Piggybacking off of the original Benghazi talking points reported by the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, ABC News' Jonathan Karl has now obtained more versions of the revisions. The latest reporting shows that the talking points related to Benghazi underwent 12 revisions. Not only that, but after repeatedly claiming that the talking points were crafted by the CIA and the intelligence community, White House emails obtained by ABC News shows that the State Department did, in fact, play a key role in the changes …
“White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.”
The ABC report shows that State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland was concerned that the original and correct information related to Benghazi could be used by members of Congress to criticize the State Department. Nuland also did not want to name the terrorist group involved in the attack because “we don’t want to prejudice the investigation.”
You can read more about the process of revision in the ABC report, but an update to the story reads that according to an unnamed source familiar with the White House emails, “The significant edits – deleting references to al Qaeda and the CIA’s warnings – came after a White House meeting on the Saturday before Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday shows. Nuland … was not at that meeting and played no direct role in preparing Rice for her interviews.” Whatever the case may be, the State Department clearly played a key role in revising the talking points, with perhaps more White House involvement than just “stylistic” changes.
If you listened to what White House propagandist Jay Carney had to say just the other day, the changes made to the talking points were merely “stylistic.” Remember this: “The fact that there are inputs is always the case in a process like this. Edits made by anyone at the White House were stylistic and not substantive. They corrected the description of the building...from consulate to diplomatic facility. Ultimately this has all been discussed and reviewed and provided in enormous levels of detail by the administration to congressional investigators.” So in retrospect, either Jay Carney is woefully ignorant of the facts or he flat-out lied. Not only that, but if you go back to the period right after the attacks, eight days after Benghazi, Carney proclaimed to the White House Press Corp that “based on the information that we had then and have now we do not yet have indication that it was pre-planned or pre-meditated.”
By the way, there is some former Obama spokesman for the National Security Council by the name of Tommy Vietor who Tweeted that the reason the Benghazi talking points were even written was because House intelligence committee Republicans requested them so they could go on TV. Anything to blame the Republicans …
A few more stories related to Benghazi …
Considering what we now know – the administration knew from the beginning that this was a preplanned attack by Ansar al-Sharia – I want to remind you that $70,000 of your tax dollars was used to air ads in Pakistan apologizing for the YouTube video while the administration was still publicly claiming that this was the reason for the Benghazi attack.
Also we've learned that there was a Benghazi attack ad created by the RNC during last year's election but never made it to the air. The ad builds off of the famous 3am phone call ads from 2008. Ironically enough, someone in 2008 declared that both Barack Obama AND Hillary Clinton were “not ready” to handle the hypothetical 3am phone call. That person was Susan Rice.
Yesterday the State Department issued a travel warning for US citizens traveling to Benghazi. Gee, now they tell us.