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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #100 on: May 07, 2013, 07:32:21 AM »

http://www.examiner.com/article/report-u-s-ambassador-was-raped-before-he-was-murdered

The president of libya even offered to ferry troops from tripoli to benghazi and was told no thank you - http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/05/chaffetz-state-department-officials-fear-retaliation-on-benghazi-more-will-talk/

============================

Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty
May 7, 2013

The Benghazi Hearings: This May Be the Week That Defines Obama's Second Term

Dear Republicans on the House Oversight Committee:

Please do not grandstand. Please do not take the time before the television cameras to tell us how outraged you are, even though what you are investigating is, indeed, outrageous. There will be plenty of time for that after the hearing. All day Wednesday, give us the facts, and then more facts, and then more facts.
Just ask the questions of the witnesses. Let them speak and don't cut them off. Do not give the Obama administration any cover to claim that this is a partisan witch hunt from unhinged political opponents. Don't waste time complaining about the media's lack of interest or coverage so far. Just give them — and us — the facts to tell the story, a story that will leave all of us demanding accountability.

Sheryl Attkisson's excellent reporting for CBS gives us a sense of what to expect, with three big issues.

First: Leading up to September 11, why did State Department's keep reducing the amount of security protecting diplomatic staff in Libya, in light of the increasingly dire requests from those in country?

The former deputy chief of mission for the U.S. in Libya, Gregory Hicks, was interviewed by congressional investigators on the House Oversight Committee in April. He told them, "we had already essentially stripped ourselves of our security presence, or our security capability to the bare minimum."

Second: Precisely what happened that night? Was there a time when a rescue could have been authorized, but wasn't? Were any forces told to "stand down" and not attempt a rescue?

From Hicks' interview:

A: So Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, who is the SOCAFRICA commander, his team, you know, they were on their way to the vehicles to go to the airport to get on the C-130 when he got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, you can't go now, you don't have authority to go now. And so they missed the flight. And, of course, this meant that one of the . . .

Q : They didn't miss the flight. They were told not to board the flight.

A: They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it. So, anyway, and yeah. I still remember Colonel Gibson, he said, "I have never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than somebody in the military." A nice compliment.

Wait, there's more from another witness:

On the night of Sept. 11, as the Obama administration scrambled to respond to the Benghazi terror attacks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a key aide effectively tried to cut the department's own counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of reporting and decision-making, according to a "whistle-blower" witness from that bureau who will soon testify to the charge before Congress, Fox News has learned.

That witness is Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for operations in the agency's counterterrorism bureau. Sources tell Fox News Thompson will level the allegation against Clinton during testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Third: What happened afterward, and was there an effort to lie to the American people about what happened?

Hicks, again:

Greg Hicks: The net impact of what has transpired is the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world has basically said that the President of Libya is either a liar or doesn't know what he's talking about. The impact of that is immeasurable. Magariaf has just lost face in front of not only his own people, but the world... my jaw hit the floor as I watched this... I've never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career as on that day... I never reported a demonstration; I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris's last report, if you want to say his final report, is, "Greg, we are under attack." ... It is jaw-dropping that - to me that - how that came to be.

Finally, did the previous efforts to investigate this amount to a cover-up?

Jed Babbin:

Last week, we learned that the State Department's Inspector General is investigating the Pickering-Mullen "Accountability Review Board" for, among other things, its failure to investigate and get statements from the Benghazi survivors. Before there were whistleblowers there were survivors, yet the comprehensively misnamed "Accountability Review Board" didn't question them.

Which isn't a surprise. The ARB did what it was paid to do: limit the damage and blame people under Hillary Clinton for the failures of leadership and management. It was, simply, a whitewash. We'll probably wait a long time for the IG to report the facts — 2017 sounds like the right time frame.

In the press conference announcing the report, Adm. Mullen said something that's been bothering me ever since. He said that no military assets could have been deployed in time. In time to do what?

Jed makes a good point here: Just how did the U.S. military and diplomatic folks outside of Benghazi know how long they had to rescue anyone? How did they know how long our guys would be able to hold out, or how long the attack would go on? After the fact, you can calculate that not enough forces could have reached the site in time, but how did they know that as the events were ongoing?

If that means, in Clintonian terms, that they wouldn't have been in time to save Ambassador Chris Stevens, that doesn't mean that they wouldn't have been in time to save the SEALs.

If you parse Mullen's words — as we learned we must when Hillary's hubby was president — he almost certainly meant that the ambassador was killed in the early moments of the attack.

In short, what we don't need is a bold, expectation-setting, agenda-hinting prediction like this:

Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said on his radio show Monday that President Obama "will not fill out his full term" because he was complicit in a "cover-up" surrounding the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.

"I believe that before it's all over, this president will not fill out his full term," Huckabee said. "I know that puts me on a limb, but this is not minor."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 08:42:05 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #101 on: May 07, 2013, 03:00:32 PM »

Good to see the Benghazi scandal finally under scrutiny.  The lying is so thick it is hard to know where to start or end exposing it.

LT. COL. RALPH PETERS: I believe that President Obama lied to the American people, himself. Secretary [Hillary] Clinton lied to Congress. Susan Rice lied to the UN. Jay Carney lied to the media. And the mainstream establishment media have protected this administration right down the line.  [An unpleasant image of professional journalist Candy Crowley comes to mind.]

Hillary was absent when her help was needed.  The dead Ambassador had no way of reaching her for months in advance with his plea for help.  And she never made a phone call during the all day attack.

The President never said where he was for the 3am (5pm) call, then he did nothing.

It was our first Ambassador murdered in 33 years.  This attack was a big f'ing deal.  

The Obama advisers ordered:  Stand down.  The President left the room.  Who was in charge?

Rand Paul had this right: "Dereliction of Duty".  “Had I been president at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post,”

Hillary was most certainly IN the loop when the talking points were changed from true to false.  She will never be President.

« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 12:18:12 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #102 on: May 07, 2013, 10:12:31 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/06/Source-Only-President-Could-Have-Made-Stand-Down-Call-During-Benghazi-Attack

WaPo:  What is known and unknown as of now re the talking points:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-benghazi-talking-points-whats-known-and-unknown/2013/05/06/f689ee08-b693-11e2-b94c-b684dda07add_blog.html
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 10:19:26 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #103 on: May 08, 2013, 12:22:35 PM »

Now if this were a Republican....

Yesterday the sleaze in ex chief - Bill announced Hillary is not definitely running for his past job....

Likely the only thing the main stream media will carry about this is the Clinton army of BS ers blanketing all the talk shows and news outlets with the rapid response "damage" control. 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/7/john-bolton-benghazi-could-bring-down-obama-admini/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #104 on: May 08, 2013, 06:08:54 PM »

Benghazi Truths vs. Washington Politics
Wednesday's hearing turned a light on a previously unnoticed player in the story: Hillary Clinton's chief of staff.
By ELLIOTT ABRAMS

'I was stunned. My jaw dropped," said Gregory Hicks at Wednesday's House hearing on the Benghazi terror attack last fall and its aftermath. Mr. Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya under Ambassador Chris Stevens, was referring to the now-famous TV appearances by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

Ms. Rice, blanketing the Sunday talk shows the weekend after the murderous assault on the American consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, spoke of spontaneous protests and linked them to a video insulting Islam. But Mr. Hicks said "there was no report from the U.S. Mission in Libya regarding a demonstration," and there were no protests. "The YouTube video was a nonevent in Libya," he added. In the last telephone call that Mr. Hicks received from Stevens, the ambassador said "we're under attack" and then the cell connection dropped.

The hearing deepened the mystery of how Ms. Rice came to say such things. It added a new political wrinkle in the person of Cheryl Mills, whose role was previously unnoticed. Mr. Hicks testified that when a Republican member of the committee, Jason Chaffetz, visited Libya to investigate what had happened, he was instructed that no State Department officer was ever to be alone with the congressman—and that a lawyer was to attend every meeting he had.

When the lawyer was excluded from one meeting with intelligence officers because he lacked the security clearances, Mr. Hicks received a furious call from Ms. Mills, who was then chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We can be confident that Ms. Mills, who represented Bill Clinton in his impeachment hearings and who was counsel to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008, was not calling to guarantee due process. She was calling to protect Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Hicks also told the committee that when he asked the acting assistant secretary for the Near East, Beth Jones, why Ms. Rice had spoken about protests and the video, he was curtly told to drop that line of questioning.

Mrs. Clinton's role in this matter remains obscure, in part because the State Department's Accountability Review Board did not interview her, amazingly enough. The review board protected all of the department's higher-ups and blamed career officials down the ladder. The board is now itself under investigation by State's inspector general, and Wednesday's testimony revealed the sore feelings of career officers about the review board's conduct.

