So, who changed the Benghazi talking points?

posted at 12:41 pm on May 10, 2013 by Allahpundit

Stephen Hayes follows up on ABC’s scoop this morning by introducing some names. We already knew that State Department mouthpiece Victoria Nuland was unhappy with the passage in the talking points emphasizing that the CIA had warned the administration before about jihadi activity in and around Benghazi. But Nuland, per ABC’s update, wasn’t even in the meeting where the talking points were eventually changed. Who was? Hayes claims he knows.

Coming soon to a congressional subpoena near you:

[O]ne 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…

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…

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 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.

Petraeus was, according to Hayes, shocked to see references to “al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, jihadists, Islamic extremists” etc. mysteriously gone from the rewritten talking points. Which we already knew, kinda sorta, based on what Peter King revealed about Petraeus’s closed-doors testimony to the House Intelligence Committee last November. At the same hearing, though, DNI James Clapper and acting CIA director Mike Morell — who, per Hayes, agreed to work with Sullivan and Rhodes to rewrite the talking points — told the House that they … didn’t know how the talking points got changed. Really? Morell couldn’t figure it out, huh? A senior administration official also told Hayes that Sullivan was blameless, but I think Sullivan will end up having to tell Issa’s committee that himself. If he was deputy chief of staff at State, that means he worked directly under longtime Clinton apparatchik Cheryl Mills, who, allegedly told Greg Hicks not to talk to GOP congressmen about Benghazi unless a State lawyer/minder/chaperone was present. Let’s hear from him, and let’s hear from Rhodes too. I’m eager to know why a top Obama advisor was eager to tweak the CIA’s version of talking points to remove terrorism references two months out from an election.

Via the Standard, here’s NBC reporter Lisa Myers noting that various Democrats spent the day yesterday calling her to challenge Hicks’s testimony, specifically his claim that he was demoted. Another Democrat, Elijah Cummings, told MSNBC that Hicks somehow “changed his story” about whether Cheryl Mills had pressured him. Should be easy for the media to get to the bottom of this and find out who’s lying. How about it?

Update: Good catch by Ron Fournier:

Throw Hillary under the bus? In a statement to ABC, Carney notably insulates the West Wing and not the State Department by saying “the only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and nonsubstantive.”

Your thoughts, Mr. Sullivan?


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Hillary is toast in 2016…

The new Progressive standard bearer in 2016?

Michelle Obama.

Don’t laugh…too much.

Apparently, there are thousands of high-level professional women [no, not that kind...] who are already making noise, talking up Michelle…as one of their own, so to speak…from the DC suburbs out to the Left Coast. [Unfortunately, I am related to one of them.]

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

#benghazi is #1 trending tag on twitter right now.

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:06 PM

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I can see her cankles under the bus. Lining up pocahontas to take the top spot for 2016, but I think it will go to darkhorse Kirsten Gildebrand.

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

What’s with these New York progressives thinking they can be presidential material???

And…Gillibrand a dark horse?

Thought Mooch had that covered.

:-)

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I posted this morning in the other thread that the fact that ABC was reviewing the emails etc was Zero throwing Hillary under da bus.

Carney is just confirming it. The WH wants Hillary to go down for it.

In any case her 2016 ambitions are out the window.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

So, who changed the Benghazi talking points?

“Him, her, not me, we’re looking into that.”

arnold ziffel on May 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Fox Report: “Several More” Benghazi Whistleblowers May Come Forward Including CIA Officials…

Resist We Much on May 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

WH just lost containment.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Resist We Much on May 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Die Messer werden geschärft.

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Apparently, there are thousands of high-level professional women [no, not that kind...] who are already making noise, talking up Michelle…as one of their own, so to speak…from the DC suburbs out to the Left Coast. [Unfortunately, I am related to one of them.]

