CBS: “Office of the DNI” cut al-Qaeda and terrorism references from Benghazi talking points

posted at 11:01 am on November 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Meet James Clapper — the latest fall guy for the White House on Benghazi.  After last week’s hearings in Congress showed that the talking points from the CIA had been changed to eliminate the mention of terrorism, Washington erupted into a whodunit.  CBS reports today that the culprit has been found … sort of:

 

CBS News has learned that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack – with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. The White House or State Department did not make those changes. …

However, an intelligence source tells CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan the links to al Qaeda were deemed too “tenuous” to make public, because there was not strong confidence in the person providing the intelligence. CIA Director David Petraeus, however, told Congress he agreed to release the information — the reference to al Qaeda — in an early draft of the talking points, which were also distributed to select lawmakers.

“The intelligence community assessed from the very beginning that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” DNI spokesman Shawn Turner tells CBS News. That information was shared at a classified level — which Rice, as a member of President Obama’s cabinet, would have been privy to. …

The head of the DNI is James Clapper, an Obama appointee. He ultimately did review the points, before they were given to Ambassador Rice and members of the House intelligence committee on Sept. 14. They were compiled the day before.

Note that this report doesn’t pin the blame on Clapper himself.  It instead locates the change in Clapper’s “office,” allowing for a rather non-specific assignment that makes almost no sense at all.  Are we to believe that a Clapper aide overruled David Petraeus’ assessment of Benghazi?  If so, on what basis?

The report also states that the reason for the redaction was because the link to AQ was “too tenuous.”  However, the presence of mortars and RPGs, as well as coordinated fire and attack strategies in play, made it clear “almost immediately” to Petraeus and others in the CIA that this was much more than a spontaneous demonstration run amok.  That made the YouTube video explanation rather “tenuous” too, no?  And yet that stayed in the talking points while terrorism got excised.

This explanation seems even more tenuous than the previous stories coming from the White House.  If Petraeus knew “almost immediately” that this was an act of deliberate terrorism and included that in his talking points, then we need an explanation of who in the “office of the DNI” removed that explanation, and why — more than just the “too tenuous” excuse here that turned out to be totally wrong — and whether they got pressured to do so.

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Clapper is a U.S. cabinet-level official and reports directly to Obama.

IMHO there is no way an underling would have doctored the talking points.

IMHO there is no way Clapper would have done so without conferring with Obama and according to Obama’s directive.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

These guys (the Administration) are good. Really good.

Now the focus is on who edited the talking points. And, of course, the big “secret” now divulged was that it was all routine. Office of the DNI, signed off on by the CIA, by the FBI. Gee, no big deal.

SOP here. Set up a straw man, knock him down, end of story.

The problem is, like most of these patched together after-the-fact cover stories, they don’t hold much water if you keep pouring.

If this was so routine and no big deal, did no one in the Administration think to mention it in the midst of congressional hearings and daily news reports? It’s the big QUESTION on the minds of millions but they just forgot to tell us that it was all standard procedure and everybody was on board with the changes?

But, more importantly, what they are attempting, successfully so far, is to separate the “who scrubbed the talking points” question and the public statements made by the designated Administration spokesperson (Susan Rice). You can’t separate the two (well, you can if you’re trying to patch over the truth).

The intelligence data was scrubbed to delete any mention of the term “terrorist” or al-Qaeda. THEN, the Administration put out the story that the event in Benghazi WAS (nothing tenuous about it) a spontaneous reaction to an obscure video.

They took the story from CIA, changed it, and put something else in its place. Here’s part of the statement from Secretary Rice:

“…[W]hat our assessment is as of the present is, in fact, what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy… sparked by this hateful video.”

This is masterful. They restrict the question to: “Who ‘edited’ the talking points?” Note: Even use of the term ‘edited’ is purposeful; the talking points were scrubbed, more accurately.
Then they answer their own framed question: “Oh, it was the ‘office’ of the DNI and everybody agreed.”

They’re good. But, if we and those in a position to do something about it are diligent (and apply some common sense – go find a criminal trial attorney and they’ll rip this narrative up in five minutes), they will not succeed.

Final note: Susan Rice was sent from the White House. If you want to suggest that she was sent out to the world, as the White House’s spokesperson, without a script approved by Jarrett, Axelrod and, ultimately, the President, you’re smoking one too many this morning.