It is now widely known that the "annex" in Tripoli was a CIA location, but the whole story of Benghazi makes little sense unless the CIA role in the affair can be clarified. There were very few security officers at the consulate, and this seems like a huge error by the State Department. But is this because the whole Benghazi set-up was mostly a CIA operation?

That could explain as well why the annex was permitted there, though it did not meet minimal State Department security standards. It may explain why State had a presence in dangerous Benghazi at all—as a cover for the intelligence presence. This may not be fodder for an open hearing, but unless we understand the interplay between State and the CIA, we will not have the full story.

The three witnesses—Mr. Hicks and two other State Department officers who work on counterterrorism and security, Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom—came across as civil servants of whom Americans can be proud. Mr. Hicks's account of the night of the attack and following morning, and the desperate efforts to save the Americans in Benghazi, were gripping.

The hearing room was silent as he told the tale, for the most part without emotion. He named the Americans on his team who had risked their lives to try and rescue Stevens, and others who had performed so well in the intense crisis that gripped the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. At 3 a.m. he gave the order to abandon the embassy building because there were Twitter feeds saying an attack was coming, and he told stories like that of the embassy nurse who started "smashing computer hard drives with an ax" to protect classified information.

The hearing also showed the chasm between the culture of career civil servants ready to risk their lives and the vicious political culture of Washington. No doubt politics motivated some of the Republicans, but due to the nature of the hearing they were cast as investigators. Most Democrats appeared far more dedicated to defending Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration than to finding out exactly what happened, and any criticism of Ms. Rice was rebutted. After all, Chris Stevens is gone but 2016 is just around the corner.

The three witnesses seemed to be visitors from a different reality—different from Rep. Carolyn Maloney and her outrage that anyone could criticize the great Secretary Clinton, or from Cheryl Mills and the anger she expressed at Mr. Hicks for allowing a congressman to escape the presence of the lawyer she had sent.

The Accountability Review Board was also part of that Washington culture, protecting the top levels of the State Department—the secretary and the deputy and under secretaries—and laying blame (and punishment) on the career people below them. This hearing did not ascertain where the buck should stop, but it was a step forward in getting the facts. And it was a reminder that in Washington we should not permit people with political motives to blight the careers of civil servants and blame them for failures of management and policy at the top.

Mr. Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, handled Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2009
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #105 on: May 09, 2013, 09:28:26 AM »

BENGHAZI - The U.S. State Department’s deputy chief of mission in Libya fought back tears on Wednesday as he delivered a lengthy account of the nighttime terrorist attacks last year that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
•   Deputy chief of mission for the U.S. in Libya Gregory Hicks testified Wednesday that the anti-Muslim YouTube video initially blamed for the Benghazi attacks was a “non-event” in Libya. Hicks said that it was clear from the beginning that there was an attack on the consulate, not a protest over the video.
•   Hicks told Congress that a U.S. State Department official began criticizing his job performance, and he was ultimately demoted, after he asked why U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice attributed the Benghazi attack to an anti-Muslim Youtube video.
•   Hicks said that at 2 a.m. Benghazi time, he briefed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Hicks said that during the briefing, he referred to the incident as a terrorist attack, and that at no time was it referred to as anything else.
•   President Obama called Clinton at approximately 10 p.m. on the night of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
•   That was more than six hours after the attacks started, more than an hour before Tryone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed--and about the time that Clinton first released a statement linking the attacks to “inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” a reference to an anti-Muslim video on YouTube.
•   Eric Nordstrom, the regional security officer at the US Embassy in Tripoli in the months before the Benghazi attack, also said senior State Department officials were aware of security shortcomings, and it was "inexplicable" that their actions were not reviewed more thoroughly.
•   Eric Thompson, the U.S. State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism, testified that he had urged the deployment of an elite response team—known as the Foreign Emergency Support Team, or FEST—but was rebuffed by the White House.
•   White House spokesman Jay Carney Wednesday blamed the intelligence agencies for the administration’s effort to hide Al Qaeda’s role in the lethal jihadi attack last September on the U.S. diplomatic site in Benghazi, Libya. Asked if White House officials made any changes, Carney claimed that “the only edits were stylistic and non-substantive.”
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objectivist1
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« Reply #106 on: May 09, 2013, 10:57:19 AM »

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2013/05/09/gregory-hicks-i-swore-an-oath-to-uphold-and-defend-the-constitution”/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #107 on: May 09, 2013, 01:23:18 PM »

Asked if White House officials made any changes [to the lies about the attack], Carney claimed that “the only edits were stylistic and non-substantive.”
---------

Hey Mr. Carney,  This is an congressional investigation of history's most transparent administration.  The report made to the American people was a complete fabrication.  How about if you disclose all the changes made by all of the parties including the White House and State Department and we will decide what is "stylistic and non-substantive.”

What was said in these open hearings that could not have been said last September and who has been brought to justice so far for attacking the United States of America?

The message sent to terrorists is: attack the United States, kill diplomats, and they will "stand down" and then deny that you did it.

Meanwhile, some small-time filmmaker is world famous and in prison.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #108 on: May 09, 2013, 02:29:50 PM »

I confess to a sense that as serious as lying to the American people about who it is that is attacking us, this business about the talking points can get us detoured into a Clintonesque tangent of bureaucratic infighting between the CIA and the White House.

FWIW my sense of things is that a far more unifying theme for the American people from across the political spectrum is the matter of abandoning our people under fire.  WHO in the White House told Gen. Hamm to tell our soldiers in Tripoli to not board that plane?   Where is the President's log for that day?  Not strange that he should release it, after all he released it for his activities on the day of the Bin Laden kill.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #109 on: May 09, 2013, 02:58:19 PM »

I know Crafty is right about the in-fighting point.  The security issues are much much larger.  Still my mind is stuck on the completely fabricated story put out to the American people.  Also, according to some, the lying played a role in causing the Libyan government to delay the entry of the FBI to the crime scene until 2 1/2 weeks later, while the evidence was degrading.  Possibly the reason that no one has been brought to justice as promised.
-------
Yesterday's testimony of Greg Hicks was described by journalists present as the most riveting since Oliver North and Alexander Butterfield.

Or, as they reported on the low information voter news sites, Kim Kardashian is still pregnant.

All through the different phases of the attack, told with great detail and credibility, one had to wonder if help was on the way, when, and why not?

Liberal journalist tried to downplay the testimony.  Dana Milbank of the Washington Post called Hicks a storyteller that disappointed the committee Republicans that invited him.  Milbank said of Hicks, "his gripes were about bureaucratic squabbles rather than political scandal".

Milbank continued:  this whistleblower spent a good bit of time tooting his own horn. “I earned a reputation for being an innovative policymaker who got the job done. I was promoted quickly and received numerous awards,” Hicks informed the lawmakers. “I have two master’s degrees. . . . I speak fluent Arabic. . . . I fast became known as the ambassador’s bulldog because of my decisive management styles. . . . Incoming charge Larry Pope told me personally that my performance was near-heroic.”

Milbank may not know that this formerly competent diplomat, the number one man in Libya after Stevens' death with two masters degrees and fluent in Arabic, was demoted to a desk job after expressing his "shock" about the Susan Rice's account of it and his perceived cooperation with congress.

Milbank: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-whistleblowers-yarn-fails-to-tie-benghazi-lapses-to-politics/2013/05/08/fb436cd4-b82e-11e2-b94c-b684dda07add_story.html?hpid=z2


Hicks received a call from Mills (Sec. Clinton's Chief of Staff), whom he described as being “very upset.” Mills, he said, demanded to know what was said [to congressional investigators].

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/347758/hicks-clintons-confidante-called-me-very-upset-cooperating-investigation

Text of Hicks testimony:  http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20130508/NEWS01/130508017/Transcript-Testimony-Gregory-Hicks-Benghazi

President Obama, September 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, after a few words of nothingness about the attack: "[Republicans] want to give you more tax cuts, especially tilted towards the wealthy, and everything will be okay.
AUDIENCE:  Booo –
THE PRESIDENT:  And this is their prescription for everything — tax cuts in good times, tax cuts in bad times; tax cuts when we’re at peace, tax cuts when we’re at war; tax cuts to help you lose those few extra pounds — (laughter) — tax cuts to give your love life that extra kick.  (Laughter.) "
https://historymusings.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/full-text-campaign-buzz-september-12-2012-president-barack-obamas-speech-at-a-campaign-event-in-las-vegas-nevada/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #110 on: May 09, 2013, 07:00:45 PM »



http://dickmorris.rallycongress.com/9888/sign-petition-to-investigate-benghazi/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #111 on: May 10, 2013, 10:07:21 AM »

Breaking this morning, from ABC News' Jonathan Karl:
When it became clear last fall that the CIA's now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.
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."
Here's the kicker: "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 . . ."
Hey, why would they want to accurately inform the public if it might result in criticism from Congress, right?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #112 on: May 10, 2013, 11:52:47 AM »

Special Report: Alexander on Benghazi
May 10, 2013        
Editor's Note: In today's edition, Mark Alexander provides concise analysis on what you need to know about Benghazi. Don't miss the rest of the Digest after this special report.
 