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Has Moochelle every actually had a J o b? a real one, I mean.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Obama and Hillary!
Together they have blood on their hands.
Talking points could not have gone out over the air via Susan Rice, who was representing the White House on all the Sunday shows, without Obama giving the thumbs up.
She lied knowingly with WH approval. Where was the SOB POTUS for seven hours? Why was he not reachable? He alone could have given the order to stand down and not try to save the people on the ground in Benghazi and he chose Al Qaeda over Americans.

Hillary is no better. She allowed the lies to go forward. This was 9-11 and there were no precautions taken to protect our “outposts” in and around this hell hole part of the world? Both Obama and Hillary were missing in action and both are liars!
After the fact their spokes people say,” we could not have gotten help there before the second attack”.

They didn’t know there was going to be a second attack or how long the attacks would go on!

One Navy Seal lost his lost targeting with lazier, targets he thought would be taken care of by the help he thought was on the way.

The point is, THEY DID NOT EVEN TRY!!!
TOGETHER, THEY ARE TO BLAME FROM POINT A TO Z
Together they and all those who took part in this should be behind bars!

They make me sick right along with the so called media!
May they all rot! If rotting any further is possible?

Delsa on May 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Totally missed that pun! I think Kirsten is the blank slate at this point and Chucky Schumer is starting to position her for the big leap.

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Has Moochelle every actually had a J o b? a real one, I mean.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

[That was a rhetorical thing, right?] ;-)

Has Barry ever had a job? A real one, I mean.

C’mon…dogsoldier…once a long long time ago it actually made a difference…but today? It is all about feelings and grandiose plans…and unicorns and skittles…

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Has Moochelle every actually had a J o b? a real one, I mean.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

She was a Lawyer, but voluntarily gave up her license in lieu of insurance fraud charges.

oldroy on May 10, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Hillary is toast in 2016…

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Yeah, the “what diff” video, the way she said it and the truth has made this her Dean Scream (with a body count).

BoxHead1 on May 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Not covered much

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Has Moochelle every actually had a J o b? a real one, I mean.
dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Remeber her job at the chicago hospital to outsource poor patients to other hospitals? You know the one. it was a $100k a year but magically increased to $300k a year when barry became a senator.

Ya that one. And she never was replaced. Go figure.

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Has Moochelle every actually had a J o b? a real one, I mean.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Yes. She was a consultant at a hospital in Chicago, for around $370,000/yr. Her only claim to ‘fame’ is a process she wrote on how to illegally dump patients.

This is illegal in the US!!!

The media covered it up, completely.

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

In a different time…they’d have been held in higher regard.

Our Nation’s best….

Disgusting.

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Ok, can we all be in agreement now, at long last, that Democrats must *NEVER* be allowed to hold power in this country – EVER. AGAIN. ??

Midas on May 10, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Ya! What Schad said!

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Geraldo Rivera: My Sources Tell Me Benghazi Was About Running Missiles To Syria Rebels

Conservative4ev on May 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/07/Republican-group-Facebook-immigration-bill

On Tuesday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s political action group, FWD.us, launched a new ad backing the immigration bill pushed by the so-called Senate “Gang of 8.” FWD.us is utilizing an offshoot to push the ad – an offshoot disarmingly titled Americans for a Conservative Direction. Politico reports that Americans for a Conservative Direction will drop over $1 million to push the ad in states including Texas, Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky.

Zuckerberg’s group includes Republicans known to be soft on border control, like former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (who also has chaired the Republican National Committee); Sally Bradshaw, chief of staff to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Joel Kaplan, Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush; and Rob Jesmer, former Executive Director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 2008-2012.

The ad itself is a paean to the immigration bill, and contains the falsehood that the bill establishes border security first. It leads off with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) talking about how America has “de facto amnesty,” then follows with a quote from McClatchy news service: “TOUGHEST IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT MEASURES IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.” Then quote from the Washington Post: “BORDER SECURITY ON STEROIDS … TOUGH BORDER TRIGGERS.” From CNN: “TOUGH LINE ON IMMIGRATION.” The ad is almost identical to an ad currently running from the American Action Network, run by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Congressional Budget Office director.

