Experts: Morell, Petraeus testimony questionable on Benghazi mortar attack

Experts: Morell, Petraeus testimony questionable on Benghazi mortar attack

If former CIA Director David Petraeus and his ex-deputy Michael Morell are recalled to testify on Benghazi, they can expect hard questions about the mortar attack on the CIA annex which killed two former Navy SEALs.

Republican Mike Rogers, chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, is weighing whether to recall one or both of those officials over their Benghazi congressional testimony.

Rogers said the evidence suggests a highly skilled team carried out the mortar strike. Fox News has confirmed five rounds were fired in under a minute, with three hitting the annex roof — a target roughly the size of two convenience stores. …

[F]ive military officers, including retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, concluded the terrorists pre-set the location.

“For this mortar crew to put three rounds of the first five — right on target — means to me that even in the day of GPS … the site for the mortar had to be pre-selected,” Peters explained. “That would be a good score for a U.S. infantry, well-trained mortar crew.”

Retired Army Gen. Bob Scales, who has written extensively on artillery fire, concurred. “This took an enormous amount of planning, an enormous amount of training. It required preparation at a firing point, not only the mortar but also the ammunition, and something like this can’t be done overnight. This is something that probably took weeks in preparation in order to pull it off.” …

When pressed on the sophistication of the mortar attack, two sources familiar with Petraeus’ statements to Congress said he also seemed to downplay the necessary planning and skill, stating the mortars could have been fired from the back of a truck with the same accuracy.

None of the five military officers contacted by Fox News said the truck explanation was plausible.

“A truck would not permit you that stable platform necessary to make that fine adjustment from Point A to Point B to put the rounds down,” Tony Shaffer, senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research, said. “Because every time you fire, the truck shakes. That’s not adequate for any type of direct fire.”

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