Amid all the media saturation regarding the 2012 assault in Benghazi, on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on our own soil in 2001, there are some important developments you need to know.
Those developments fall into two categories:

First: Who within the Obama administration knew what, and when, and who told our Special Forces operators to stand down and not respond? The answer to this question is crucial, because it allows us to determine what motivated that stand-down order. In addition, the answer might shed some light on where the president was after 5 p.m. on September 11, when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey informed him that our embassy was under attack and that our people were fighting for their lives. That we still don't have any idea what the commander in chief was doing during this crisis tells us all we need to know about our shamefully incurious mainstream media.

Second: Who within the administration changed the narrative talking points about the Benghazi attack, why, and under whose direction? The CIA immediately (and correctly) asserted that it was a terrorist attack, so why did the Obama administration tell the American people that it was a protest in response to an utterly obscure YouTube video that was deemed offensive to Muslims? The answer to this question is crucial for determining who in the administration advanced the fraudulent narrative in order to provide Obama political cover ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

As to the first question regarding the stand down order, here is what we do know:

Regarding the stand down order, questions raised about what could have been done to save Americans in Benghazi are legitimate, but hindsight is 20/20, and second guessing military commanders on the ground, or at the Pentagon, should be done with all due respect.  If the response team was ordered to stand down because they would have arrived too late, or because the response could have escalated into a much larger conflict resulting in the deaths of the responders, or both, that is one thing.

On the other hand, if the response team was ordered to stand down because of political concerns in advance of the upcoming election that a larger confrontation would undermine the appearance that Obama was conqueror of the al-Qa'ida threat, that is quite another thing. Were these Americans sacrificed as part of a political campaign calculation? We won't know the answer to this question until it's clear how far up into the Obama administration that stand down order was issued.

The second-highest-ranking American official in Libya at the time of the attack, Gregory Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S., testified this week that he received a call from Ambassador Stevens, who told him, "Greg! We're under attack!"

Hicks said that after U.S. Special Operations Command Africa was alerted, then ordered to stand down (or "not to go" as the DoD is parsing it), the operations commander "was furious." Hicks said, "I had told him to go bring our people home. That's what he wanted to do," adding "everyone in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning."

When asked about his reaction to the repeated assertion on Sunday morning talk shows by UN Ambassador Susan Rice that the attack was a "protest" related to a YouTube video, Hicks responded, "I was stunned. My jaw dropped, and I was embarrassed. ... The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya."
When Hicks raised objections to the administration's utterly inaccurate narrative, he says he was "effectively demoted."

In the final analysis of the attack in Benghazi, the Accountability Review Board assessment may be correct, even though the Board was chosen by Hillary Clinton and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper -- both of whom have career stakes in the outcome of that review.

(Marc:  I find this too mild and too defential.  IMO this is the more important issue than the talking points lies.  Abandoning people to their deaths for political reasons is more important-- and a more effective political point-- than a politician lying to get re-elected.   Here is a retired admiral getting it right: 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Gx3tJ53zlPU )

However, the question of who changed the talking points narrative after the incident was not addressed by the ARB.

As to the second question regarding who changed the narrative about the Benghazi attack for political reasons, here is what we do know:
Days before the Obama administration began pushing the "YouTube video protest" narrative, it was clear that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist assault. Department of State counterterrorism officials, the CIA and military intelligence sources immediately reported that the attack was a terrorist assault.

Within 24 hours of attack, the acting assistant secretary for Middle Eastern affairs at the State Department, Beth Jones, confirmed that Ansar al-Sharia, a radical Islamic terror group with known ties to al-Qa'ida, was the perpetrator.

Although the official Benghazi account generated by the CIA immediately after the attack makes no mention of a protest regarding a YouTube video, the Obama administration intentionally altered that accurate account into a fraudulent one that blamed the video. This was done to create political cover for Obama so the incident would not derail his re-election campaign momentum.

Blame-shifting from terrorism to the video narrative achieved two political goals. It framed the attack in one of the Left's favorite themes, "intolerance," and removed it from the specter of the Obama administration appearing incompetent and having overstated the demise of al-Qa'ida.

But the blame-shifting charade is rapidly falling apart.

Within days of the attack, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood in front of the flag draped caskets of four dead Americans and asserted, "We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that, because it is senseless and totally unacceptable."

That was a lie worthy of her husband.

Obama spokesman Jay Carney asserted, "The unrest around the region has been in response to this video. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent."

That, too, was a lie.

Ambassador Susan Rice hit the network talk shows hard with the YouTube claim. "What happened this week in Benghazi was a result, a direct result, of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated..."

And another lie.

A full two weeks after the Benghazi attack, Obama told the UN General Assembly, "That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world."

That was a lie, and the lies are compounding.

In January, Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?"

Her phony indignation is evident, and it's downright despicable. This was neither a video nor was it because "guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans." Clinton is not calling it what everyone knew it to be within hours of the incident.

"What difference at this point does it make?"

The difference now is that we know she, and Obama, were lying.

The Weekly Standard published a timeline from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence detailing the substantive revisions the Obama administration made to the CIA's talking points six weeks prior to the 2012 presidential election.

Asked about those revisions, Jay Carney explained, "The only edits made here at the White House were stylistic and non-substantive. They corrected the description of the building, or the facility in Benghazi, from consulate to diplomatic facility and the like."

Fact trumps fiction, however. Removing references to al-Qa'ida and substituting them with references to a YouTube video are something other than "stylistic" changes.
Carney is lying.

Carney then delivered the centerpiece of the administration's talking points to cover the political trail of the original (adulterated) talking points: "Ultimately, this all has been discussed in an enormous level of detail by the administration to congressional investigators, and the attempt to politicize the talking points again is part of an effort to chase after what isn't the substance."

Clearly, it is the Obama administration that politicized the talking points last September.

On October 15, 2012, ahead of the second presidential debate, The Patriot Post submitted to key Romney campaign officials a thoughtful compilation of talking points that would resonate with grassroots Americans. Among those talking points was the recommendation for Romney to make the case that Obama was concealing the truth about Benghazi in order "to shield his administration from the appearance of incompetence and to maintain the errant perception that the al-Qa'ida threat died when he (actually Navy SEALs) killed Osama bin Laden. Thus, Obama and his key administrators insisted that protests over a web video led to attack in Libya, knowing full well that it was actually a well-executed terrorist assault. This obfuscation clearly was, and remains, a political calculation in advance of his re-election, to ensure this incident does not detract from the perception that Obama is adequate as commander in chief."

Romney never made that case, nor did he reference any of the other grassroots talking points we submitted -- and by the narrowest of margins, he lost the election. Unfortunately, the Republican National Committee also pulled its pre-election ad on Benghazi.

In short: Obama, Clinton and Rice lied, and Americans died. It is time for Congress to ramp up the investigation into the politicization of the attack narrative. A special prosecutor should now be on the horizon.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the congressional testimony on Benghazi this week, Susan Rice was honored by The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies for "her work in advancing U.S. interests, strengthening the world's common security and prosperity, and promoting respect for human rights."

And Ms. Clinton was in Hollywood the day of the testimony for a Beverly Hills gala to receive the Warren Christopher Public Service Award from the Pacific Council on International Policy. It is no small irony that the late Christopher, who was deputy secretary of state under Jimmy Carter and secretary of state under Bill Clinton, was awarded by Carter the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, for his failure to successfully negotiate the release of the 52 American Embassy hostages held in Iran for the final 444 days of the Carter presidency.

That was another Middle Eastern debacle, which contributed to Carter's defeat by Ronald Reagan.

No doubt Obama heeded the lesson from Carter's re-election defeat, and was determined to do whatever needed to be done so that the Benghazi embassy attack would not threaten his re-election bid.

For the record, Carter awarded that medal to Christopher just days before Reagan took office. Also for the record, on January 20, 1981, at the moment President Reagan completed his inaugural address, Iran released all of the American Embassy hostages. Iran understood that Reagan would not be a pushover like Carter -- as the leadership of the Soviet Union would soon learn.

If only Obama could learn that lesson...

« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 11:57:40 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #113 on: May 10, 2013, 12:30:45 PM »

Who ordered the stand down?

First ask, who CAN order a military action in a foreign land?  That would be -- only -- the Commander in Chief.

Why did he order a stand down?

That is why the investigation into the fraudulent talking points is so important.  If the biggest considerations after the fact were all based in politics, so was the thinking DURING the attack!

