Did You Know...


White House: We didn't edit al-Qaeda references from talking points given to Susan Rice

By Doug Powers  •  November 18, 2012 11:57 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

On Friday David Petraeus testified that talking points the CIA issued in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attack were subsequently edited by someone to exclude references to al-Qaeda involvement. Four days after the attack, Susan Rice was sent out with talking points that made no reference to a planned terrorist attack and that “the currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo.” In other words, “the video” provided the spark that culminated in the murder of four Americans.

So, who took the CIA talking points Petraeus testified about and edited out al-Qaeda references for the version Susan Rice offered on the Sunday shows four days after the attack? Not us, says the White House:

The White House yesterday denied it edited talking points about the terrorist attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya — contradicting remarks made a day earlier by disgraced ex-CIA chief David Petraeus.

“The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word ‘consulate’ to the word ‘diplomatic facility,’ since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters aboard Air Force One.

“Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community. So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made.”

Possibilities include: 1) The White House is lying; 2: Petraeus is lying; 3) The CIA gave the talking points to an intermediary who made the edits before giving them to the White House; 4) The White House simply came up with their own talking points; or 5) a “combo platter” mix n’ match of any of the above.

Some would like to know which it is, but just out of curiosity — not because they suspect anything fishy:

The Senate Intelligence Committee chairman says Congress has ordered the Obama administration to explain who exactly created its “talking points” on the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, and who omitted the CIA’s early conclusion that terrorists were involved.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she doesn’t believe the White House tried to cover up the terrorism link for political reasons. But she says she isn’t sure why the attack was described as it was.

“Political reasons” being the most obvious explanation must be why Feinstein already seems to have eliminated it as a possibility. Occam’s Razor takes another holiday.

For others, explaining why a U.S. ambassador and three others were killed and why Americans were initially lied to about the reason boils down to two words: “We won.”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe