White House Claims They Didn’t Edit Benghazi Talking Points

President Obama Makes Administration Personnel Announcements

Earlier this week David Petraeus told Congress that talking points the CIA issued in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack were edited to exclude references to al-Qaeda involvement. UN Ambassador Susan Rice, in the days after the attack, used talking points in media appearances which made no reference to a planned terrorist attack. She further stated 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 attack wasn’t an act of terrorism planned and executed by terrorists but rather a protest of a YouTube clip which spiraled out of control.

So who edited the report, the “talking points,” produced by the CIA and approved by the nation’s intelligence agencies? The Obama administration is saying it wasn’t them:

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.”

This leaves us with the following choices:

1) Petraeus is lying.

2) The Obama administration is lying.

3) Neither is lying, and some other intermediary changed the report.

That last is hard to believe as you’d expect there to be a verifiable chain of who all handled this information. There just can’t be that many people who are allowed to access and edit this sort of information. If not, we’re apparently to believe that the Obama administration is running off to the media spouting talking points edited, from the time they were produced by the intelligence community, by some unknown entity.

I’d rather believe the White House is lying as the other option display a rather shocking level of incompetence.

Could Petraeus be lying? Maybe, but that seems unlikely. At this point the man doesn’t have much left to lose. He’s already been disgraced, why would he inject himself into further controversy by squaring off with the White House over something that wasn’t true? More likely is Petraeus feels a sense of duty to keep his professional reputation intact even as his personal reputation has taken a big hit.

We need to know who edited the report, why the edited the report and (perhaps most importantly) who ordered them to edit the report.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • $8194357

    Who ya going to believe?
    A third generation communist/muslim who practices taqiyya every time his lips move or a good soilder who messed up with a younger woman who showed her atractions to him?
    We know who the media will back, huh.

    • Roy_Bean

      You have to look at their records…..wait a minute……Obama really doesn’t have a record. We’re pretty sure he was born somewhere, he went to college somewhere, he traveled with a passport that he got somewhere, he served in the Senate where he mostly voted “present”.

      • $8194357

        Whoop…There it is Roy…
        The lie taken as Truth…

  • Neiman

    In liberal land, in the century of Obama and Marxist America, they will blame lower level functionaries or will so cloud the issue there will never be a clear resolution. One thing we do know, Obama will never get or accept any blame – he is the holy one.

    • $8194357

      What it is Neiman..
      what it is….

  • WOOF

    Why would anyone involved lie.
    Why would the nation care ?
    Cui Bono ?

    • $8194357

      I think I am a man so change me..
      Chaz Bono

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      What it is, Woof, what it is…

      These knuckle draggers are hard up for another birther style conspiracy.

      • guest

        Birther conspiracy…like ol’ Len sneaking into the country with his mongoloid wife and rug rats in tow.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Those people should be deported, along with yours, who came here and squatted and feel that they are Americans for stealing land, while my family built this nation and were here before the founding of America. But don’t be jealous because other people actually have a family.

          Four more years!

          And don’t worry, Judge Napolitano, from Fox News, wants to do away with borders. The Fox talking head is a communist, it would seem.

      • $8194357

        Thus sayeth the midget “parrot boy” boo boo from the island..

        7point62 Neiman•21 hours ago

        What it is Neiman..
        what it is….

  • Davo

    “the currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo.”

    And this remains true today, to the letter. No one is lying. Every word of that above statement is true.

  • Davo

    “the currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo.”

    The best intelligence we have today informs us that this analysis is completely true. Front page of yesterday’s WaPo:

    “The CIA and other intelligence analysts have settled on what amounts to a hybrid view, suggesting that the Cairo protest sparked militants in Libya, who quickly mobilized an assault on U.S. facilities in Benghazi.”

    Ansar-al Sharia attacked the Consulate in Benghazi in response to the protests in Cairo that same day. It was not a pre-planned attack to correspond to the 9-11 anniversary. The actual date of the attack was spontaneously chosen.

    • donwalk

      The video was publicly available on U Tube since approximately June 1st and it had a whopping 200 hits or about 2 per day during that period.
      Just think if it had really been an attraction and had been receiving thousands of hits per day – the end of the world, maybe?

  • Davo

    Again, the full text of what Rice actually said the 9-16 news programs (this has been misreported in the media constantly over the past couple months):

    “But putting together the best information that we have available to us today— Our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.

    What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons, which, unfortunately, are readily available in post-revolutionary Libya, and that escalated into a much more violent episode.”

    • JustRuss

      Except it was nowhere near a copycat, there was no demonstration, just an attack. To think the date 9/11 had nothing to do with either the protest in Cairo or the attack in Benghazi is foolish.

      • Davo

        So you have evidence that Ansar-al Sharia planned in advance to attack the Libyan Consulate on September 11th? You should really turn that over to the State Department, Russ, since, of course, NO ONE ELSE HAS THAT INFORMATION.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Exactly. There is NO evidence of a pre-planned attack to occur on 9/11. The only evidence there is was that the attackers told others that they were mad about the film.

  • Harold

    White House & Obama = big fat liars.