Except that the bill does not achieve a tough line on immigration. Its measures of border security remain unclear. But legal status for those living in the United States illegally become immediate.

PappyD61 on May 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Hillary is toast in 2016…

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I would agree she would be toast in a SANE political environment. But today, don’t underestimate the power of the MSM and their ability to influence the low-info voter.

TarheelBen on May 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Hillary is toast in 2016…

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Yeah, the “what diff” video, the way she said it and the truth has made this her Dean Scream (with a body count).

BoxHead1 on May 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

We’ll see. These Dems are like the villain in a horror movie – just when you *think* they’re toast and start to feel at ease…

Midas on May 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Geraldo Rivera: My Sources Tell Me Benghazi Was About Running Missiles To Syria Rebels

Conservative4ev on May 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Gosh. Whoodathunkit?

oldroy on May 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/07/Republican-group-Facebook-immigration-bill

On Tuesday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s political action group, FWD.us, launched a new ad backing the immigration bill pushed by the so-called Senate “Gang of 8.” FWD.us is utilizing an offshoot to push the ad – an offshoot disarmingly titled Americans for a Conservative Direction.

PappyD61 on May 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM

I’ve heard their radio commercial several times already.

It. is. BULLSH1T. It pushes hard how strong the bill is on enforcement, won’t give freebies to anyone, is so very very conservative, etc. Utter propaganda and rubbish.

Midas on May 10, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Ok, can we all be in agreement now, at long last, that Democrats must *NEVER* be allowed to hold power in this country – EVER. AGAIN. ??

Midas on May 10, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Their really good at running big cities, though. You know, like Detroit. Give them enough budget and they can bankrupt any city or state.

oldroy on May 10, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Running missile and other weapons, through Turkey, via Al-Qaeda, to Syria…essentially arming Al-Qaeda. And the Turks wanted nothing to do with it once they found out who the weapons were actually going to.

The Administration tasking Stevens to try to retrieve weapons given to Al-Qaeda before they were shipped of to Syria, or Mali, or Algeria, or Egypt…was not a smart idea, either.

And…using a US diplomatic facility as a prison and interrogation center while flights to other places (rendition) were arranged through Benghazi airport…a very short distance away. [A total violation of established diplomatic conventions, and a valid reason why the host government could order the total closure of all American diplomatic facilities in Libya...and the removal of all US personnel.]

The easy way out was to hope that everything, all evidence…was destroyed on the ground.

Why haven’t any of the Benghazi wounded be allowed to speak out?

Keep hammering…dammit…keep hammering.

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM

I posted this morning in the other thread that the fact that ABC was reviewing the emails etc was Zero throwing Hillary under da bus.

Carney is just confirming it. The WH wants Hillary to go down for it.

In any case her 2016 ambitions are out the window.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

I suspect you are right.

I’m hoping Hillary will not go down without deliberately damaging herself. She doesn’t strike me as one to take the fall alone on this. Not after Dear Leader ruined her chances in 2008 and after her hubby helped get him re-elected in 2012. If O ruins her chances in 2016 to protect himself there will be hell to pay.

farsighted on May 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Mike Morell, deputy director of the CIA, agreed to work with Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to edit the talking points.

Rhodes told reporters at a press gaggle on November 17, with Carney there:

Q A Benghazi question. General Petraeus yesterday apparently testified that he knew from the outset that there were terrorist elements involved in the attack on the consulate, included it in a draft report, and then it was — the specifics of who those participants may have been were removed. Do you know where — when they were removed, by whom, and why?

