ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.
White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.
That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.
“Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened,” Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on November 28, 2012. “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”
Summaries of White House and State Department emails — some of which were first published by Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard — show that the State Department had extensive input into the editing of the talking points.
State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland raised specific objections to this paragraph drafted by the CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points:
“The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”
In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …”
The paragraph was entirely deleted.Stephen Hayes has more, in another article in the Weekly Standard (via FreeRepublic):
CIA director David Petraeus was surprised when he read the freshly rewritten talking points an aide had emailed him in the early afternoon of Saturday, September 15. One day earlier, analysts with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis had drafted a set of unclassified talking points policymakers could use to discuss the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. But this new version—produced with input from senior Obama administration policymakers—was a shadow of the original.
The original CIA talking points had been blunt: The assault on U.S. facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist attack conducted by a large group of Islamic extremists, including some with ties to al Qaeda.
These were strong claims. The CIA usually qualifies its assessments, providing policymakers a sense of whether the conclusions of its analysis are offered with “high confidence,” “moderate confidence,” or “low confidence.” That first draft signaled confidence, even certainty: “We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.”
There was good reason for this conviction. Within 24 hours of the attack, the U.S. government had intercepted communications between two al Qaeda-linked terrorists discussing the attacks in Benghazi. One of the jihadists, a member of Ansar al Sharia, reported to the other that he had participated in the assault on the U.S. diplomatic post. Solid evidence. And there was more. Later that same day, the CIA station chief in Libya had sent a memo back to Washington, reporting that eyewitnesses to the attack said the participants were known jihadists, with ties to al Qaeda.
Before circulating the talking points to administration policymakers in the early evening of Friday, September 14, CIA officials changed “Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda” to simply “Islamic extremists.” But elsewhere, they added new contextual references to radical Islamists. They noted that initial press reports pointed to Ansar al Sharia involvement and added a bullet point highlighting the fact that the agency had warned about another potential attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in the region. “On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the [Cairo] Embassy and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy.” All told, the draft of the CIA talking points that was sent to top Obama administration officials that Friday evening included more than a half-dozen references to the enemy—al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, jihadists, Islamic extremists, and so on.
The version Petraeus received in his inbox Saturday, however, had none. The only remaining allusion to the bad guys noted that “extremists” might have participated in “violent demonstrations.”But Petraeus went along with the revisions. After the November 2012 Presidential election, he left his job as CIA Director, when an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, became known. The Justice Department had been made aware of this, as Broadwell was under investigation for sending threatening e-mails to a Tampa woman. Is it possible that this information might have been used against Petraeus? There's no proof it did, but the fact the InJustice Department had info on his affair makes me wonder.
Despite the attempts to say the Hildebeast, Hillary Rotten Clinton didn't know about the change in the talking points, she references the video stirring up "rage" in the Middle East at about 8:45 in the video below.
Even the mother of Sean Smith, and father of Tyrone Woods, said Hillary Rotten told them both the attack on Benghazi was because of the obscure YouTube video attacking Mohammad. Hillary even went as far as to tell Charles Woods, "We’ll make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted."
Hillary and Obama knew, but they weren't mentioned in the e-mails as far as the revisions. Why? Plausible deniability.
The White House Propaganda Minister, Jay Carney spat out the same baloney as before, and appeared flustered today, and blamed Republicans, George Bush and Mitt Romney for all of this, everyone got the blame, except the Obama Regime.
What needs to happen next, is there needs to be a Special Committee called by Congress. Over 100 members have signed onto this legislation, put forward by Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, but the drunk crybaby John Boehner won't call one. Hillary Rotten Clinton needs to be subpoenaed and put under oath, this time, in front of Congress. E-mails need to be subpoenaed and if Obama tries his Nixonesque "Executive Privilege" then it needs to go immediately to the Court to overturn it.
The refusal of the Commander in Chief, Richard Milhous Obama, to allow troops to defend the consulate and rescue the attackers, and the attempt to cover up, for political reasons in an election year, that it was terrorism, is far worse than any of the two Presidential impeachment cases in US History (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton), and is worse than Nixon's cover-up of the Watergate burglary connections to his re-election campaign. American lives were lost, their families sought answers, and the President of the United States, as well as his Secretary of State, chose to lie to them and the American people, because it threatened his campaign line that "alQueda has been decimated."
If any case deserved impeachment and removal from office, it is Obama. Not just him either. Hillary Clinton, all her underlings in the State Department who had their fingerprints on this, Jay Carney, Susan Rice, need to be thoroughly investigated, imprisoned (if laws were broken) and stripped of their government pensions.
Our service members and diplomats need to have the confidence that their government will protect them, not throw them to the wolves when the political winds don't go their way.