Skip to comments.Benghazi Emails Directly Contradict White House Claims
Posted on 05/16/2013 7:04:15 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
Benghazi Emails Directly Contradict White House Claims Stephen F. Hayes May 16, 2013 12:09 AM
The White House on Wednesday released 94 pages of emails between top administration and intelligence officials who helped shape the talking points about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that the CIA would provide to policymakers in both the legislative and executive branches.
The documents, first reported by THE WEEKLY STANDARD in articles here and here, directly contradict claims by White House press secretary Jay Carney and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the revisions of those talking points were driven by the intelligence community and show heavy input from top Obama administration officials, particularly those at the State Department.
The emails provide further detail about the rewriting of the talking points during a 24-hour period from midday September 14 to midday September 15. As THE WEEKLY STANDARD previously reported, a briefing from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence shows that the big changes came in three waves internally at the CIA, after email feedback from top administration officials, and during or after a meeting of high-ranking intelligence and national security officials the following morning.
The initial CIA changes softened some of the language about the participants in the Benghazi assault from Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda to Islamic extremists. But CIA officials also added bullet points about the possible participation of Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group, and previous warnings about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi. Those additions came out after the talking points were sent to the interagency, where the CIAs final draft was further stripped down to little more than boilerplate. The half dozen references to terrorists both in Benghazi and more generally all but disappeared. Gone were references to al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, jihadists, Islamic extremists, etc. The only remaining mention was a note that extremists had participated in the attack.
As striking as what appears in the email traffic is what does not. There is no mention of the YouTube video that would become a central part of the administrations explanation of the attacks to the American people until a brief mention in the subject line of emails coming out of an important meeting where further revisions were made.
Carney, in particular, is likely to face tough questioning about the contents of the emails because he made claims to reporters that were untrue. 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 of these two institutions were changing the word consulate to diplomatic facility, because the word consulate was inaccurate, he told reporters on November 28, 2012.
Thats not true. An email sent at 9:15 PM on September 14, from an official in the CIAs Office of Public Affairs to others at the agency, described the process this way. The State Department had major reservations with much or most of the document. We revised the document with their concerns in mind.
That directly contradicts what Carney said. Its also difficult to reconcile with claims made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during testimony she gave January 23 on Capitol Hill.
It was an intelligence product, she said, adding later that the intelligence community was the principal decider about what went into talking points. (See here for the original version of the talking points and the final one.)
Carney and other top Obama administration officials have long maintained that CIA officials revised the talking points with minimal input from Obama administration officials. The claim made little sense when they made it why would CIA officials revise on their own a set of talking points theyd already finalized? The emails demonstrate clearly that it isnt true.
Another CIA email, this one a draft of a message for CIA director David Petraeus, noted that the talking points process had run into major problems, in part because of the major concerns raised by the State Department. That same email reported that the issues would be revisited at the Deputies Committee meeting on Saturday morning.
Elsewhere, CIA officials seemed to understand that the document had been stripped of most of its content. An email from an official with the CIAs Office of Terrorism Analysis, the office that drafted the original version of the talking points, signed off on the final version but seemed to understand that the new version wouldnt please those who had requested it. They are fine with me, this CIA official wrote. But, pretty sure HPSCI [the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] wont like them. :-)
When Petraeus received the rewritten talking points, he objected. Frankly, Id just as soon not use this, he wrote to a legislative affairs staffer. But he declined to put up a fight.
The documents answer some questions and raise many others. Did Hillary Clinton have any role in the efforts of State Department staffers to push for the many substantive revisions to the talking points? Clinton, who testified that she was a hands-on part of the State Departments response to the attacks, has claimed she had nothing to do with the talking points.
And what about the administrations claims that State and White House officials werent involved with substantive edits? In one email, Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton, reports to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that hes spoken with Obamas top spokesman at the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor. I spoke with Tommy. Well work through this in the morning and get comments back.
In a separate email, he writes: Talked to Tommy. We can make edits.
Petraeus = patsy
We need to know whose name was redacted from Nuland’s email.
Makes one wonder if they released the details of his affair because he wouldn’t play ball.
I think we've got a few new names, at least. Nothing is ever going to go directly to Obama, who has worked mightily to keep his fingerprints off this, by everything from supposedly going to bed the night of the attacks (and then leaving early the next day for a flight to Vegas) to his usual stuffing of the process with ranks of expendable, low-level intermediaries.
..same time line
Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain.
Who cares what they F’ing said! What matters is what was going on in Benghazi in the first place, and why they hung four men out to dry when they could have responded forcefully and saved most, if not all of them. That right there is the heart of the matter.
Special Counsel for Valerie Plame b.s., but not for this? Anyone think Holder is still qualified?
Well.....Obama has thrown Hillary Clinton under the bus!!! It’s as plain as the nose on your face!!! And......if you think Obama was angry last night about the IRS incidents last night.....you are smoking funny stuff or drinking too much Obama Koll-Aid!!! He no more wanted to be in front of the mike, then I wanted to be eating swiss cheese on the moon!!!
Can you imagine he fires his IRS guy who is slated to leave in a couple of weeks anyway!!! What a load of BS. If any American believes any word uttered by Obama is true, they should be awarded buffoon status!!! As for Petraeus, he sure turned out to be a dud!!! Obama destroys him and all he does is remain quiet, while these American haters, Obama and his cohorts continue unabated, to destroy this wonderfull country. General, may God have mercy on you, because....I sure don’t!!!
Stephen Haynes has done good work on this. You should have put his name in as the author.
As of 10:24 WH site not showing a daily press briefing for today. Obama presser at noon with PM of Turkey
Grammar Nazi: "I'd just assume not use this."
That aside, I feel for Petraeus. As an engineer, I've had to compose some hard-hitting investigative documentation on failures in implementations only to have them completely walked back and "politicized" so as to not offend someone (i.e. the previous engineers). The "finalized" document is so devoid of any substance as to be completely worthless and a waste of my time having written the original.
But Hell, at least they pay me.
They’re in firefighting mode today. Sounds to me like they’ve got some pretty wicked conflagrations going on around them.
I’m expecting resignation announcements from Carney and some others very soon.
“What matters is what was going on in Benghazi in the first place, and why they hung four men out to dry when they could have responded forcefully and saved most, if not all of them.”
What they said goes to the heart if the matter. It shows they immediately went into CYA mode. They were gutless cowards that were more concerned about their reelection prospects than the people that were dying as they pondered how it would affect the election.
everybody, including everybody here, acts as though the existence of “talking points” is legitimate.
“Talking points” are LIES, OBFUSCATIONS AND TREASON. It is a scripted version of what some pols want the truth to be as opposed to the truth.
DON’T ACT LIKE THIS “TALKING POINTS” MERDE IS A LEGITIMATE METHOD OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Sorry to have to miss it. I’ll be doing oxygen then.