IndieDogg on November 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

hoo boy, you are a moron.

did you miss all of this?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:04 PM

The video nonsense has all been debunked. Try again, idiot.

JPeterman on November 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

“Office of the DNI” cut al-Qaeda and terrorism references from Benghazi talking points

That office needs to be punished severely. Burn the furniture and paint the walls. No inanimate object will get through this administration crackdown unscathed.

forest on November 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

People do not get punished for following the Boss’s orders.

Basilsbest on November 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

be nice.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Not to cowardly, lying trash such as you.

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Crapper (Clapper) is white! This is racist! When do we get a “Congressional White Caucus” to protect the whites in government from themselves, like the CBC protects the blacks from themselves.

savage24 on November 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

you made me do it.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

My nom is chosen with utter care. I’ll laugh at you when you starve, in the dark/cold. None deserve it more.

Plus, you, Tomasky and Nate are still the scum of the Earth. You have never produced anything worthwhile, nor given much. You exist just for Utopian idealistic fluff.

Plus, fool, all my comments are on the net, for eternity. I stand by all. If it makes you ‘superior’ by reposting them, go ahead.

Zero times something is still always zero.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, acting as a “friend, colleague, and fellow general officer,” on election night urged David Petraeus to resign after being notified by the FBI of the former CIA director’s extramarital affair, U.S. officials confirm.

This would make quite a novel of corruption and intrigue except that we’re living in it.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

The video nonsense has all been debunked. Try again, idiot.

JPeterman on November 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

show me where, ’cause you’re now just digging yourself deeper into bullshit.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

What was Amb. Stevens doing in Bengazi with almost no security and what did he and the Amb. from Turkey talk about just prior to the attack?

Who sent him, why, and why on 9/11 of all dates?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Gun running.

Buttercup on November 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

This would make quite a novel of corruption and intrigue except that we’re living in it.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

In the sick land, they bad characters will all write books, movies will be made, and the stupid people will pay for their lavish lives.

The land deserves utter demise.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Gun running.

Buttercup on November 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Just part of the story.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

i’d just like to make it clear to everyone that this person is not my idiot sockpuppet. it’s someone else’s.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

sesqu, you make idiots of the world indignant, and you always did.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Are we to believe that a Clapper aide overruled David Petraeus’ assessment of Benghazi? If so, on what basis?

On the basis that Islam is mostly secular I imagine. There is no intelligence of useful value at Clappers office or anywhere in the Muslim loving halls of gubmint.

BL@KBIRD on November 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

sesqu, you make idiots of the world indignant, and you always did.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

no comment.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

hoo boy, you are a moron.

did you miss all of this?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:04 PM

You sir, are the definition of useful idiot.

Night Owl on November 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Meet James Clapper — the latest fall guy for the White House on Benghazi. After last week’s hearings in Congress showed that the talking points from the CIA had been changed to eliminate the mention of terrorism, Washington erupted into a whodunit.

Clapper is not a fall guy. He is but the latest distraction. He won’t be fired. No one is fired for doing what the boss ordered. No one will be fired over the Benghazi cover-up. They are all doing what they are told.

And no one of any stature is prepared to say what’s obvious: Obama is a pathological liar.

Basilsbest on November 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

rice repeated the cia’s talking points prepared by intelligence officials. if you believe that the somehow rice’s interview was in any way consequential, feel free to blam the cia instead.

The CIA’s talking points read as follows:

“The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.

This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.

The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.”
sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

We might be getting somewhere with you now.
I am pretty sure that this is the talking point that was altered to downplay AQ influence in the attack. Once this was altered, it is difficult to attribute the infor or the point to CIA. GP said it was different than what he submitted.

Just as an aside, what was the “currently available information” spoken of here ? I have yet to hear what this intellegence is and where it came from.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

The most transparent administration EVUH.

locomotivebreath1901 on November 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM

where in that text do you see him blame the video for the benghazi attack? he does blame the video for sparking protests throughout the arab world, which, you know, did happen.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Obama announced during the 2nd debate that he called the Benghazi attack a terrorist attack since the day after it happened. Crowley backed him up (check the transcript).

I don’t understand why Susan Rice could not be given talking points that said it was a terrorist attack when the President, so obviously to the left, had already done so the day after the attack.

So did Obama initially blame terrorists or the video?