MR. RHODES: On the question of the initial intelligence assessments and the way in which they evolved in the first days and weeks after the attack, again, we in the White House are guided by the information that we receive from the intelligence community, from the CIA and other intelligence agencies. It’s only natural that in the first days after an attack, they’re going to sort through different pieces of intelligence, they’re going to gain a better understanding of what happened, and they’re going to continually update their assessment. Now, in terms of — I think the focus of this has often been on the public statements that were made by Susan Rice and other administration officials in that first week after the attack. Those were informed by unclassified talking points that we — that were provided to the Congress and to the interagency — the rest of the administration by the intelligence community. So that’s what informed our public statements. Now, if there were adjustments made to them within the intelligence community, that’s common, and that’s something they would have done themselves within the intelligence community. What we also said yesterday, though — because this question came up as to whether the White House had edited Susan Rice’s points and the points that were provided to Congress and the administration — the only edit that was made to those points by the White House, and was also made by the State Department, was to change the word “consulate” to “diplomatic facility” since the facility in Benghazi had not — was not formally a consulate. Other than that, we worked off of the points that were provided by the intelligence community. So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made within the intelligence community.

All that comes out of this administration is lies! And now we have the emails to prove it.

Patriot Vet on May 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM

The dude in the Benghazi picture on this post on the home page. Is he giving up-twinkles? Is that kind of thing allowed in Islam? Looks kind of feminine.

oldroy on May 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I’m hoping Hillary will not go down without deliberately damaging Comrade O herself.

farsighted on May 10, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Why haven’t any of the Benghazi wounded be allowed to speak out?

Keep hammering…dammit…keep hammering.

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Who are they and where is each one of them? And what were their jobs in Benghazi?

oldroy on May 10, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Patriot Vet on May 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Perhaps, Obama will find out, first hand, what many many of us learned in uniform, as officers, as NCO’s….you Can Delegate Authority But Not Responsibility.

Ben Rhodes authored the changes…I’ll wager on that.

And, Ben works directly for whom?

Is the chief National Security Advisor to whom?

Who in the chain of command ordered the “stand down?”

And, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces?

All Rhodes roads lead to Obama.

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Why haven’t any of the Benghazi wounded be allowed to speak out?

Keep hammering…dammit…keep hammering.

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Name a single event in recent history where the MSM hasn’t been ALL OVER THE SURVIVORS.

As I type, the alphabets are competing with Oprah over who will get the ‘first, exclusive interview’ with Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.

Resist We Much on May 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

I’d still like to know who specifically gave the stand down order and what Ambassador Stevens was doing in Benghazi on that particular day.

RobertE on May 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

And, Ben Rhodes’ brother is who?

David Rhodes, the President of CBS News – the same network that is worried that Sharyl Atkinsson’s reporting is ‘dangerously close to advocacy.’

Resist We Much on May 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

MSNBC is the all Benghazi network today! Someone sent out a memo.

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

C’mon…dogsoldier…once a long long time ago it actually made a difference…but today? It is all about feelings and grandiose plans…and unicorns and skittles…

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:19 P

true, true true.

Yes, I did know about the fake hospital job, the question was rhetorical.

Hillary just help Secretary of State with Zero credentials.

It’s pretty sad really that people who have never done a damn thing except be a celebrity get to hold office and make decisions that get people killed.

That’s what incompetence and stupidity will get you.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

MSNBC is the all Benghazi network today! Someone sent out a memo.

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

They must be working overtime to discredit the witnesses or something. Do tell.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Anybody see this? Apparently, prior to the normal press briefing, the White House held an off-the-record briefing about Benghazi with selected members of the press corps. Sounds like to me they’re trying to circle the wagons.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/10/White-House-Benghazi-off-the-record

TarheelBen on May 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

TarheelBen on May 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Gonna need bigger wagons…lots of them.

coldwarrior on May 10, 2013 at 2:51 PM

MSNBC is the all Benghazi network today! Someone sent out a memo.
can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM
They must be working overtime to discredit the witnesses or something. Do tell.
dogsoldier on May 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Morning Joe had a 15 minute segment. None were impressed and agreed it was a big f’ing deal.

