IT TURNS out that then Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director David Petraeus made an unannounced trip to Libya last month to investigate the 9/11 Benghazi consulate debacle. All the more reason, then, for him to be front and centre when Congress takes up the matter on Thursday.

But the former general has told friends he doesn’t want to testify, that any public appearance by him would turn into a media circus. Too bad. It’s his duty to do so — a word that once meant something to the US’s military leaders, but apparently no longer.

Besides which, his testimony would almost certainly be private — which is why legislators are, on a bipartisan basis, losing patience with Petraeus. Indeed, Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein says the CIA won’t even let her see the field report he prepared on his Libya trip.

It looks like Barack Obama’s stone wall is crumbling even before it’s fully built. Good. New York City, November 14