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM

We now have someong in Washington D.C. with the ability and courage to force the truth out of this cesspool of lies.

New Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

This was his job in Texas.

The Constitution and the rule of law his life mission.

Now if we can just get the RNC and the others in the Republican Party to allow him to peel this lie covered banana.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 1:16 PM

sesquipedalian

Are you an Obama Voter?

Galt2009 on November 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

“There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy…”
 
rogerb on November 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

 
where in that text do you see him blame the video for the benghazi attack? he does blame the video for sparking protests throughout the arab world, which, you know, did happen.
 
sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

 
And Benghazi is, you know, part of the arab world.
 
C’mon, sesquipedalian. You’re an intelligent person:
 

…an American named Chris Stevens…
as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world…
why we don’t just ban such a video…
There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy…

 
You’re either willing yourself not to read it or you’re playing some silly game of “Obama never said the phrase “the video was responsible for Benghazi attack” using those words in that exact order.”
 
I suspect the latter, frankly.

rogerb on November 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

switched over to msdnc….not one word about this…its all bash the gop for picking on poor susan rice….

crickets chirping through out more than likely

cmsinaz on November 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

As one can plainly see, the defenders of this administration, especially Benghazi, are paid by the stupid comments they post. They will not allow facts to get in the way of earning a living with their stupidity………fools and useful tools……

crosshugger on November 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Just as an aside, what was the “currently available information” spoken of here ? I have yet to hear what this intellegence is and where it came from.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

The “currently available” information allowed Obama to call it a terrorist attack from day 1…he told us so during the debate.

Obama’s “currently available information” allowed him to call it a “terrorist attack” the morning after it happened. As far as I know, all information uncovered since the attack has pointed further away from YouTube video meme. So why would information “currently available” 4 days after the attack point to an organic protest hijacked by extremists?

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Did Obama, aided by Crowley, lie about calling it a terrorist attack since the morning after Benghazi?

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

This would make quite a novel of corruption and intrigue except that we’re living in it.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

On Hannity last night, Bob Woodward said this doesn’t rise to the level of Watergate because there is no evidence of corruption. So,..there!

a capella on November 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM

I suspect the latter, frankly.

rogerb on November 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

no comment.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

obama was never going to say that it was al queda because he was using the death of osama as his foreign policy crown jewel…to admit that al queda was involved would water down his superior foreign policy…..he will face the music one day for his lies and deceipt…….

crosshugger on November 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I am pretty sure that this is the talking point that was altered to downplay AQ influence in the attack. Once this was altered, it is difficult to attribute the infor or the point to CIA. GP said it was different than what he submitted.

Just as an aside, what was the “currently available information” spoken of here ? I have yet to hear what this intellegence is and where it came from.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

if it’s “intelligence,” it most likely did not come from hotair commenters. burn.

in any case, these are indeed the altered talking points, as approved by the intelligence community. who altered them and why remain completely inconsequential and uninteresting questions.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

i’d just like to make it clear to everyone that this person is not my idiot sockpuppet. it’s someone else’s.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:11 P

I’d like to make it clear that you are a cowardly, lying, regime lickspittle; and that nothing you post has any connection to truth or reality.
And that you are someone’s sockpuppet.

I’ll bet you’re anxious to see what sort of bonus is left on your nightstand, aren’t you?

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 1:27 PM

in any case, these are indeed the altered talking points, as approved by the intelligence community. who altered them and why remain completely inconsequential and uninteresting questions.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Why would they need to be altered to remove references to terrorists after Obama called it terrorism in the Rose Garden?

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

You’re either willing yourself not to read it or you’re playing some silly game of “Obama never said the phrase “the video was responsible for Benghazi attack” using those words in that exact order.”

I suspect the latter, frankly.

rogerb on November 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

i’m afraid it’s you who’s refusing to read what you quote.

1. were there widespread protests in the muslim world denouncing the video? clearly, there were.
2. were these protests violent and directed at US embassies? yes they were.
3. at the UN, was obama focusing assigning blame for the benghazi attack, or was he instead trying to defuse an ongoing situation of increasing protests? but you know the answer already.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

This just my point.
All the info known to date indicates an AQ attack.
I have yet to hear or see ANY intellegence report the points to the video. NONE.
Yet initially, we were told that all intellegence indicates the video. Who gathered that info and how’d they reach that conclusion.
It seems to have been grabbed from thin air.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

sesquipedalian

That a play on an odd spelling of an unknown type of lizzard as in Charles Johnson and or his play thing Kilgore Trout of lgf’s slog.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Libtards are such dyed in the wool losers that even when they win they’re losers. The trolls on here are pathetic.