Now with Alex Wagner had a panel, same sentiment and even mentioning possible impeachment proceedings.

Show on now just did a ten minute segment echoing Morning Joe.

Maybe they are leaving the discrediting to the evening big guns.

can_con on May 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

I trust Carney as much as I trust Obama to tell the truth.

sadatoni on May 10, 2013 at 3:58 PM

I’ll say it unflinchingly — David Petraeus (and EVERY OTHER government employee) betrayed his country when he stayed silent when he knew the President was LYING to America to ensure his own re-election. THAT was a BFD!!

Maybe the left had it right – Betraeus.

To summarize: Watergate versus BenghaziGate

deaths — zero versus FOUR

elections/resignations affected — resignation versus elected

impeachmenbt proceedings – resigned under threat versus skating free (so far)

Hillary, et al, in 1974: “What did the President know and when did he know it?”

Hillary in 2013: “WTF does it matter now, anyway?”

fred5678 on May 10, 2013 at 4:38 PM

But Obama mentioned terrorism the whole time. Candy Crowely.

pat on May 10, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Some are seriously praying for this President to be removed from office…….

I understand why.

He is Nixon on steroids.

PappyD61 on May 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Three points:

1. Romney didn’t go far enough

2. Romney lost the election

3. Romney is no longer a political player

Seems the White House found its replacement for Bush this term.

Liam on May 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

What did he know……and WHEN did he know it?

….and why didn’t the gop go after this BEFORE the election????

PappyD61 on May 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Baghdad Carney certainly has his hands full. Perhaps Barry will loan a teleprompter so that Carney can keep his lies straight.

GarandFan on May 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Who benefits from this politically?….

…JOE BIDEN.

PappyD61 on May 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Obama and Clinton are losing this battle, to win the war, and the media is helping them.

They are making this about a political cover up. That they modified some documents after the fact to make not appear as if it was a terrorist attack. That is bad, but survivable. The real problem is not that they hid the fact that it was a terrorist attack after the fact, its that they didn’t treat it as a terrorist attack when it was happening! And because of that, people died!

If the media allows Benghazi to be spun as a political coverup of the afteraction, they are obfuscating the complete incompetence that occurred during the attack!

Mashman on May 10, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Throw Hillary under the bus? In a statement to ABC, Carney notably insulates the West Wing and not the State Department by saying “the only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and nonsubstantive.”

Unless I’m mistaken, this occasion isn’t the first use of this wording by Carney. I’ve thought it was pretty obvious that Obama’s strategy was to sacrifice Hillary. He let her do the fixing. He was campaigning, and she could be counted on to run the suppression ops. Plenty of experience at that kind of stuff, and she was covering her own ass. With the assistance of the uncurious media, he was covered.

Now the cover up is blowing up. We’ll see if he was able to keep his fingerprints off it. The bigger question is whether he is held to account for failing to send help, going to bed, getting up the next morn and peddling BS from the Rose Garden, then jetting off in Air Force One to Vegas for a fundie. But even if he never is, demonstrably lying to the American people may be an unrepairable crack in the facade.

novaculus on May 10, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Who benefits from this politically?….

…JOE BIDEN.

PappyD61 on May 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Yes, and John F’n Kerry who was safe in the Senate when Benghazi went to hell.

Rush and a caller today were discussing how Joke or John might slip a knife into Hillary over Benghazi when she has her back turned. You know they both desperately want to be president.

In any case, you have to assume that the others on the democratic primary ticket will use this against her.

slickwillie2001 on May 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Who gave the “Stand Down” order: Tom Donilon.

Who changed the “talking points”: Valerie Jarrett.

You can take it to the bank.

Another Drew on May 10, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Michelle Obama will throw both Barack and Hillary under her bus.

President Moochelle, 2016.

