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Africa North
White House Denies Heavy Editing of Benghazi Memo
[An Nahar] The White House denied Saturday having heavily edited talking points to UN Ambassador Susan Rice about the deadly attacks on a U.S. mission in Libya to remove references to terrorism.
"Wudn't us."
"The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department
An interesting logical choice. Were any edits made by either the White House or 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 news hounds 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."

Republican politicians briefed by former CIA chief David Petraeus on Friday said that the original talking points about the attack had mentioned groups linked to al-Qaeda.

But Petraeus told the politicians that the reference was removed from a final version given to Rice before she discussed the attack on five Sunday television talkshows and said the assault was a response to an amateur video denigrating Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

The initial talking points "specifically mentioned al-Qaeda, and that al-Qaeda was involved in the attack," Republican Representative Peter King
...U.S. Representative for New York's 3rd (central Long Island) congressional district, serving since 1993. He is of the Publican persuasion and is known for his active support for the IRA Irish republican movement...
, who attended the briefing, told Fox News.

"When the talking points were finalized, all the references to al-Qaeda were taken out and it was put in almost as an afterthought saying there are indications of thug involvement in the demonstration."

Critics have seized on Rice's remarks to argue that the White House misled or even lied to Americans during a heated election season.

Rice has been floated as a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
... sometimes described as America's Blond Eminence and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Daniel Webster ...
, who is stepping down early next year, but some Republicans threaten to block her nomination.
Posted by:Fred

#6  I have heard that the denial is a wonderfull parsing of words (a la Bill Clinton). The change was not made at the White House, but it WAS made by Obama's campaign staff in Chicago. They changed it for political purposes.

They should not have even seen the document (they did not have clearance), and they certainly should not have edited it. The denials and cover up are to hide the fact that Obama and his campaign broke the law by improperly handling classified documents.

The real scandals of Benghazi are:
1) We have a POTUS who hates his own country.
2) He allows his campaign staff to set national security policy.
Posted by: Frozen Al   2012-11-18 16:54  

#5  Excellent assessment per usual. When all else fails, follow the money... or the lack thereof. No love lost btwn these agencies is an understatement (DoD not excluded)

Cynical old bastid that I am, I'm still leaning toward some rather unseemly, weapons smuggling and/or rendition type activities. BTW, the 28th of November will mark the 20th anniversary of Iran-Contra.
Posted by: Besoeker   2012-11-18 13:37  

#4  I'm not all that keen on early analysis, but Benghazi is beginning to resemble the Pueblo and Liberty incidents. Namely, an intelligence agency asset (an AGI or a intelligence facility) is nominally placed under the auspices of another agency or department (the Navy or State), said asset gets attacked, the asset is left to fend for itself,

That's because neither the intelligence agency that owns it, and especially the agency or department (the Navy or State) that that has nominal control over the asset, wishes to involve itself with it. Part of it is a reluctance to exposing one's position (both), part of it is a turf-war between the operating agency (CIA) and the nominal owner (Navy or State) about spending funds on what is viewed as a bastard project. In the case of the nominal owner (Navy or State), there is still a severe distaste remaining from one's department getting talked into or coerced into taking nominal control.
Posted by: Pappy   2012-11-18 13:12  

#3  Heavy and Critical are different words.
Posted by: Procopius2k   2012-11-18 10:39  

#2  I sense the presence of the ghost RoseMary Woods.

I blame Nixon.
Posted by: Shipman   2012-11-18 05:34  

#1  Appears General pants-down and his former Kinglon employer have once again been posted to the center of the circular firing squad.

The obvious question for Ben Rhodes is now: Ok so you saw the Kingon original product but didn't make "heavy edits"... did you and POTUS approve the final product ?
Posted by: Besoeker   2012-11-18 05:28