Buttercup on November 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

It seems to have been pulled out of B. Obama’s over size ass hole.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I don’t understand why Susan Rice could not be given talking points that said it was a terrorist attack when the President, so obviously to the left, had already done so the day after the attack.

So did Obama initially blame terrorists or the video?

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM

1. references to aq were dropped from the cia talking points, prepared and approved by the intelligence community, including cia chief dave petraeus.
2. obama said it was “an act of terror.” it’s different from specifically naming aq as the culprit. the first was obvious to everyone and never really disputed. the second was not supported sufficiently by evidence available at the time.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

On Hannity last night, Bob Woodward said this doesn’t rise to the level of Watergate because there is no evidence of corruption. So,..there!

a capella on November 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Four people dead. A President and his administration easily shown to be flagrantly lying. The CIA director resigning a few days after the election. Tap dancing blame from agency to agency every time one more coverup and lie falls apart.

Woodward and his ilk are not journalists. They are pod people.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Any thing, any one other than the King of libtards B.O..

Let them eat lies.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

This would make quite a novel of corruption and intrigue except that we’re living in it.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

You mean if a group of government officials decided to wait 4 or 5 days before officially linking an attack to a specific terrorist group that represents corruption?
And you’re certain there was no possible justification for it? Or are you suggesting that al Qaeda paid off the CIA to keep its role hidden?

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

1. were there widespread protests in the muslim world denouncing the video? clearly, there were.
 
2. were these protests violent and directed at US embassies? yes they were.

 
and then:
 

3. at the UN, was obama focusing assigning blame for the benghazi attack, or was he instead…
 
sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

 
You’ve begun arguing against yourself in the same post.
 
Like I said, I think you just enjoy the attention. Have fun.

rogerb on November 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

1. references to aq were dropped from the cia talking points, prepared and approved by the intelligence community, including cia chief dave petraeus.
2. obama said it was “an act of terror.” it’s different from specifically naming aq as the culprit. the first was obvious to everyone and never really disputed. the second was not supported sufficiently by evidence available at the time.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

So it was terrorism from the start and never the fault of a video?

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

All that has been answered.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:39 PM

2. obama said it was “an act of terror.” it’s different from specifically naming aq as the culprit. the first was obvious to everyone and never really disputed. the second was not supported sufficiently by evidence available at the time.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

(CBS News) WASHINGTON – CBS News has obtained the CIA talking points given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on Sept. 15 regarding the fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, four days earlier. CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan says the talking points, which were also given to members of the House intelligence committee, make no reference to terrorism being a likely factor in the assault, which left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Gun running.

Buttercup on November 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Just part of the story.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

While all of this “he said, she said” BS is going on to waste away time, yet again, what I would really like to know where is the supposed Execute Order to help out those in Benghazi. There is either an order to execute (and help) or an order to Stand down. WH insists Idiot in WH ordered to Help Out, so it should be easy for them to produce such an EO. In short order. And yet, months afterwards, we haven’t seen it. Anyone wants to bet it doesn’t exist?

Either one would be fine at this point, let’s just see which one shows up.

riddick on November 20, 2012 at 1:42 PM

You’ve begun arguing against yourself in the same post.

rogerb on November 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

i did not do that, but if you disagree with any of my conclusions above, feel free to state it and explain why.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Just as an aside, what was the “currently available information” spoken of here ? I have yet to hear what this intellegence is and where it came from.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

if it’s “intelligence,” it most likely did not come from hotair commenters. burn.

in any case, these are indeed the altered talking points, as approved by the intelligence community. who altered them and why remain completely inconsequential and uninteresting questions.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Actually, that was a serious question for you.
You are welcome if want to be snarky about it.
But please answer, where did the intellegence indicating that video caused the problem come from ? Who provided it ?
You are a HotAir commenter as well.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Woodward and his ilk are not journalists. They are pod people.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Woodward used to be a journalist (even if a leftist one).