Peggy Noonan today:

"...the implied question that hung over the House hearing, and that cries out for further investigation. That is the idea that if the administration was to play down the nature of the attack it would have to play down the response—that is, if you want something to be a nonstory you have to have a nonresponse."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324244304578473533965297330.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
-----------

The stand down also could have been because the President was unreachable, off the grid.  He was never in the situation room that day, where they all sat during the OBL kill.  No one has said they spoke with him during the 8 hour attack?  Maybe Mark Sanford knows where he was...
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 12:44:43 PM by DougMacG » Logged
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« Reply #114 on: May 10, 2013, 01:23:22 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/347912/bad-faith-and-benghazi

‘Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”

That was how then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously brushed off the question of when she knew that the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were, in fact, a terrorist assault and not a “protest” of an anti-Islam video that got out of hand.

Clinton’s fans, in and out of the press, loved her defiant response, and they should be ashamed of themselves for it.

What Clinton was really doing there was deflecting attention away from the fact that she had lied. We now know, thanks to Wednesday’s congressional hearings and reporting by The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes, that administration officials knew from the outset the video had nothing to do with it. Intelligence sources on the ground in Libya and officials in Washington knew it was a terrorist attack from the beginning. The video was a “non-event in Libya,” according to Gregory Hicks, the man who inherited Stevens’s duties after the ambassador was killed by al-Qaeda-linked militants. The false video story was simply imposed from above by Clinton, President Obama, and their subalterns.

Let’s return to that lie in a moment.

The hearings exposed another lie. Obama and Clinton have insisted that they did everything they could to help the Americans besieged in Libya; they just couldn’t get help to them in time.

That’s simply untrue.

But even if that were true, it would still be a self-serving falsehood.

If you see a child struggling in the ocean, you have no idea how long she will flail and paddle before she goes under for the last time. The moral response is to swim for her in the hope that you get there in time. If you fail and she dies, you can console yourself that you did your best to rescue her.

But if you just stand on the beach and do nothing as the child struggles for life, saying, “Well, there’s just no way I can get to her in time,” it doesn’t really matter whether you guessed right or not. You didn’t try.

The White House and State Department insist they guessed right, as if that somehow absolves them of responsibility. They would have sent help if they could have, they claim, but they simply weren’t ready to deploy forces on September 11, the one day of the year you’d expect our military and intelligence agencies to be ready for trouble in the Middle East, particularly given that before his murder, Stevens warned of security problems in Benghazi.

But we know the administration ordered others who were willing, able, and obliged to come to the consulate’s rescue to “stand down.” They in effect told the lifeguards, “Don’t get out of your chairs.”

Though an unmanned drone was there to capture the whole thing on video, which must have been reassuring as the mortar rounds rained down.

Leon Panetta, who was the secretary of defense during the attack, mocked critics who wanted to know why the Pentagon didn’t scramble any jets from Italy to the scene. “You can’t willy-nilly send F-16s there and blow the hell out of place. . . . You have to have good intelligence.”

Never mind that real-time video of the attack is pretty good intelligence. An F-16 doesn’t need to blow anyone to hell to have an impact. As military expert and former assistant defense secretary Bing West notes, “99 percent of air sorties over Afghanistan never drop a single bomb.” Just showing up is often intimidating enough.

What motivated the White House and the State Department to deceive the public about what they did is unknown. Maybe it was incompetence or politics or simply understandable bureaucratic confusion.

But we do know they deceived the public. Which brings us back to the lies over the video. In the wake of Benghazi, the country endured an intense debate over how much free speech we could afford because of the savage intolerance of rioters half a world away. Obama and Clinton fueled this debate by incessantly blaming the video — as if the First Amendment were the problem.

Clinton and Obama both swore oaths to support and defend the Constitution. But after failing to support and defend Americans left to die, they blamed the Constitution for their failure. That’s what difference it makes.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #115 on: May 10, 2013, 02:09:37 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/10/geraldo-rivera-my-sources-tell-me-benghazi-was-about-running-missiles-to-syria-rebels/

This would explain Romney's silence-- but just how does not rescuing our people protect the weapons running program?
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« Reply #116 on: May 10, 2013, 09:03:45 PM »


http://www.capitalisminstitute.org/msnbc-benghazi/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TR8IxtS1AiY

Even "impeachment" is mentioned!!!
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« Reply #117 on: May 10, 2013, 09:16:46 PM »

From Jay Leno: When it comes to Benghazi, Obama has a new slogan. Hope, and change the subject.
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« Reply #118 on: May 11, 2013, 01:53:49 AM »

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/benghazi-scandal-grows_722032.html


The Benghazi Scandal Grows
The State Department, the CIA, the White House . . .
May 20, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 34 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES

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.
Whistleblowers


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.”

In an email at 2:44 p.m. to Chip Walter, head of the CIA’s legislative affairs office, Petraeus expressed frustration at the new, scrubbed talking points, noting that they had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided. Petraeus noted with evident disappointment that the policymakers had even taken out the line about the CIA’s warning on Cairo. The CIA director, long regarded as a team player, declined to pick a fight with the White House and seemed resigned to the propagation of the administration’s preferred narrative. The final decisions about what to tell the American people rest with the national security staff, he reminded Walter, and not with the CIA.

This candid, real-time assessment from then-CIA director Petraeus offers a glimpse of what many intelligence officials were saying privately as top Obama officials set aside the truth about Benghazi and spun a fanciful tale about a movie that never mattered and a demonstration that never happened.

“The YouTube video was a nonevent in Libya,” said Gregory Hicks, a 22-year veteran diplomat and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli at the time of the attacks, in testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on May 8. “The only report that our mission made through every channel was that there had been an attack on a consulate . . . no protest.”

So how did Jay Carney, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others come to sell the country a spurious narrative about a movie and a protest?

There are still more questions than answers. But one previously opaque aspect of the Obama administration’s efforts is becoming somewhat clearer. An email sent to Susan Rice following a key White House meeting where officials coordinated their public story lays out what happened in that meeting and offers more clues about who might have rewritten the talking points.
===============================



The CIA’s talking points, the ones that went out that Friday evening, were distributed via email to a group of top Obama administration officials. Forty-five minutes after receiving them, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concerns about their contents, particularly the likelihood that members of Congress would criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.” CIA officials responded with a new draft, stripped of all references to Ansar al Sharia.

In an email a short time later, Nuland wrote that the changes did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.” She did not specify whom she meant by State Department “building leadership.” Ben Rhodes, a top Obama foreign policy and national security adviser, responded to the group, explaining that Nuland had raised valid concerns and advising that the issues would be resolved at a meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the following morning. The Deputies Committee consists of high-ranking officials at the agencies with responsibility for national security​—​including State, Defense, and the CIA​—​as well as senior White House national security staffers.

The Deputies Committee convened the next morning, Saturday the 15th. Some participants met in person, while others joined via a Secure Video Teleconference System (abbreviated SVTS and pronounced “siv-its”).

The proceedings were summarized in an email to U.N. ambassador Rice shortly after the meeting ended. The subject line read: “SVTS on Movie/Protests/violence.” The name of the sender is redacted, but whoever it was had an email address suggesting a job working for the United States at the United Nations.
Related Stories

According to the email, several officials in the meeting shared the concern of Nuland, who was not part of the deliberations, that the CIA’s talking points might lead to criticism that the State Department had ignored the CIA’s warning about an attack. Mike Morell, deputy director of the CIA, agreed to work with Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to edit the talking points. At the time, Sullivan was deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department’s director of policy planning; he is now the top national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. Denis McDonough, then a top national security adviser to Obama and now his chief of staff, deferred on Rhodes’s behalf to Sullivan.

The email to Rice reported that Sullivan would work with a small group of individuals from the intelligence community to finalize the talking points on Saturday before sending them on to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which had originated the request for talking points.

The sender of the email spoke with Sullivan after the meeting, reminding him that Rice would be doing the Sunday morning shows and needed to receive the final talking points. Sullivan committed to making sure Rice was updated before the Sunday shows. The sender told Sullivan the name of the staffer (redacted in the email) who would be running Rice’s prep session and encouraged the team to keep Rice in the loop.

At 2:44 p.m., the author of the email to Rice followed up directly with Sullivan, asking for a copy of the talking points to help with Rice’s preparation for TV. Sullivan promised to provide them.

A senior Obama administration official did not challenge the accuracy of the email to Rice, but disputed any implication that Sullivan was responsible for rewriting the talking points. “The CIA circulated revised talking points to the interagency after the Deputies Committee meeting and Jake Sullivan did not comment substantively on those points.”

This official pointed to Jay Carney’s comments this week. “What we said and what remains true to this day is that the intelligence community drafted and redrafted these points.”

But Carney’s claim raises an obvious question: Why would intelligence community officials want to redraft talking points they’d already finalized?