    • $8194357

      dhimmi = taqiyya

      The thing by any other name is still the thing..

  • sbark

    I’m trying to see where this gets us to the main problem……..who told the military to stand down and leave American citizens to die……irregardless if it was a terrorist or a “spontaneous” event…….
    Someone in the course of the 7 hrs attack repeatedly told the gunship in the air overhead, told the spec ops teams 2 hrs away, told F15’s 45 minutes away to stand down…….
    People died because of that decison……….people die in Fast and Furious
    and yet as a nation were not supposed to care about anything but someone getting free birth control……..

    • $8194357

      The ambassedor was there to cover this administrations
      muslim brotherhood/arab spring version of fast&furious to begin with
      is what I read a day or so after he was killed..
      Don’t remember where I read it…
      I read alot…

      • sbark

        Focus needs to be on Bengahzi and the failure of the Obama regime to protect is consulate and citizens—which is in effect a attack on its soverign territory.

        …….its almost as if the Congressional inquiry is trying to muddy the water and drag it out to protect Obama’s decison to let people die.

        • JustRuss

          While I can understand someone saying “we let people die to prevent this incident from being the spark for WWIII” nobody has actually said that, and even if they did, it is a fight that is going to happen anyway. We shouldn’t let these people die without attempting rescue, even if it causes war.

          Obama just didn’t wan’t a Blackhawk Down type situation right before an election.

          People kept saying he needed a 9/11 moment, well he got it, and he failed.

        • $8194357

          Yup.

      • banjo kid

        Kangaroo courts and keystone cops is what we are all about we don’t look for truth but search the world for lies that will work.

        • $8194357

          Yup.
          part N parcel of the manufactured
          narritive and propaganda…
          look squirrel….

        • $8194357

          The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly
          Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
          Nor stands in the path of sinners,
          Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
          But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
          And in His law he meditates day and night.”
          Psalm 1:1-2
          NKJV

  • http://randysroundtable.blogspot.com/ Randy G

    All roads lead to the liar in chief.

  • Yogibare

    Perhaps some of you have read ” No Easy Day” the story about the Seals and the Osama Bin Laden raid and take-out.
    After reading that it is very hard to believe that there was nothing that could have been done to break up the “spontaneous demonstration” in Benghazi. It is very possible that an F-16 or its equivalent was less than 1 hour flight time away; the drone was already in the sky above the consulate.
    The sum of this matter is that a whole lot of people froze—that began at the White House and right down the chain of command.
    We pay billions of dollars for intelligence and defense and seem to get a bunch of politicians who are protecting their election come November.
    This whole thing is so Lame—its just a sorry bunch.

    • JustRuss

      Exactly, even if we accept that they did not know it was going to happen, and that they thought i started with a protest, the fact that they did not immediately scramble air and ground forces to either break it up or attempt a rescue is evidence of failure from top to bottom. Obama decided to do nothing, as to not risk the white house.

  • Matthew Hawkins

    “WASHINGTON — David H. Petraeus,
    the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told lawmakers
    on Friday that classified intelligence reports revealed that the deadly
    assault on the American diplomatic mission in Libya was a terrorist
    attack, but that the administration refrained from saying it suspected
    that the perpetrators of the attack were Al Qaeda affiliates and
    sympathizers to avoid tipping off the groups.”

    Does that answer your questions? Or are you going to continue to foster this fake outrage on whether Obama called it a terrorist attack.

  • azulu

    If you’re on a fishing hunt for incompetence, I got a much better one for you. Not only did it concern an act of terrorism, it was an act of terrorism that occurred in the United States leading to the deaths of thousands of civilans.

    The President was even warned by his counter terrorism tsar that Al-Qaeda was planning something. The White House’s response? Ignoring his reports and demoting him so he no longer had access to the President.

    But I guess repeating inaccurate information is comparable.

  • SigFan

    No matter who changed the report, Obama is culpable. He is the CinC and whatever happens on his watch is his responsibility. And the clearest answer is the simplest – Obama could not have a story about a resurgent al-Qeada running while he was trying to win reelection, particularly when his only “accomplishment” in the prior four years was letting Seal Team 6 take bin Laden out. Obama is lying – again, always.

    • $8194357

      yup

  • $8194357

    taqiyya….Alinskys “by any means”…

    Lieing and “editing” a narritive for mass consumption
    for maximim perception/deniability/blame….

    Waggin the global dog…wag..wag…

    Hurray for Palleywood..

    dead kids a month ago in Syria
    make it onto the Gaza streets this month…

    Evil conservitives, Christians and Jews…

    http://www.barenakedislam.com/2012/11/19/pallywood-fraudsters-are-back-in-business/

  • tadcf

    Why do you need to know what was edited from Patraeus’s report. What if the information is top-secret? What if the information is simply that ‘Patraeus’s statement that the Benghazi affair was Al Qaeda inspired, was based on his own opinion and not based on facts’—and that there was some concern that such an irrational statement the truth came out would put Patraeus’s legacy in a poor light, or that we might would ultimately suffer international criticism for claiming false representation if Patraeus’s conclusion were proved wrong.

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