With this statement, it’s obvious that he’s trying to protect his “legacy”…that ‘legacy’ being the exposure of the greatest example of political corruption evah! in the universe: a third-rate burglary that the president didn’t even know about and the subsequent cover-up, which he did.
That is a much bigger example of corruption than the murder of four Americans, the ensuing cover-up and attendant lies, the denial of resources to save those Americans – and the attendant lies, the existence of a “black’ detention site at the CIA annex…and the blatant attempt by the coward in the white house to encroach upon the Freedom of Speech by Americans (but not by 7th century savages)

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM

i see what you mean, but i don’t see a contradiction here. obama said it was an “act of terror,” which was justifiable considering that the ambassador and three others were killed in the attack. the cia, meanwhile, did mention “extremist elements” in its talking points.

i think you’re ignoring how difficult it was to immediately assess what had happened and who were involved. you’re also overstating the importance of what rice said on that tv show.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

All that has been answered.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I still don’t get it. Over the course of that week, there had been numerous attacks of varying magnitude and protests across the Middle East. The intelligence community was caught off guard and didn’t anticipate most of what occurred, nor did it immediately recognize every group involved. How a decision to try and further analyze data and answer any open questions before making public statements represents a major cover-up isn’t clear to me.

If evidence emerges that officials in fact never intended to release an accurate accounting of events, or if the White House had forced the hand of the CIA and FBI, then I’d find your arguments more persuasive. Until then, it’s hard to separate the current accusations from the “Clinton murders” and other conspiracy theories that periodically animate the right.

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Why did the State Dept. spend $70,000 in Pakistan to run ad’s denouncing the video?

it didn’t.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

2. Yes we did spend $70.000 on ad’s. Go read the link, liar.

JPeterman on November 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM

2. right, they actually did that. in a calmer moment, though, you’d see the validity of the reasoning behind running those ads at the time when the entire muslim world was in protest over the video.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Which is it?

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Starlink:

“Two Party Evil Money Cult”.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

You’ve begun arguing against yourself in the same post.
 
rogerb on November 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

 
i did not do that, but if you disagree with any of my conclusions above, feel free to state it and explain why.
 
sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:43 PM

 
Start here:
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2012/11/20/cbs-office-of-the-dni-cut-al-qaeda-and-terrorism-references-from-benghazi-talking-points/comment-page-3/#comment-6522229
 
Read to here:
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2012/11/20/cbs-office-of-the-dni-cut-al-qaeda-and-terrorism-references-from-benghazi-talking-points/comment-page-3/#comment-6522326
 
Repeat as needed.
 
Like I said, I think you’re playing some silly game of “Obama never said the phrase “the video was responsible for Benghazi attack” using those words in that exact order.” You even admitted as much with:
 

3. at the UN, was obama focusing assigning blame for the benghazi attack, or was he instead trying to defuse an ongoing situation of increasing protests?

 
You’re getting plenty of attention from other posters. Enjoy it.

rogerb on November 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

But please answer, where did the intellegence indicating that video caused the problem come from ? Who provided it ?

did you watch the news where people throughout the muslim world were protesting that video for weeks? you know, when they were attacking US embassies everywhere?

You are a HotAir commenter as well.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

at least i can spell.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

i think you’re ignoring how difficult it was to immediately assess what had happened and who were involved. you’re also overstating the importance of what rice said on that tv show.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Who is ignoring how difficult it is to assess what had happened? Is there a single piece of evidence that has been uncovered in 2 months that has backed up the spontaneous protest meme? I haven’t seen it. All information coming out from Benghazi since the investigation had begun, is that this was a pre-planned terrorist attack. Where is the evidence that this was ever spontaneous? There is none.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Which is it?

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

why, imbecile, is it not clear?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM

No, actually. It’s not clear. First you said we didn’t spend $70,000 to denounce the video, then you said we did.

Which is it?

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I see that liberals have succeeded in changing the focus of this tragedy from:

…. Who let the people in Benghazi die?

TO:

…. Who changed the Benghazi talking points?

Liberals are very good at this, they have by guile changed treason into a ‘talking points error.’

Axion on November 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

At this point this is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Four Americans were abandoned and left to die. This feckless administration neither helped them under fire, or is trying very hard to avenge them afterward.

Everything else is misdirection and inconsequential BS.

