Skip to comments.The Benghazi Scandal Grows (Long article)
Posted on 05/10/2013 6:01:13 AM PDT by Kaslin
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 CIAs 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 versionproduced with input from senior Obama administration policymakerswas a shadow of the original.
The original CIA talking points had been blunt: The assault on U.S. facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist attack conducted by a large group of Islamic extremists, including some with ties to al Qaeda.
These were strong claims. The CIA usually qualifies its assessments, providing policymakers a sense of whether the conclusions of its analysis are offered with high confidence, moderate confidence, or low confidence. That first draft signaled confidence, even certainty: We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.
There was good reason for this conviction. Within 24 hours of the attack, the U.S. government had intercepted communications between two al Qaeda-linked terrorists discussing the attacks in Benghazi. One of the jihadists, a member of Ansar al Sharia, reported to the other that he had participated in the assault on the U.S. diplomatic post. Solid evidence. And there was more. Later that same day, the CIA station chief in Libya had sent a memo back to Washington, reporting that eyewitnesses to the attack said the participants were known jihadists, with ties to al Qaeda.
Before circulating the talking points to administration policymakers in the early evening of Friday, September 14, CIA officials changed Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda to simply Islamic extremists. But elsewhere, they added new contextual references to radical Islamists. They noted that initial press reports pointed to Ansar al Sharia involvement and added a bullet point highlighting the fact that the agency had warned about another potential attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in the region. On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the [Cairo] Embassy and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy. All told, the draft of the CIA talking points that was sent to top Obama administration officials that Friday evening included more than a half-dozen references to the enemyal 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 CIAs 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 CIAs 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 administrations 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 administrations 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 CIAs 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 Councils Deputies Committee the following morning. The Deputies Committee consists of high-ranking officials at the agencies with responsibility for national securityincluding State, Defense, and the CIAas well as senior White House national security staffers.
I recall thinking that Petraeus was the one who would step up and tell the truth when this whole thing was happening.But unfortunately for us,he was having an affair and was totally compromised.And then exposed anyway.
From that article.
Fourth, there was indeed a “stand down” order preventing U.S. special forces from defending the Consulate, Hicks confirmed. Special forces at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were ordered to “stand down” by General Carter F. Ham, Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).
Lt. Col. Gibson was a commander assigned to the embassy in Tripoli from Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA). Gibson and the special forces team were “furious” at being ordered not to help the diplomats in Benghazi, Hicks testified. Hicks quoted Gibson as saying, “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than somebody in the military.”
Hicks had arranged from Libya’s government a C-130 aircraft owned by Libya to fly to Benghazi to evacuate the Consulate. Col. Gibson and Hicks agreed that the special forces team would fly on the C-130 to Benghazi to protect the diplomats being evacuated. But over the summer, authority over the special forces contingent in Libya had been transferred from the embassy to AFRICOM. Gen. Ham ordered the special forces team to stay in Tripoli.
These were highly-trained individuals with specialized skills who would have played crucial roles in Benghazi. They were also fresh troops to relieve the exhausted team in Benghazi after fighting all night.
WHAT THE ...????
Dear zer0 crowd, Americans are Learning ... America IS .. A Little Bit Stronger Today ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m8GSnIkxPM
We Are Americans ... If It Is Broke We Fix It!
Stop posting music video’s to threads - it just eats up bandwidth and storage.
As you wish. Made my point anyways! Bye.
We all know the how the MSM would respond if this happened under Bush.
The constrast is stark and clear.
The MSM will turn their back to any transgression by Dems regardless how depraved. While seizing on the slightest faux-pas from the right.
As I watch the media define an investigation into the muders of our Lybian Diplomats by terrorists as a purely politicol exercise, I am sick to my stomach and disgusted with these Jounalista traitors and cowards who cloak themselves in the false hood of objectivity.
We are surrounded and the greatest enemy of all is our fellow Americans who call themselves DEMOCRATS!
Call me cynical but this won’t go anywhere if the media is in defense mode and all Dems circle the wagons. In Watergate, there was media interest and a handful of Repubs who also wanted to get to the truth. Both of those factors missing here.
Bad faith and Benghazi
Jonah Goldberg Tribune Media Services
4:30 a.m. CDT, May 10, 2013
“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 was 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.”
Any ‘soldier’ who gets as high as Petraeus did is a politician more than he is a soldier.
It does seem as tho’ an awful lot of people are collecting paychecks for not doing their jobs. With the disclosure yesterday of the lack of coordination between the FBI and the Boston Police Department, a good house cleaning is in order in this administration.
You make it apparent that you have no clue how HTML LINKS work.
Posting a link to a video takes up no more 'bandwidth' or 'storage' than the comment you just made.
The money is in your account."
the abc online blog about the scrubbed talking points is so behind,,it is getting hit hard! People are responding,,thankfully!
Hey Don Corleone!!