Oliver Stone said Gen. David Petraeus, the director of the CIA who resigned last week after revealing he had an affair with his biographer, is “not a hero.”
Appearing on Joy Behar’s show “Say Anthing!” on Current TV, Stone said Petraeus was not worthy of the praise he received for his handling of the war in Iraq when the general oversaw the forces there.
Stone, who is known for his skeptical mind and directing films centered on conspiracies such as “JFK,” told Behar that he doesn’t think the timing of the Petraeus sex scandal was suspicious in light of questions about Benghazi, where four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in a Sept. 11 attack on the consulate in Libya. Conservatives believe Petraeus really resigned over Benghazi and the sex scandal was a smokescreen. The disgraced ex-CIA director answered questions in a closed-door congressional hearing Friday about Benghazi.
The hearing was spurred by comments made by Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who went on the Sunday morning talk shows shortly after the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, saying it was spurred by protests from the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims.” It was later revealed that the protests were not the motivation of the attack, and some Republicans accused Rice of deliberately misleading the American people.
“I do think there’s more here than meets the eye. I think it’s untold, but unfortunately, it’s on the top. It’s the opposite of what everybody’s saying,” Stone said.
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“I think you have a great American narrative here, which is the general who’s the hero who falls for the woman, betrays the wife and loses his heroism and he’s finished. People love that kind of story,” the director said. “But the truth is that he’s not a hero.”
Stone blamed the American media for being soft on Petraeus, who was known for his accessibility to reporters.
“What has he shown that he did anything in Iraq that was effective? Honestly, if you examine the record and the media had been a little more attentive and harder about that as opposed to all this nonsense with the sex and the scandal,” he said. “Go after the real story. He wrote a program of counterinsurgency – it didn’t work. He took it and he sold it to Obama and he went to Afghanistan with it. And in Afghanistan it’s backfired. We’re not working in Afghanistan and I think everyone knows it.”
“Iraq nor Afghanistan work,” Stone said. “That’s the untold story.”
Petraeus resigned as head of the CIA last week after an FBI investigation revealed he had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The FBI investigation started after Jill Kelley, a Petraeus acquaintance who was viewed as a rival for the married general's affection, notified the agency that she received "threatening" e-mails that were later linked to Broadwell. The investigation also ensnared Petraeus' successor as head of Central Command, Gen. John Allen. The probe found Allen engaged in "inappropriate" e-mail conversations with Kelly that were described as flirtatious.