Wood Dragon on November 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Is there a single piece of evidence that has been uncovered in 2 months that has backed up the spontaneous protest meme? I haven’t seen it. All information coming out from Benghazi since the investigation had begun, is that this was a pre-planned terrorist attack. Where is the evidence that this was ever spontaneous? There is none.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:00 PM

you’re right! there is no evidence that there was any protest outside the benghazi consulate. in hindsight, the assessment, made a day after the attack, was erroneous.

at the same time, it is also the case that US embassies elsewhere were under attack by protesters clearly, undeniably and indisputably upset over the video.

it’s not a wild guess to assume (initially!) that simultaneous attacks against different US diplomatic facilities may have the same cause. also consider that there were conflicting early reports about what took place, with some suggesting that a demonstration preceded the attack.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Susan Rice 9/16/12 on “Face the Nation”:

SUSAN RICE: It’s two-fold. First of all, Bob, I think the American people expect in times of challenge overseas for our leaders to be unified and to come together and to be steadfast and steady and calm and responsible and that certainly what President Obama has been. With respect to what I think is a very empty and baseless charge of weakness, let’s be plain, I think American people know the record very well. President Obama said when he was running for President that he would refocus our efforts and attentions on al Qaeda. We’ve decimated al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden is gone. He also said we would end the war in Iraq responsibly. We’ve done that. He has protected civilians in Libya, and Qaddafi is gone. I serve up at the United Nations and I see every day the difference in how countries around the world view the United States. They view us as a partner. They view us as somebody they want to work with. They view President Obama as somebody they trust. Our standing in the world is much stronger so this charge of weakness is really quite baseless.

I wonder why they removed the reference to any sort of terrorism….

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

No, actually. It’s not clear. First you said we didn’t spend $70,000 to denounce the video, then you said we did.

Which is it?

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

you’re not used to people admitting that they were wrong, are you?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

did you watch the news where people throughout the muslim world were protesting that video for weeks? you know, when they were attacking US embassies everywhere?
Kindof like AQ claiming resposibility ?

You are a HotAir commenter as well.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM
at least i can spell.sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Sorry

<

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

you’re right! there is no evidence that there was any protest outside the benghazi consulate. in hindsight, the assessment, made a day after the attack, was erroneous.

at the same time, it is also the case that US embassies elsewhere were under attack by protesters clearly, undeniably and indisputably upset over the video.

it’s not a wild guess to assume (initially!) that simultaneous attacks against different US diplomatic facilities may have the same cause. also consider that there were conflicting early reports about what took place, with some suggesting that a demonstration preceded the attack.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

So it is ok to go on 5 Sunday talk shows and say it was spontaneous based on an “assumption”, but it is not ok to discuss that it was a terrorist attack even when there is intelligence to back it up?

Ok…..

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

You are a HotAir commenter as well.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

at least i can spell.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

And punctuation and capitalization is not yours, tool.

JPeterman on November 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Don’t put words in my comment that were never there or infer things that I never stated or implied.

Go back. Read. Consider the facts. Do that dispassionately and honestly and with logic. There is quite enough there out in the open.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

in hindsight, the assessment, made a day after the attack, was erroneous.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

But the day after the attack, President Obama stated clearly that it was terrorism.

Right?

(And if you’re willing to admit you were wrong about the $70,000 marketing campaign – I don’t know how you could have possibly missed it, but you seem to have missed it – why is it so unreasonable to think you could be wrong about the rest of it? After all, the data do not support your conclusions.)

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Just for the obtuse – most video protests in the idiotic Arab world took place after Obama/Hillary advertised it.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM

at least i can spell.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Punctuation needs some help, though.
Unless you think of yourself as a “little” i.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM

With this statement, it’s obvious that he’s trying to protect his “legacy”…that ‘legacy’ being the exposure of the greatest example of political corruption evah! in the universe: a third-rate burglary that the president didn’t even know about and the subsequent cover-up, which he did.

That is a much bigger example of corruption than the murder of four Americans, the ensuing cover-up and attendant lies, the denial of resources to save those Americans – and the attendant lies, the existence of a “black’ detention site at the CIA annex…and the blatant attempt by the coward in the white house to encroach upon the Freedom of Speech by Americans (but not by 7th century savages)

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

That’s an interesting idea that makes a great deal of sense. I hadn’t considered that Woodward might not like giving up his First Place Prize. Not just bias, but some arrogance and envy could easily account for his completely illogical statement.

INC on November 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM

But the day after the attack, President Obama stated clearly that it was terrorism.

Right?

an “act of terror,” right.

