Petraeus Testimony: Obama knew; talking points altered.

think there are going to be a lot of backpedaling Democrats and Lefty talking heads. I wonder if Nancy Pelosi and her troop of ‘women for Susan Rice’ will acknowledge the news or just stick their heads in their ladyparts and yell ‘LA LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU!’.

It’s sexist, no matter what to this cabal of Julias who are setting women back about 60 years.  None of their complaints explains why she was sent out there in the first place. We’ll come back to the Democrats and their closing ranks around Rice again in this post.

But all of their protesting, race card playing and cries of sexism, as well as Obama’s indignant defending the Damsel in distress act, are for naught. Petraeus testified yesterday and he pretty much put the buck back on Obama’s desk.

BOOM: President told within 72 hours Benghazi attack linked to al-Qaida extremists
Excerpt emphasis added:

U.S. intelligence told President Barack Obama and senior administration officials within 72 hours of the Benghazi tragedy that the attack was likely carried out by local militia and other armed extremists sympathetic to al-Qaida in the region, officials directly familiar with the information told the Washington Guardian on Friday.

Based on electronic intercepts and human intelligence on the ground, the early briefings after the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya identified possible organizers and participants. Most were believed to be from a local Libyan militia group called Ansar al-Sharia that is sympathetic to al-Qaida, the official said, while a handful of others was linked to a direct al-Qaida affiliate in North Africa known as AQIM.

Those briefings also raised the possibility that the attackers may have been inspired both by spontaneous protests across the globe on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and by a desire to seek vengeance for the U.S. killing last summer of a Libyan-born leader of al-Qaida named Abu Yaya al-Libi, the officials said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because they were discussing intelligence matters.

The details from the CIA and Pentagon assessments of the killing of Ambassador Chris Stephens were far more specific, more detailed and more current than the unclassified talking points that UN Ambassador Susan Rice and other officials used five days after the attack to suggest to Americans that an unruly mob angry over an anti-Islamic video was to blame, officials said.

Most of the details affirming al-Qaida links were edited or excluded from the unclassified talking points used by Rice in appearances on news programs the weekend after the attack, officials confirmed Friday. Multiple agencies were involved in excising information, doing so because it revealed sources and methods, dealt with classified intercepts or involved information that was not yet fully confirmed, the officials said.

This editing is supported by Petraeus’ remarks in closed-door session as mentioned by Rep. Peter King.

“No one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points,” King told reporters after the House hearing on Friday. “His testimony today was that from the start, he had told us that this was a terrorist attack,” he said.

King, a New York Republican, said he told Petraeus he had a “different recollection,” referring to his Sept. 14 briefing to members of Congress that the attack on our Benghazi consulate was a “flash mob” gone wild in response to an Internet video.

“The original talking points were much more specific about al-Qaida involvement. And yet the final ones just said indications of extremists,” King said, adding that a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the al-Qaida affiliates line “was taken out.” By whom and for what reason remain open questions.

This begs the question, which we raised in an earlier editorial, of whether Petraeus’ Sept. 14 briefing was influenced by an administration that had knowledge of his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. – Investors Business Daily

Someone altered the talking points after they were turned over to several groups; some of which were the DOJ and the White House. Who altered them and why? Why lie about it unless you’re covering up something about the attack you don’t want the public to know? It could just be incompetence, but to try to stick the excuse this administration did on it had to have served some purpose.
More on the testimony including a clip with Rep. Peter King.  FOX report via Gateway Pundit:


Back to Susan Rice. Democrats went into overdrive to defend her and some of what Petraeus testified to helps their argument, but no matter how you dice it – Rice looks bad. There is all this talk of ‘classified and unclassified talking points’ being used to excuse her from her statements. To borrow from Biden with a grin, I say, Malarkey. It’s been made clear that classified or unclassified – they were altered by someone beyond the CIA. So really, Rice lied anyway whether it be in a classified or unclassified way.Either she’s a useful idiot who is clueless can be sent out to do any dirty task this administration wants her to or she knew and willfully lied to the American people just because the administration told her to. Either way, she’s gotta go.

It is worth noting Petraeus did not give testimony under oath. Why the Hell not? We can also expect this to drag out for a long time with an estimated “nine agencies” involved according to the story at PJ Tatler.  All those agencies involved are now being blamed by the White House for the alteration of the talking points, creating a massive job of trying to track down who saw the talking points and when. Who altered them and when – also, who were they then sent to. From Powerline:

In light of the testimony of General Petraeus that the talking points used by Susan Rice differed from his talking points and that he doesn’t know who changed them, the administration is offering a new defense of the highly misleading talking points. It now claims that the talking points were changed by “multiple agencies” to protect intelligence sources. Previously, the administration contended that the talking points Rice used were the product of the CIA and that, to the extent they proved erroneous, it was because the intelligence was in flux.

To fully assess the White House’s latest line would require a comparison of Petraeus’ talking points and the ones used by Rice. However, even without such an analysis, it’s safe to say that the White House’s excuse almost surely doesn’t wash.

The problem with what Rice said on the talk shows isn’t that she didn’t provide enough detailed intelligence. The problem is that she erred on the basic question of the nature of the attack.

Fundamentally, the attack was an act of terrorism by armed extremists with connections to al Qaeda, as the CIA knew almost immediately, and President Obama was told within 72 hours of the event. The attack was not the action of a mob acting spontaneously.

Accordingly, any talking points used on the Sunday talk shows needed to state that the attack was al Qaeda-related terrorism, not just spontaneous mob violence. Otherwise, the administration, through Rice, would mislead the American public, as, in fact, it did.

And the talking points easily could have reflected that the attack was al Qaeda-related terrorism without including the kind of detail that might jeopardize intelligence sources. After all, the administration eventually conceded the point with no apparent setback to U.S. intelligence.

Thus, the administration’s latest line, like its prior statements, seems to be a crock.

But having advanced this line, the administration needs to identify the “multiple agencies” that doctored the CIA’s talking points and the individuals within these agencies who did the doctoring.

At the end of the day, the investigation could just cut to the chase and ask the White House who vetted, confirmed and approved these talking points which were finally used. The President  himself got up and defended Rice, saying she went out and said what he told her to. So, once again the buck stops on Obama’s desk.

This is just what we know from tiny bits of testimony discussed. I am sure there was a lot more that went on. These hearings were behind closed doors likely for national security reasons, however, the public should be able to watch any further testimony. This should be public and an independent counsel should be assigned. For all the talk of wanting to cooperate, President Obama clearly has not been, by his own admission. Emphasis added is mine:

At one point he said: “And we’re after an election now. I think it is important for us to find out exactly what happened in Benghazi, and I’m happy to cooperate in any ways that Congress wants.” It was, of course, just as important to find out what happened in Benghazi before the election, but we should be grateful to the president for giving us this inadvertent glimpse into the role politics played in his thinking about Benghazi before he was reelected.

The president, perhaps realizing he had made a revealing slip of the tongue, went on to insist that he’d been providing information all along. But in response to a question about criticism of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice from Senators John McCain and Lindsey ­Graham, the president slipped again. “For them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Ben­ghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous.”

If Susan Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi,” why then was she sent out to represent the administration in multiple television interviews five days after the attacks? – The Weekly Standard

Let’s drive the point home to the White House one more time – Whoever changed the talking points is irrelevant. The President used them and therefore had to have approved of them. Senator Chambliss agrees and will be coming at the President per the President’s request (video compliments of Gateway Pundit):


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