The major substantive changes came Friday evening, after a State Department official expressed concerns about criticism from Republicans, and Saturday morning, following the Deputies Committee meeting, where, according to internal Obama administration emails, officials further revised the talking points.

What’s clear is that the final version did not reflect the views of the top intelligence official on the ground in Benghazi, who had reported days earlier that the assault had been a terrorist attack conducted by jihadists with links to al Qaeda, or the top U.S. diplomat in Libya, Gregory Hicks.
========================



Hicks testified last week that he was not consulted on the talking points and was surprised when he saw Rice make a case that had little to do with what had happened in Benghazi. “I was stunned,” he said. “My jaw dropped.”

The hearings last week produced fresh details on virtually every aspect of the Benghazi controversy and raised new questions. By the end of some six hours of testimony, several Democrats on the committee had joined their Republican colleagues in calling for more hearings, additional witnesses, and the release of unclassified documents related to the attacks in Benghazi.

On May 9, House speaker John Boehner echoed the calls for those unclassified Benghazi documents to be made public. He had two specific requests. First, Boehner called for the release of an email from Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary for Near East affairs, sent on September 12. Jones wrote to her colleagues to describe a conversation she’d had with Libya’s ambassador to the United States. When the Libyan raised the possibility that loyalists to Muammar Qaddafi might have been involved, Jones corrected him. “When he said his government suspected that former Gadhafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” Among those copied on the email: Jake Sullivan, Victoria Nuland, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, and Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff and longtime confidante.

Second, Boehner asked the White House to release the 100 pages of internal administration emails related to the drafting and editing of the talking points. Sources tell The Weekly Standard that House Republicans will subpoena them if the administration does not turn them over voluntarily.


Two weeks ago, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was time to “move on” from Benghazi. More recently, Jay Carney suggested the same thing, explaining that Benghazi had happened “a long time ago.”

But it’s increasingly clear that congressional Republicans, and many Americans, will not move on until the outstanding questions about Benghazi are answered.

Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

Correction: This piece originally said that Victoria Nuland suggested changes to the talking points because she was concerned about criticism from Republicans in Congress. That's inaccurate. She suggested changes because of concerns from members of Congress.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #119 on: May 11, 2013, 10:24:08 AM »

I was thinking a bit about my post that Geraldo has finally discovered the gun running meme some seven months after I was posting about it here.

It dawned on me that when Geraldo reports that Team Obama told Romney that there was a secret gun running operation that needed to be kept secret and that this is why Romney did not pursue Benghazi that this is really fg significant.

If there was a gun running operation-- as I suspect there was-- then it is not clear to me what the logic is that it would be revealed by acknowledging who it was that attacked us.

Continuing this line of thought, then does it not follow that Team Obama lied to Romney in the name of national security to dupe him into not pursuing this line of attack?

Do I have this right?
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« Reply #120 on: May 13, 2013, 10:34:48 AM »

I just heard a rumor that Petraeus no longer feels the loyalty to Team Obama (can't blame him either!) and will be saying and doing things this week , , ,

===========================

"Hillary Clinton had denied ever seeing Ambassador Stevens's warnings about deteriorating security in Libya on the grounds that '1.43 million cables come to my office' -- and she can't be expected to see all of them, or any. ... Are murdered ambassadors like those 1.43 million cables she doesn't read? Just too many of them to keep track of? No. Only six had been killed in the history of the republic -- seven, if you include Arnold Raphel, who perished in General Zia's somewhat mysterious plane crash in Pakistan in 1988. ... Hicks is now America's head man in the country, and the cabinet secretary to whom he reports says, 'Leave a message after the tone and I'll get back to you before the end of the week.' Just to underline the difference here: Libya's head of government calls [whistleblower Gregory] Hicks, but nobody who matters in his own government can be bothered to. ... A real government would be scrambling furiously to see what it could do to rescue its people. ... Chris Stevens was the poster boy for Obama's view of the Arab Spring; he agreed with the president on everything that mattered. The only difference is that he wasn't in Vegas but out there on the front line, where Obama's delusions meet reality. Stevens believed in those illusions enough to die for them. One cannot say the same about the hollow men and women in Washington who sent him out there unprotected, declined to lift a finger when he came under attack, and in the final indignity subordinated his sacrifice to their political needs by lying over his corpse." --National Review's Mark Steyn
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 11:40:32 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #121 on: May 13, 2013, 11:49:42 AM »

I just heard a rumor that Petraeus no longer feels the loyalty to Team Obama (can't blame him either!) and will be saying and doing things this week , , ,

Makes sense.  As CIA Director, his product was the first version (true version) of what happened in Benghazi, before the 12 revisions.  He has already faced the humiliation of his infidelity.  He may still face legal or military culpability for details within that.  Either way, he has very little choice but to step forward when called to testify, and tell the truth.
------

Jonah Goldberg made a very significant point in Crafty's post here May 10: 

'Help [that was ordered to stand down] just couldn’t get there in time.'

True or false in hindsight, that excuse HAD to be written after the fact.  It could not have been known at the start of an 8 hour attack.

Goldberg: "If you see a child struggling in the ocean, you have no idea how long she will flail and paddle before she goes under for the last time. The moral response is to swim for her in the hope that you get there in time. If you fail and she dies, you can console yourself that you did your best to rescue her."
-----
Mark Steyn:
A terrorist attack isn’t like a soccer game, over in 90 minutes. If it is a sport, it’s more like a tennis match: Whether it’s all over in three sets or goes to five depends on how hard the other guy pushes back. The government of the United States took the extremely strange decision to lose in straight sets. Not only did they not deploy out-of-area assets, they ordered even those in Libya to stand down."
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/347980/benghazi-lie
-----
Peggy Noonan explained the non-response ordered by the non-meeting in the situation room, where the President and Secretary of State were not following the events as they transpired (also posted May 10): 

"If you want something to be a nonstory you have to have a nonresponse".
-----

Michael Barone wrote today:  (excerpts)

We know that [Sec. Clinton] assured one victim’s father, Charles Woods, that “we’re going to prosecute that person that made the video.”

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Clinton was knowingly attempting to mislead. She certainly knows the difference between Cairo and Benghazi.

And it’s undisputed that Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 man in our Libya embassy, reported that it was an “attack” on September 11. That was the word he heard in his last conversation with Christopher Stevens.

It’s undisputed as well, after testimony at the House committee hearing last week, that Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary of State’s Near Eastern division, e-mailed on September 12 that “the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”

That e-mail went to Clinton counselor Cheryl Mills and State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, among others. You may remember Mills as one of the lawyers defending Bill Clinton in his impeachment trial.

On September 15, the day after Clinton’s assurances to Woods, State Department and White House officials prepared talking points for members of Congress and for ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who was scheduled to go on five Sunday talk shows the next day.

Who chose Rice as the administration’s spokesman? As Barack Obama said after the election, when she was reportedly under consideration to be the next secretary of state, Rice had “nothing to do” with Benghazi.

Selecting which officials go on the Sunday talk shows is a White House function. Either the president or someone who had good reason to believe he was reflecting Obama’s wishes selected Rice, who was out of the loop on the issue.

The expectation must have been that she would say exactly what she was told — and would not betray any inconvenient facts known to those in the loop like Clinton.

The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes got hold of the series of September 15 e-mails in which White House and State Department officials prepared the talking points.

References to warnings State received before September 11 of Ansar al-Sharia–and al-Qaeda-linked attacks in Benghazi were deleted. Nuland describes these as “issues . . . of my building’s leadership.”

The final talking points said, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post and subsequently its annex.” Rice went on TV and parroted the line.

That was refuted by Hicks. The video was a “non-event” in Libya, he told the House committee. And he testified that he was chastised by none other than Mills for briefing Republican representative Jason Chaffetz without a lawyer present.

The FBI did not find time to interview Hicks. But State found time to yank him out of his job and give him a desk job he regards as a demotion.

Obama continued to attribute the Benghazi attack to a protest against a video on September 18 (Letterman), September 20 (Univision), and September 25 (The View and the United Nations).

There were obvious cynical political motives for attempting to mislead voters during a closely contested presidential campaign.

Obama did not want his theme of “Osama is dead, al-Qaeda is on the run” to be undercut by an Islamist terrorist attack on our ambassador.

Clinton did not want her department’s denial of pleas for additional security in Libya to become known.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/347995/benghazi-deception


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« Reply #122 on: May 14, 2013, 11:17:27 AM »

The verbal gymnastics and evasions begin , , ,


The Next Scapegoat
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: May 13, 2013 270 Comments


Twenty years ago, when she was a young Foreign Service officer in Moscow, Victoria Nuland gave me a dazzling briefing on the diverse factions inside the Russian parliament. Now she is a friend I typically see a couple times a year, at various functions, and I have watched her rise, working with everybody from Dick Cheney to Hillary Clinton, serving as ambassador to NATO, and now as a spokeswoman at the State Department.