(And if you’re willing to admit you were wrong about the $70,000 marketing campaign – I don’t know how you could have possibly missed it, but you seem to have missed it – why is it so unreasonable to think you could be wrong about the rest of it? After all, the data do not support your conclusions.)

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

i didn’t miss it, i misunderstood. and yes, i could be, and have been, wrong about other things as well. this time, though, i think the facts back me up.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Someone the U.N. can trust.

Sorry to say,, if the U.N. trust someone, that person is a clear and present danger to the citizens of the U.S.A. same as is the case with the commie terrorist run U.N..

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

So it is ok to go on 5 Sunday talk shows and say it was spontaneous based on an “assumption”, but it is not ok to discuss that it was a terrorist attack even when there is intelligence to back it up?

Ok…..

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

rice communicated the cia’s talking points. those did not include a reference to any particular terrorist group, apparently due to lack of sufficient evidence and/or tactical considerations. that does not contradict the fact that attacking the consulate and killing the ambassador and three others was an act of terror.

again, why is this important?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Someone the U.N. can trust.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

The UN claims that leprosy is gone, the world over.

Well, they have not been to India, lately.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Just for the obtuse – most video protests in the idiotic Arab world took place after Obama/Hillary advertised it.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I seem to remember the Egyptian embassy tweeting out an apology prior to any demonstrations….Romney got creamed on this because his comments about the embassy’s tweet were assuming the apology for free speech came out after the sacking of the embassy in Egypt.

To me it is even worse that the Egyptian embassy apologized and still got sacked. Shows what appeasement does for you.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Would that I had the chance to pick someone for night point man into an islmaic terror hide out in the mountains of Afganistain.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

So then the assessment, made the day after the attack, was spot on, not erroneous as you suggested.

As to the facts backing you up, until you can provide the answer to the following questions, you’re a willing participant in a cover-up.

1) Why was Stevens in Benghazi?
2) Why was he denied the protection he specifically asked for?
3) Who issued the stand down order?
4) Why did the Administration watch the attack and do nothing?

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

i didn’t miss it, i misunderstood. and yes, i could be, and have been, wrong about other things as well. this time, though, i think the facts back me up.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

You sound like the Administration regarding Benghazi.

Jabberwock on November 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

again, why is this important?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Four dead American’s, you idiot.

JPeterman on November 20, 2012 at 2:25 PM

rice communicated the cia’s talking points. those did not include a reference to any particular terrorist group, apparently due to lack of sufficient evidence and/or tactical considerations. that does not contradict the fact that attacking the consulate and killing the ambassador and three others was an act of terror.

again, why is this important?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Her talking points had ZERO reference to terrorism at all. It is important because we were getting better information about the attack from government officials in Libya, while our own government was too busy playing CYA in the middle of a Presidential Election. The Libyan government was calling it a pre-planned terrorist attack the same day that Obama was in the Rose Garden, 4 days prior to Rice claiming it was a video and had no reference to terrorism at all. At the same time she was attacking Romney for calling Obama weak on foreign policy. She claimed “Al Qaeda” was decimated by Obama while claiming the attack was spontaneous protestors. Now the administration has admitted the truth, they don’t get a pass for lieing earlier. The White House politicized this event when they sent Susan Rice out on the Sunday Talk Shows with talking points that would portray the administration in a positive light. This was a purely political move, and now they must suffer the consequences.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Who gave the stand down order?

When was it given?

Who wrote it down?

Where is it kept?

Who saw the consulate getting attacked in real time?

What decisions were made during the attack?

What units, aircraft, ships and other military assets were on alert within a 2hr radius of response around this consulate? What units could have responded but were prevented from doing so?

Why was our ambassador’s body allowed to fall into the hands of terrorists?

Why were our SEALs not given assistance and died draped over a blood caked machine gun waiting for help that did not come?

What happened during the attack? What conditions were set before the attack that facilitated it?

What does “do whatever is necessary” mean within the context of a military order?

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM

As to the facts backing you up, until you can provide the answer to the following questions, you’re a willing participant in a cover-up.

to the dungeon with me!

1) Why was Stevens in Benghazi?

it was his decision. he shouldn’t have been there.

2) Why was he denied the protection he specifically asked for?

we need to find out.

3) Who issued the stand down order?

was there one? if so, would you accept an explanation that the mission was not feasible and its success could not be guaranteed?