The First Single Mother Commander-In-Chief.

profitsbeard on May 11, 2013 at 1:12 AM

Another Drew on May 10, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Who is Tom Donilon? Obama’s Nation Security Advisor. And:

President Obama recently nominated Donilon’s wife Catherine M. Russell, chief of staff to Jill Biden, to be the next US Ambassador at large for Global Women’s Issues. Some associates suggested a family health issue may be a factor in Donilon’s thinking on how long to stay, but declined to elaborate. The couple have high school age children.

US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice is expected to succeed Donilon as National Security Advisor.

It’s not clear who will be nominated to succeed Rice at the UN—the name the Back Channel has consistently heard is Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, but one official wasn’t certain that Burns wanted to stay. Secretary of State John Kerry would also like to keep Burns, another official said, noting there are too many vacant seats at State for another hole.

Neither Burns, nor Donilon, nor Rice’s office, responded to queries Friday.

Read more: http://backchannel.al-monitor.com/index.php/2013/05/5154/associates-say-national-security-advisor-tom-donilon-plans-to-leave-this-summer/#ixzz2Szeh0Rn6

Like a big puzzle, huh?

BigAlSouth on May 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Mashman on May 10, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Nope, sorry. For me the big question is what was Stevens doing in Benghazi in the first place? His own reports over a year’s time indicate a rapidly deteriorating situation.

And yet security was denied and he remained there.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on May 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Is anyone else jaded like I am that even before the changes made to the initial CIA assessment, the CIA assessment had it so wrong?!

The early versions from the CIA did assess that the Benghazi attack arose out of spontaneous protests and even said the “crowd almost certainly was a mix of individuals from across many sectors of Libyan society”.

That assessment was completely inaccurate, and I think illustrates a systemic problem with the entire method by which the CIA assesses information and provides that information to decision makers.

WE F’ING HAD BOOTS ON THE GROUND AT THE CONSULATE ITSELF IN BENGHAZI!!! All we had to do was ask anyone there what happened!

We know now there were no protests. The streets were quiet, and had been all day, (with Ambassador Stevens himself walking a guest to the consulate gates around dusk, I believe) before the attack suddenly began. How does the CIA take what happened there and end up “assessing” that there was a crowd, and even describing the make-up of the non-existent crowd?!?!

There were no reports from Benghazi about any protests. Couldn’t we have talked to someone that was at the consulate? Didn’t we have security cameras in place at the consulate? Wouldn’t the CIA even have local contacts, whether informants or Libyan press members or Libyan govt contacts who could have provided intel.

We literally seem to only have a bunch of idiot “analysts” sitting back at Langley trying to haphazardly piece together and speculate up “assessments” that an average Junior High student could have written.

I’m sorry, but I expect so much more from the CIA, and from the security setup at our Consulates and Embassies.

I expect live security camera feeds from all diplomatic locations in dangerous regions. I expect emergency protocols in place for an SOS call to be made that will be recorded, just like any 911 call would be. Do we not have that in place?!? Where are the recorded calls?

Even in the design of the consulate itself, there was a hardened room that Ambassador Stevens and two other men were hiding in that was protected by iron bars that the attackers could not breach, but did no one think that if the place were set on fire, maybe a little bit of fire fighter’s gear in the hardened room would have been useful. That alone would have saved 2 lives, including Ambassador Steven’s.

The whole thing makes me sick.

willamettevalley on May 12, 2013 at 5:09 AM

As additional information comes out on the Benghazi affair, it’s difficult to determine what is true and what are lies. The prevailing opinion, however, is that the reason for the administration’s coverup just before the 2012 election is that because al-Qa’ida was said to be destroyed, any terrorist attack had to be conveyed to the public as just an out of control mob angry about a video released months before that nobody had seen. That might have made sense if the sole purpose was to deflect criticism over claims of terrorism having been defeated, especially in an election year, but it doesn’t explain why no help was given to the besieged diplomatic facility. After all, even if it had been an angry mob, why did the administration not come to the rescue? There had to be more to it. But what? Here’s my theory:

Based on what I’ve heard, it appears that Ambassador Stevens was meeting with the Turkish Ambassador just prior to the attack. The subject was alleged to be the transfer of arms given to the Libyan rebels onward to the Syrian rebels via Turkey. Where were those arms? Reportedly in a warehouse at the site of the attack.

