprecedented access" to the four-star general, some have raised concerns about whether she may also have had access to classified information.
U.S. officials have said the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined there were no security breaches as a result of Petraeus' relationship with Broadwell. But on Monday, FBI agents entered Broadwell's home in Charlotte, North Carolina. Agents could be seen carrying bags and boxes from the house, which the author shares with her husband and two young sons.
Broadwell has not been seen at the home since Petraeus resigned Friday, citing the affair.
There have also been reports that investigators found classified documents on Broadwell's computer. The material was reportedly related to Afghanistan, where Petraeus was the commander of U.S. and NATO forces when Broadwell was researching her book about him. The New York Times cited an unnamed government official as saying both Broadwell and Petraeus denied he had given her the documents.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
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