4) Why did the Administration watch the attack and do nothing?

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

this is a slanderous accusation without any evidence.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

rice communicated the cia’s talking points.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

No. She communicated the talking points that came from Clapper’s office.
The CIA talking points stated specifically that the attack was a terrorist attack; and cited the groups who had claimed responsibility on Facebook.

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Would you agree that would be easier to do if this administration didn’t obfuscate and distract rather than answer the only part of this that is important? Who issued the Stand Down Order? Obama could answer that question today, right this minute, without any investigation at all. He won’t do it. What is he hiding?

Night Owl on November 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

No, I would not accept an explanation that a mission was scrubbed because uccess could not be guaranteed. If you had ever served, you would know that the success of a mission can never be guaranteed. You would also know that we never, never leave someone behind. It’s not a suggestion or a recommendation, it’s an ethos.

Why do you assume Stevens made the decision to go to Benghazi? Is it not possible he was instructed to go? Isn’t it more likely that he was instructed, especially in light of his constant requests for security in Benghazi?

Slanderous accusation? Please. You had no problem slandering Mitt Romney over his tax returns, and supporting others in that slander. Spare me your righteous indignation.

Appearances matter in politics. It now appears that terrorists can assassinate a US Ambassador without suffering any consequences. It also appears that this Administration is willing to let Americans die rather than risk any political fallout.

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Her talking points had ZERO reference to terrorism at all. It is important because we were getting better information about the attack from government officials in Libya, while our own government was too busy playing CYA in the middle of a Presidential Election.

following the cia script, she referred to extremists. that’s pretty close. what matters is that she didn’t conclusively say what had caused the attack and who had carried it out.

At the same time she was attacking Romney for calling Obama weak on foreign policy. She claimed “Al Qaeda” was decimated by Obama while claiming the attack was spontaneous protestors. Now the administration has admitted the truth, they don’t get a pass for lieing earlier. The White House politicized this event when they sent Susan Rice out on the Sunday Talk Shows with talking points that would portray the administration in a positive light. This was a purely political move, and now they must suffer the consequences.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

this is pure speculation.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Hillary Clinton late in the evening on 9/11/12:

I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack. This evening, I called Libyan President Magariaf to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind. In light of the events of today, the United States government is working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions, and American citizens worldwide.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:37 PM

again, why is this important?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Four dead American’s, you idiot.

JPeterman on November 20, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Sesqui finds that bo-o-o-ring.

And any concern for the four is fake..and s/he/it is insulted.

But then, sesqui is a leftist coward.

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

completely inconsequential

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

That’s you all over.

you’re living in fantasy land.

sesquipedalian on April 26, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

No. She communicated the talking points that came from Clapper’s office.
The CIA talking points stated specifically that the attack was a terrorist attack; and cited the groups who had claimed responsibility on Facebook.

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

clapper is director of national intelligence, the cia boss’s boss.

they were right to drop information based on unverifiable claims made on facebook by a group using aq-s name.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

they were right to drop information based on unverifiable claims made on facebook by a group using aq-s name.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Wouldn’t they then be right to drop information that it was because of a protest to a video when they had ZERO evidence in Benghazi to make such a claim?

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:37 PM

well, it doesn’t sound like she’s on board with that explanation, does it?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

they were right to drop information based on unverifiable claims made on facebook by a group using aq-s name.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

There isn’t even as much as a facebook post claiming they were protesting a video outside of the consulate in Benghazi. In your world, No evidence > some evidence.

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

3) Who issued the stand down order?

was there one? if so, would you accept an explanation that the mission was not feasible and its success could not be guaranteed?

4) Why did the Administration watch the attack and do nothing?

Washington Nearsider on November 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

this is a slanderous accusation without any evidence.

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

3)AFRICOM CIF had already been on missions with very little intel and no known guarantee of success. They had, in fact, gone on a mission where the only intel they had was a hand-drawn map of their target area.

4)YOUR pResident is a coward who couldn’t make a decision to save American lives. He watched them die on television…and then went to bed.
So that he’d be well-rested for Vegas, baby! Vegas!

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

well, it doesn’t sound like she’s on board with that explanation, does it?

sesquipedalian on November 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

That’s the problem…Why wasn’t our SoS on board with the “best available intelligence at thet time”?

weaselyone on November 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

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