During that attack, one of the security detail’s former SEALs had a laser designator he was using to paint the enemy for precise targeting from overhead shooters or bombers. Why would a man detailed to protect our ambassador bring along a laser designator unless he knew it would be useful? That indicates he expected some kind of overhead aircraft to provide security. Was it the drone that reportedly was providing real time imagery of the attack?
In any case, the overhead shooter or bomber never responded. For that matter, pleas for help by the security detail during the seven or more hour battle were also ignored and the excuses given as to why are ludicrous.

Well, suppose the aircraft or drone was there, at the behest of the CIA, to protect the warehouse until the materiel was shipped? But what if the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) rebels knew about the warehouse and wanted those weapons for their own purposes, such as shipping them to Gaza? And what if the CIA was expecting to ship the materiel to Syria but people with MB connections in the White House decided, with President Obama’s approval, to give them to the MB for use in Gaza instead? They couldn’t do it openly because Israel and its supporters would protest. So what if the MB liaison at the White House told the local rebels at the behest of Obama that they were to seize the weapons so that it would not look like the administration voluntarily gave them to Israel’s enemies?

Moreover, what if they didn’t tell the CIA so that there would be further cover? In that case, when the ambassador and his compound came under attack, it was a smokescreen for the real purpose, seizing the warehouse materiel. But if the overhead aircraft fired to kill or disperse the MB rebels it would be expected to protect the warehouse, too. That may have been its main mission. So rather than protect both sites, it was ordered to protect neither, sacrificing the ambassador so that the MB could get the weapons.

And rather than admit the ambassador and his detail were sacrificed for the benefit of the MB, the administration would claim it was a spontaneous mob, thereby disassociating themselves from the MB rebels. Why else would they claim that fabrication for two weeks when, in fact, they knew it wasn’t true?

It’s interesting that Gaza virtually declared war on Israel not long after the weapons disappeared from Benghazi by firing hundreds of rockets into Israel. It’s as if Hamas was daring the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to come stop them. Would the IDF then find a well-armed hornet’s nest of weapons taken from Benghazi?

Since the MB is involved in Syrian operations, why would their branch in Gaza (Hamas) need to steal the weapons? Turkey, which has been trying to send flotillas of aid, including weapons, to Gaza has been consistently stopped by the Israeli navy. So, it may also be that Turkey was involved in getting the weapons to Gaza via the overland route through Egypt. Under its new MB regime, Egypt would be willing to allow a transit. However, Egypt stopped the incipient war that Hamas was trying to provoke, probably because MB is still consolidating power in Egypt and viewed war with Israel as premature.

Finally, various rebel factions have reportedly been squabbling over the allocation of the weapons from Libya. Hamas may have wanted a cut instead of seeing all the weapons go to Syria. And rather than confront the rebels in Syrian, Hamas may have decided not to inform them that they were taking the weapons.

Allegedly, the new head of the CIA, former General Petraeus, was betrayed by his subordinates who outed his affair with Paula Broadwell because they didn’t like his administration. That seems unlikely, given that under President Carter, his CIA head, former Stansfield Turner, gutted the Clandestine Service and made plain his disdain for the CIA. The staff didn’t turn on him. However, if the CIA staff didn’t realize that the White House was responsible for the betrayal of Ambassador Stevens and the CIA operation, they may have unjustly blamed Petraeus. That may have been enough to provoke mutiny. However, as indicated in the essay on the Petraeus affair, there may be more to it than the alleged CIA revolt.

NNtrancer on May 12, 2013 at 7:46 PM

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