Over the past few weeks, the spotlight has turned on Nuland. The charge is that intelligence officers prepared accurate talking points after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, and that Nuland, serving her political masters, watered them down.

The charges come from two quarters, from Republicans critical of the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi and intelligence officials shifting blame for Benghazi onto the State Department.

It’s always odd watching someone you know get turned into a political cartoon on the cable talk shows. But this case is particularly disturbing because Nuland did nothing wrong.

Let’s review the actual events. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. For this there is plenty of blame to go around. We now know, thanks to reporting by Eric Schmitt, Helene Cooper and Michael Schmidt in The Times, that Benghazi was primarily a C.I.A. operation. Furthermore, intelligence officers underestimated how dangerous the situation was. They erred in vetting the Libyan militia that was supposed to provide security.

The next day, Nuland held a background press briefing, a transcript of which is available on the State Department’s Web site. She had two main points. There’s a lot we don’t know. The attack was conducted by Libyan extremists. She made no claim that it was set off by an anti-Muslim video or arose spontaneously from demonstrations.

On Friday, Sept. 14, David Petraeus, then the director of the C.I.A., gave a classified briefing to lawmakers in Congress. The lawmakers asked him to provide talking points so they could discuss the event in the news media.

C.I.A. analysts began work on the talking points. Early drafts, available on Jonathan Karl’s ABC News Web site, reflect the confused and fragmented state of knowledge. The first draft, like every subsequent one, said the Benghazi attacks were spontaneously inspired by protests in Cairo. It also said that extremists with ties to Al Qaeda participated.

The C.I.A. analysts quickly scrubbed references to Al Qaeda from the key part of the draft, investigators on Capitol Hill now tell me.

On Friday evening of Sept. 14, the updated talking points were e-mailed to the relevant officials in various departments, including Nuland. She wondered why the C.I.A. was giving members of Congress talking points that were far more assertive than anything she could say or defend herself. She also noted that the talking points left the impression that the C.I.A. had issued all sorts of warnings before the attack.  (Didn't it?  Certainly others did , , ,)

Remember, this was at a moment when the State Department was taking heat for what was mostly a C.I.A. operation, while doing verbal gymnastics to hide the C.I.A.’s role. Intentionally or not, the C.I.A. seemed to be repaying the favor by trying to shift blame to the State Department for ignoring intelligence.  (Not buying this at all , , ,)

Nuland didn’t seek to rewrite the talking points. In fact, if you look at the drafts that were written while she was sending e-mails, the drafts don’t change much from one to the next. She was just kicking the process up to the policy-maker level.

At this point, Nuland’s participation in the whole affair ends.

On Saturday morning, what’s called a deputies committee meeting was held at the White House. I’m told the talking points barely came up at that meeting. Instead, the C.I.A. representative said he would take proactive measures to streamline them. That day, the agency reduced the talking points to the bare nub Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, was given before going on the Sunday talk shows.

Several things were apparently happening. Each of the different players had their hands on a different piece of the elephant. If there was any piece of the talking points that everybody couldn’t agree upon, it got cut. Second, the administration proceeded with extreme caution about drawing conclusions, possibly overlearning the lessons from the Bush years. Third, as the memos moved up the C.I.A. management chain, the higher officials made them more tepid (this is apparently typical). Finally, in the absence of a clear narrative, the talking points gravitated toward the least politically problematic story, blaming the anti-Muslim video and the Cairo demonstrations.

Is this a tale of hard intelligence being distorted for political advantage? Maybe. Did Victoria Nuland scrub the talking points to serve Clinton or President Obama? That charge is completely unsupported by the evidence. She was caught in a brutal interagency turf war, and she defended her department. The accusations against her are bogus.
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« Reply #123 on: May 15, 2013, 11:13:43 PM »

Boehner is the Problem, Help Fix Him!
 
 
Dear Member:
 
Are you happy about the job Congress is doing to expose ‘Benghazi-gate’?
 
Here is the 8-month track record of failure:
 
Congress has not issued one single subpoena. 
 
Potentially dozens of witnesses have never been interviewed, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who should be interrogated.
 
Many of these witnesses and ‘whistleblowers’ are now being harassed, intimidated, and retaliated against by Team Obama.  All that these fine men and women want is to honor the sacrifice made by their abandoned and slaughtered colleagues.  Instead, they’re being warned to ‘shut-up’ or else.
 
After 6 months of lethargy, confusion, and overwhelming Obama distractions, only 1 of the 5 congressional committees investigating Benghazi even held a single, one-day congressional hearing. 
 
Obama called theses hearings a ‘side show’.  And the 5-committee chairs may prove him correct, as there’s not a single Benghazi hearing planned for May, or in the foreseeable future.  None!  This is totally unacceptable.
 
If you’re mad as h_ll about Benghazi, there’s only one person to blame.  This one powerful person isn’t Dirty Obama.  It isn’t alleged Benghazi-perjurer Hillary Rodham Clinton, or even her lapdog political fixer Cheryl Mills.  The person to blame is none other than House Speaker John Boehner.
 
When it comes to Benghazi, Boehner is the problem.
 
As the House Speaker, and third in line to the Presidency, John Boehner is an immensely powerful politician.  Speaker Boehner has strongly opposed a special Benghazi committee since last November.  Back then rank-and-file Republican members fell in line behind the Speaker, trusting his leadership.  But those days are long over! 
 
Now 8 months later, Boehner still opposes a House Select Committee on Benghazi. But other than his handpicked Leadership Team, and a few other hanger-ons’, Speaker Boehner has lost the caucus on Benghazi.  With each passing day, more House Republicans abandon Boehner to support a House Select Committee --- just like Nixon had at ‘Watergate’.  Eighty-five cosponsors have joined since Easter Recess, 40 since Boehner’s failed ‘Progress Report’ was released, and another 15 just since the hearing last week, including 8 in the last two days!
 
Help Us Continue to Add Even More Cosponsors!
 
Late last night, I spoke with a senior aide to Speaker Boehner about Benghazi. Frankly, Boehner’s Office didn’t move an inch, and only dug-in deeper.
 
But it is Imperative for All of Us to Keep Calling Speaker Boehner’s Office at (202) 225-0600.
 
Tell Speaker Boehner to Stop Blocking the House Select Committee on Benghazi!
 
If your Congressman has already cosponsored Resolution 36, the House Select Committee, please ask them to do even more, because they can.  Ask your Congressman to issue a public statement of support that calls upon Speaker Boehner to immediately appoint the House Select Committee.
 
You can reach your Member of Congress at (202) 225-3121
 
It is urgent for you to call as soon as possible, and if the phone is busy, just keep on calling!  You’ll get through! 
 
I cannot underscore enough the importance of phone calls and meetings.
 
Since a Member of Congress rarely sees your email among many thousands of others, and receives ‘irradiated’ postal mail a month late, only phone calls and visiting with your Congressman can get the job done. 
 
This is really Revive America’s two-part strategy of attack:
 
1). Apply pressure-up from the ‘grassroots’ to Congress: 
   
As a citizen and fellow American, you engage in the political process by making phone calls, and lots of them! 
 
When Congress is in session, like today, call (202) 225-3121.  When they’re back home on recess, call them at their home district offices!  This always gets their attention, because you’re not competing against slick Washington-DC lobbyists for your congressman’s attention.
 
2). Personal One-on-One Meetings with Congressman and Senior Aides:
 
Revive America is continuously meeting with Congress everyday up on Capitol Hill.  Help Us Continue Our Work on Capitol Hill
 
Revive America’s two-part strategy has paid off big time for our campaign on Benghazi.  We’re so close now to winning this incredibly important House Select Committee to investigate Benghazi.  But Revive could not do it without you.   So from one American to another, thank you for staying in the fight!
 
Yours for America,
   
Bob Adams
Founder & President
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #124 on: May 16, 2013, 12:31:28 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/11/the-key-benghazi-questions-still-unanswered/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #125 on: May 16, 2013, 11:26:37 AM »

No.  The Obama administration is the problem.  Parts of this are valid, but the shift of blame isn't helpful.  The drip, drip, drip of the scandal, as Krauthammer put it, is not all bad for Republicans politically.  The speaker has to deal with the perception of half the country that these inquiries are just opportunistic Republicans running wild.

Boehner should be pressing for oversight for sure, but his main public focus should be focussed on policy answers to policy problems.  He should calling out regulatory excesses, pushing for comprehensive tax reform, etc. and making it clear that it is the other side that is bogging the country down with their arrogance and abuses of their power, and not addressing the nation's problems.  MHO )
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bigdog
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« Reply #126 on: May 16, 2013, 01:38:00 PM »

http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/documents/whu-benghazi-emails.pdf
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« Reply #127 on: May 16, 2013, 08:25:29 PM »

Thanks BD.  I for one do not have time to wade through it however.  smiley  Anyone have a citation for a good analysis?

