President Obama and Hillary Clinton would like nothing more than for the whole Benghazi story to go away, but it’s not. ABC News reported today that the talking points coming out of the administration just after the terrorist attack that took four American lives on September 11, 2012 were scrubbed twelve times.
ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.
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.
That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.
“Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened,” Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on November 28, 2012. “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.” (Read More)
I know, it’s kind of old news. But it is news that ABC picked up on it.
Then yesterday Jay Carney claimed that the Accountability Review Board review proved that Obama and Clinton did absolutely nothing wrong in the handling of the response, or the security situation leading up to the attack. The problem? There is no evidence that the ARB even spoke to Clinton or Obama while conducting their investigation.
There is no mention in the report of the what Clinton or Obama did related to Benghazi. In fact, Obama isn’t mentioned at all in the document, and Clinton only once – in the context of her appointing the Review Board. There is no suggestion that Clinton or Obama were interviewed or even examined by the investigation.
What’s more, Accountability Review Boards are part of statutory State Department process that is not legally permitted to investigate the president.
It’s not even clear that an Accountability Review Board is permitted to probe the Secretary of State. The purview of a Review Board covers “employees” of the State Department who could be subject to discipline by the Secretary of State, who presumably would not be tasked to discipline herself.
Despite all this, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Wednesday suggested the Review Board report exculpates Clinton. (Read More)
Carney mentioned “career nonpartisan professionals ” Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen who conducted the investigation, but he didn’t mention that neither of those professionals would agree to testify at the House hearing.
All of this has Democrats worried. NBC’s Lisa Myers said this morning that Democrats have been calling her trying to get her to discredit Greg Hicks, one of the “whistleblowers” who testified at the hearing on Wednesday.
“There is something called Benghazi going on,” said Myers. “And I think the Democrats now are starting to worry about it. I started–I got calls from a number of Democrats yesterday trying to undermine Greg Hicks’s testimony, saying he wasn’t demoted, etc. So I think they feel that some damage was done by those three witnesses on Wednesday.”
One thing that remains unanswered is what were Clinton and Obama doing during the hours that Americans were under attack? We know Hillary had that 2 AM phone call, leaving Hicks to believe “we were on our own.” But what else did they do? Where was Obama?
Obama has had himself photographed firmly atop other national security events like the whacking of Osama bin Laden. The Democrat held a brief Rose Garden photo op on Benghazi the next morning before rushing off to fundraisers in Las Vegas. We know he and Clinton both blamed the offensive video for weeks after they knew that line was phony.
What we don’t know is where the hell was the commander-in-chief all-night while two former SEALs, a communications specialist and the first U.S. ambassador in three decades were being murdered on-duty six time zones away.
We do know that then Secy. of Defense Leon Panetta claims Obama instructed him in the early evening of 9/11 to do everything necessary to protect Americans and embassies abroad.
We also know now that “everything” wasn’t really anything at all. (Read More)
Maybe they were huddled together thinking up with ways to spin this, or maybe they just went to sleep. Remember, there was a campaign going on at the time. No doubt Obama wanted to make sure he was well rested for his campaign trip to Vegas the next day.
Oh, and now we learn that then CIA Director David Petraeus was surprised when he read the talking points because they were so different from the unclassified talking points the CIA prepared for lawmakers. I wonder if that had anything to do with the embarrassing details of his personal life being leaked just after the election.
Via memeorandum, there is much more at americanthinker.com, NewsBusters, NO QUARTER USA NET, Red Alert Politics, Weasel Zippers, The Gateway Pundit, “The Lid”, Mediaite,The Daily Caller, Jammie Wearing Fools, The Other McCain, Townhall.com, ViralRead, The Hugh Hewitt Show, Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion, Washington Free Beacon, Politico, Conservatives4Palinand The Dish