Rep. Young wants answers to Petraeus scandal
Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young said he will meet with officials from the Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday to try to learn more about whether national security was compromised by an affair that led to the resignation of director David Petraeus. "We know that someone as involved in intelligence as Gen. Petraeus, anything that subjects him to blackmail or outside pressure is not good," said Young, chairman of the influential House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee. "Petraeus is an extremely important individual in our overall intelligence activities. This is not kid stuff we are dealing with. This is real." In addition to wanting answers about national security concerns, Young said, he wants to know the succession process and whether the resignation was in any way related to the controversy on the Sept. 11 raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. "Changing the leadership of the Central Intelligence Agency is no small deal," said Young. "Where do we go from here? What is the truth about the general's leaving?"The CIA would not comment about Young's meeting. CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell will serve as acting director, according to the White House. Young, who has been trying to meet with CIA officials for weeks to get answers about the Benghazi attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and information operations officer Sean Smith – whose father Ray Smith lives in Gulfport – had a tentative meeting scheduled with CIA officials this morning, but that was canceled. So were previous meetings before the election, he said. "I made two trips to Washington to attend briefings on Benghazi and each time, it was cancelled," said Young. "At one point, I was convinced that someone at CIA would be thrown under the bus over Benghazi," said Young. "I want to find out if this was related to Benghazi. The timing of this really gets your attention." Petraeus was a hugely popular figure in Tampa when he was commander of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base between October, 2008 and June, 2010. He left when he took over command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and was named director of the CIA last year.
The Daystarter: Stormy forecast for Tampa Bay; watering restrictions back in place; new DEP head denies political conflict; peering ahead to Super Bowl LV in Tampa