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bigdog
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« Reply #128 on: May 16, 2013, 08:49:09 PM »

Thanks BD.  I for one do not have time to wade through it however.  smiley  Anyone have a citation for a good analysis?



http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/05/16/benghazi-emails-questions-remain/2166909/

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/newly-released-benghazi-emails-directly-contradict-white-house-claims_724603.html

http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/16/three-lessons-from-the-benghazi-emails/
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bigdog
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« Reply #129 on: May 16, 2013, 08:55:15 PM »

Thanks BD.  I for one do not have time to wade through it however.  smiley  Anyone have a citation for a good analysis?



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/republicans-benghazi-emails_n_3289428.html
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G M
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« Reply #130 on: May 16, 2013, 09:40:41 PM »

Thanks BD.  I for one do not have time to wade through it however.  smiley  Anyone have a citation for a good analysis?



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/republicans-benghazi-emails_n_3289428.html

Puffington Host is good analysis? You are such a kidder, BD!  grin
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bigdog
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« Reply #131 on: May 17, 2013, 05:22:25 AM »

You should read the article, GM... though I am sure by now other outlets have the story (or at least CBS, where it broke).
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« Reply #132 on: May 17, 2013, 10:16:14 AM »

From the URL BD cited-- if true this is REALLY REALLY BAD:

"CBS News reported Thursday that leaked versions sent out by the GOP last Friday had visible differences than Wednesday's official batch. Two correspondences that were singled out in the report came from National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

"The GOP version of Rhodes' comment, according to CBS News: "We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don't want to undermine the FBI investigation."

"The White House email: "We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation."

"The GOP version of Nuland's comment, according to CBS News: The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda's presence and activities of al-Qaeda."

"The White House email: "The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings."

"The news parallels a Tuesday CNN report which initially introduced the contradiction between what was revealed in a White House Benghazi email version, versus what was reported in media outlets. On Monday, Mother Jones noted that the Republicans' interim report included the correct version of the emails, signaling that more malice and less incompetence may have been at play with the alleged alterations."
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G M
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« Reply #133 on: May 17, 2013, 08:09:01 PM »

Ask Dan Rather about the integrity of documents See-B.S. uses.  rolleyes
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« Reply #134 on: May 17, 2013, 09:04:48 PM »

Did or did not the Reps modify the actual language?
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G M
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« Reply #135 on: May 17, 2013, 09:35:44 PM »

Did or did not the Reps modify the actual language?


Hard to say. What's the provenance of the various emails?
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« Reply #136 on: May 17, 2013, 11:15:06 PM »

Well, I'm not seeing anything about it anywhere else, maybe BD's source got it wrong?  What say you BD?
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bigdog
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« Reply #137 on: May 18, 2013, 12:11:31 AM »

Well, I'm not seeing anything about it anywhere else, maybe BD's source got it wrong?  What say you BD?


Unsure. There are plenty of outlets covering the story, but all that I find lead back to the CBS report.
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G M
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« Reply #138 on: May 18, 2013, 05:24:44 AM »

Forgive me for questioning the network known for "fake but true" and the most transparent administration ever, but without evidence this isn't "Operation shiny object", I'll treat this story as the bull it most likely is.
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« Reply #139 on: May 19, 2013, 12:32:57 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/348677/10-pm-phone-call-andrew-c-mccarthy
Andrew C. McCarthy

‘What would you be focusing on in the Benghazi investigation?” I spent many years in the investigation biz, so it’s only natural that I’ve been asked that question a lot lately.

I had the good fortune to be trained in Rudy Giuliani’s U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan. Rudy famously made his mark by making law enforcement reflect what common sense knew: Enterprises take their cues from the top. Criminal enterprises are no different: The capos do not carry out the policy of the button-men — it’s the other way around.

So if I were investigating Benghazi, I’d be homing in on that 10 p.m. phone call. That’s the one between President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the one that’s gotten close to zero attention.

Benghazi is not a scandal because of Ambassador Susan Rice, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, and “talking points.” The scandal is about Rice and Nuland’s principals, and about what the talking points were intended to accomplish. Benghazi is about derelictions of duty by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton before and during the massacre of our ambassador and three other American officials, as well as Obama and Clinton’s fraud on the public afterward.

A good deal of media attention has quite appropriately been lavished on e-mail traffic between mid-level administration officials in the days leading up to Sunday, September 16. That is the day when Ms. Rice, a close Obama confidant, made her appalling appearances on the Sunday-morning political shows. Those performances were transparently designed to mislead the American people, during the presidential campaign stretch run, into believing that an anti-Islamic Internet video — rather than a coordinated terrorist attack orchestrated by al-Qaeda affiliates, coupled with the Obama administration’s gross failure to secure and defend American personnel in Benghazi — was responsible for the killings.

Fraud flows from the top down, not the mid-level up. Mid-level officials in the White House and the State Department do not call the shots — they carry out orders. They also were not running for reelection in 2012 or positioning themselves for a campaign in 2016. The people doing that were, respectively, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

Obama and Clinton had been the architects of American foreign policy. As Election Day 2012 loomed, each of them had a powerful motive to promote the impressions (a) that al-Qaeda had been decimated; (b) that the administration’s deft handling of the Arab Spring — by empowering Islamists — had been a boon for democracy, regional stability, and American national security; and (c) that our real security problem was “Islamophobia” and the “violent extremism” it allegedly causes — which was why Obama and Clinton had worked for years with Islamists, both overseas and at home, to promote international resolutions that would make it illegal to incite hostility to Islam, the First Amendment be damned.

All of that being the case, I am puzzled why so little attention has been paid to the Obama-Clinton phone call at 10 p.m. on the night of September 11.

Even in the conservative press, it has become received wisdom that President Obama was AWOL on the night of September 11, after first being informed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in the late afternoon, that the State Department facility in Benghazi was under attack. You hear it again and again: While Americans were under attack, the commander-in-chief checked out, leaving subordinates to deal with the crisis while he got his beauty sleep in preparation for a fundraising campaign trip to Vegas.

That is not true . . . and the truth, as we’ve come to expect with Obama, is almost surely worse. There is good reason to believe that while Americans were still fighting for their lives in Benghazi, while no military efforts were being made to rescue them, and while those desperately trying to rescue them were being told to stand down, the president was busy shaping the “blame the video” narrative to which his administration clung in the aftermath.

We have heard almost nothing about what Obama was doing that night. Back in February, though, CNS News did manage to pry one grudging disclosure out of White House mendacity mogul Jay Carney: “At about 10 p.m., the president called Secretary Clinton to get an update on the situation.”

Obviously, it is not a detail Carney was anxious to share. Indeed, it contradicted an earlier White House account that claimed the president had not spoken with Clinton or other top administration officials that night.

The earlier story better fit Obama’s modus operandi, which is to disappear in times of crisis. His brief legislative career was about voting “present” because he prefers to be absent when accountability knocks. The idea is to be the Obama of Evan Thomas lore: “standing above the country, above — above the world, he’s sort of God.” He reemerges only after the shooting stops and the smoke clears: gnosis personified, here to diagnose our failings. He is not a commander-in-chief for the battle but the armchair general of the post mortem.

In this instance, though, Carney’s hand was forced by then-secretary Clinton. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, she recounted first learning at about 4 p.m. on September 11 that the State Department facility in Benghazi was under attack. That was very shortly after the siege started. Over the hours that followed, Clinton stated, “we were in continuous meetings and conversations, both within the department, with our team in Tripoli, with the interagency and internationally.” It was in the course of this “constant ongoing discussion and sets of meetings” that Clinton then recalled: “I spoke with President Obama later in the evening to, you know, bring him up to date, to hear his perspective.”

Yes, the 10 p.m. phone call.
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ccp
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« Reply #140 on: May 19, 2013, 10:18:33 AM »

Will Congress need the Supreme Court to get communications from Hillary and Obama?  Didn't the Supremes weigh in on the Nixon tapes?

The only hope to pin this on Obama (all savvy people know he and his close advisors are responsible) is an email or getting someone to turn.

 The only other thought is public opinion turns and the media do their job.   I am not holding my breath.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #141 on: May 19, 2013, 01:45:26 PM »

"Didn't the Supremes weigh in on the Nixon tapes?"   - Yes
...
"The only other thought is public opinion turns and the media do their job."

 - That's right.  The media got dragged in with the AP scandal and the combination of the scandals begins to expose the emperor.  Ask his predecessor, you cannot enact a domestic agenda while approval ratings are approaching the 30s.  Same goes for helping with congressional campaigns in swing districts, no one wants a soiled-duck to come out on his or her behalf.

What really happened in the White House during the Benghazi attacks gets known by what they call in math, calculating the negative space.  We know what didn't happen and fill in the rest accordingly.  We know they knew our people were facing an organized terrorist attack from the beginning.  We know that they knew they had screwed up on providing prior security.  We know their answer right from the beginning was to wave the white flag.  We know they violated all rules of military decency by abandoning our people.  We know three of the dead violated direct orders by going there to help.  We know they were wrong to decide help couldn't get ther in time to do any good.  The stand down order was a BIG BIG BIG blunder and we know responsibility for that goes to the top, whether he was sitting there, turned it over to a top general or relied on the advice of a campaign adviser. 

We know they were wrong to house operations there at all.  We don't know what the operations were.  We know they were wrong and stupid to not beef up security for the anniversary of 9/11.  We know they didn't respond to prior requests from Benghazi and Libya for greater security.  We know they handled it wrong and knowingly lied to our faces after the fact.  What more do we need to know?  The rest of it, arms sales to Syria or whatever, is the drip, drip, drip, as Krauthammer put it, that keeps it in the news.

All we don't know is whether or not people care. 

The Pres. cannot blame decisions he made or should have made on a Secretary or anyone else and she can't blame much on him either; she is culpable too.  That joint appearance on 60 Minutes now looks like guilty co-defendants swearing to stand by each other until the bitter end.   We can hope that someone in the loop turns on them soon and spills out the real behind the scenes story.  What we really hope is that these same people are never trusted again.
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ccp
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« Reply #142 on: May 19, 2013, 09:25:06 PM »

Doug:

"All we don't know is whether or not people care"

Agreed.   

I vaguely remember Nixon times.   I  was 16 in '73 and not as interested in politics as with the girl in the hallway.   I recall thinking what was the fuss over Nixon.  It seemed like a political vendetta to "get" the Republican.  Later I look back and agree that behavior like Nixon's shouldn't be tolerated. 

The ironic thing now is the same liberals who went after Nixon then do everything possible to look the other way now it is *their guy" even more obviously commiting breach of power.   Agenda trumps honesty, integrity, and even the law.
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« Reply #143 on: May 20, 2013, 07:41:19 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/20/Hillary-s-Scapegoat-Speaks
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G M
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« Reply #144 on: May 21, 2013, 05:21:45 PM »

You should read the article, GM... though I am sure by now other outlets have the story (or at least CBS, where it broke).

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/05/21/wapo-three-pinocchios-for-wh-spin-on-benghazi-e-mails/

WaPo: Three Pinocchios for WH spin on Benghazi e-mails
posted at 9:21 am on May 21, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s no surprise to Hot Air readers that the spin from the Left and the White House on the Benghazi e-mails collapses on even cursory scrutiny.  The spin, which was that the GOP had “doctored” the e-mails through “misquotes” that unfairly blamed the State Department for trying to protect itself from criticism over a lack of preparation, got dismantled by Jazz over the weekend.  No one had claimed they were ”quotes” in the first place, and when reading through the e-mail chain released belatedly by the White House, it became clear that State was demanding wholesale changes to the CIA’s bullet points for self-preservation.

Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post fact-checker, weighed in on this spin after White House strategist Dan Pfeiffer used it in his full Ginsburg on Sunday, giving Pfeiffer and his bosses three Pinocchios for misleading attacks on the reporters and the Republican note-takers. In particular, Kessler slams them for claiming that the full e-mails exonerated State when in fact they do just the opposite — and implicate the White House in the attempt to manipulate the talking points for political advantage:

When the White House last week released all of its e-mails, it became clear that Rhodes was responding at the tail end of a series of e-mail exchanges that largely discussed the State Department concerns.

In other words, the summary would have been fairly close if the commas had been removed and replaced with brackets: “We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities [including those of the State Department] and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.” …

Moreover, the full disclosure of e-mails makes it clear that White House officials were concerned about the State Department’s objections.

Referring to then deputy national security adviser (and now White House chief of staff), White House press officer Tommy Vietor wrote at 6:21 p.m.:   “Denis [McDonough] would also like to make sure the highlighted portions are fully coordinated with the State Department in the event they get inquiries.”  (He’s referring to sections in the draft that mention Ansar al-Sharia and to prior terror warnings in Benghazi — both of which were removed in the final draft.)

There is also the comment at 9:14 p.m. by a CIA official: “The State Department had major reservations with much or most of the document. We revised the document with those concerns in mind.”
Kessler concludes:

[T]he reporters involved have indicated they were told by their sources that these were summaries, taken from notes of e-mails that could not be kept. The fact that slightly different versions of the e-mails were reported by different journalists suggests there were different note-takers as well.

Indeed, Republicans would have been foolish to seriously doctor e-mails that the White House at any moment could have released (and eventually did). Clearly, of course, Republicans would put their own spin on what the e-mails meant, as they did in the House report. Given that the e-mails were almost certain to leak once they were sent to Capitol Hill, it’s a wonder the White House did not proactively release them earlier.

The burden of proof lies with the accuser. Despite Pfeiffer’s claim of political skullduggery, we see little evidence that much was at play here besides imprecise wordsmithing or editing errors by journalists.
Will those media outlets that played along with the White House spin reconsider their post-release reporting?   It depends on how seriously they take fact-checking by the Washington Post.  So far, even the Washington Post hasn’t taken it seriously enough to correct its May 19th story on the IRS, despite using canards that Kessler himself had already give four Pinocchios.

And once again, let’s ask: How did we go from the FBI concluding AQ involvement in the Benghazi attack on page 57 of the e-mail string to having no mention of organized terrorism at all in the talking points?

Update: Jim Geraghty gets the Headline of the Day: Washington Post Forced to Begin Using its Strategic Pinocchio Reserve.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #145 on: May 21, 2013, 06:12:26 PM »

"  The spin, which was that the GOP had “doctored” the e-mails through “misquotes” that unfairly blamed the State Department for trying to protect itself from criticism over a lack of preparation, got dismantled by Jazz over the weekend."

Very glad to hear that.

As I understand it, the purpose of the talking points was to give all concerned (Congressmen, WH folks, etc) a clear sense of what could be said that would not compromise security and intel.  Thus, there is NO reason whatsoever for any modifications to what the CIA first wrote.

 
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« Reply #146 on: May 21, 2013, 07:34:28 PM »

Thanks for the post, GM.
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« Reply #147 on: May 22, 2013, 10:48:02 PM »

Eli Lake:    "While the State Department was responsible for elements of the security for the diplomatic mission at Benghazi, the mission itself was used primarily for intelligence activities and most the U.S. officials there and at the nearby annex were CIA officers who used State Department cover.  That purposeful ambiguity between diplomatic and intelligence efforts abroad has meant that at home, the State Department has taken almost all of the public blame for an error that was in part the fault of the CIA."

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/21/exclusive-cia-honored-benghazi-chief-in-secret-ceremony.html

Democrat Walter Russell Mead:  "[Benghazi] scandal still has legs."

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/05/22/benghazi-theres-more-to-come/

"This is a combustible situation. In the struggle to defend themselves, each of these dueling bureaucracies is likely to leak information that casts its rival in a poor light—and there are some signs that there may indeed be more shadows in need of illumination. More headlines about Benghazi are the last thing that Team Obama, as well as Team Hillary, want to see right now. But if Benghazi can’t be buried, these teams, too, will get in on the Blame Game.

And finally, as the top brass at State, CIA, Camp Clinton and the White House all try to wash their hands of the scandal, they will deal with the problem of underlings who refuse to be scapegoated. Furious at taking the fall for decisions made far above their pay grade, lower level officials will reach out to the press. Stories like this are like a fire in an ash tray; its flames may not reach all that high, but it can smolder for a long time and really stink up the room.

Don’t count Benghazi out of Scandal Season yet. So much went so wrong in so many ways, and the administration has tried so hard to keep a lid on the whole smoldering mess, that we suspect there are plenty more details waiting to emerge."
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bigdog
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« Reply #148 on: May 23, 2013, 06:34:19 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/benghazi-suspects-us-officials-identify-five-men-but-there-are-questions-on-possible-trials/2013/05/21/256b1f9a-c241-11e2-9642-a56177f1cdf7_story.html
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« Reply #149 on: May 23, 2013, 12:21:56 PM »

"Administration officials agreed to remove all reference to Ansar Al Sharia , , ,"

What Orwellian clap trap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The purpose of the talking points was to have a statement of what officials could say publicly.  There is NO reason that I understand for them to have been modified at all.  The fact of the interagency-State-WH? discussions shows that the WH and State were seeking to manipulate what the CIA had already said could be said.  Do I have this right? 

Therefore to say the "WH agreed to remove" reads to me as an out and out Orwellian deception.

Do I have this right?
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