Gov. Palin thanks Hayes, Karl and others for exposing Benghazi truth
Posted by Dr. Fay on May 11, 2013
Governor Palin tweeted this yesterday:
Thank you for revealing documents our govt tried to hide, Stephen Hayes, Jonathan Karl & others in media exposing the truth about Benghazi.—
Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) May 10, 2013
Here is the Weekly Standard article by Stephen Hayes:
The Benghazi Scandal Grows
The State Department, the CIA, the White House . . .May 20, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 34• By STEPHEN F. HAYES_____________
CIA director David Petraeus was surprised when he read the freshly rewritten talking points an aide had emailed him in the early afternoon of Saturday, September 15. One day earlier, analysts with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis had drafted a set of unclassified talking points policymakers could use to discuss the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. But this new version—produced with input from senior Obama administration policymakers—was a shadow of the original.
The original CIA talking points had been blunt: The assault on U.S. facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist attack conducted by a large group of Islamic extremists, including some with ties to al Qaeda.
These were strong claims. The CIA usually qualifies its assessments, providing policymakers a sense of whether the conclusions of its analysis are offered with “high confidence,” “moderate confidence,” or “low confidence.” That first draft signaled confidence, even certainty: “We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.”
There was good reason for this conviction. Within 24 hours of the attack, the U.S. government had intercepted communications between two al Qaeda-linked terrorists discussing the attacks in Benghazi. One of the jihadists, a member of Ansar al Sharia, reported to the other that he had participated in the assault on the U.S. diplomatic post. Solid evidence. And there was more. Later that same day, the CIA station chief in Libya had sent a memo back to Washington, reporting that eyewitnesses to the attack said the participants were known jihadists, with ties to al Qaeda.
Before circulating the talking points to administration policymakers in the early evening of Friday, September 14, CIA officials changed “Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda” to simply “Islamic extremists.” But elsewhere, they added new contextual references to radical Islamists. They noted that initial press reports pointed to Ansar al Sharia involvement and added a bullet point highlighting the fact that the agency had warned about another potential attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in the region. “On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the [Cairo] Embassy and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy.” All told, the draft of the CIA talking points that was sent to top Obama administration officials that Friday evening included more than a half-dozen references to the enemy—al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, jihadists, Islamic extremists, and so on.
The version Petraeus received in his inbox Saturday, however, had none. The only remaining allusion to the bad guys noted that “extremists” might have participated in “violent demonstrations.”
In an email at 2:44 p.m. to Chip Walter, head of the CIA’s legislative affairs office, Petraeus expressed frustration at the new, scrubbed talking points, noting that they had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided. Petraeus noted with evident disappointment that the policymakers had even taken out the line about the CIA’s warning on Cairo. The CIA director, long regarded as a team player, declined to pick a fight with the White House and seemed resigned to the propagation of the administration’s preferred narrative. The final decisions about what to tell the American people rest with the national security staff, he reminded Walter, and not with the CIA.
This candid, real-time assessment from then-CIA director Petraeus offers a glimpse of what many intelligence officials were saying privately as top Obama officials set aside the truth about Benghazi and spun a fanciful tale about a movie that never mattered and a demonstration that never happened.
“The YouTube video was a nonevent in Libya,” said Gregory Hicks, a 22-year veteran diplomat and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli at the time of the attacks, in testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on May 8. “The only report that our mission made through every channel was that there had been an attack on a consulate . . . no protest.”
So how did Jay Carney, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others come to sell the country a spurious narrative about a movie and a protest?
There are still more questions than answers. But one previously opaque aspect of the Obama administration’s efforts is becoming somewhat clearer. An email sent to Susan Rice following a key White House meeting where officials coordinated their public story lays out what happened in that meeting and offers more clues about who might have rewritten the talking points.
And here is Jonathan Karl’s article at ABC’s The Note:
Exclusive: Benghazi Talking Points Underwent 12 Revisions, Scrubbed of Terror Reference_______________May 10, 2013 6:33am__________
When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.
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.”
Summaries of White House and State Department emails — some of which were first published by Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard — show that the State Department had extensive input into the editing of the talking points.
State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland raised specific objections to this paragraph drafted by the CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points:
“The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”
In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …”
The paragraph was entirely deleted.
Sharyl Attkisson at CBS is another reporter who has pursued the truth about Benghazi. Paul Farhi at the Washington Post wrote this about her.
From the start, the Obama administration’s account of what happened in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 last year didn’t quite square for Sharyl Attkisson.
So the veteran CBS News reporter dug in, and kept digging.
The result: Attkisson has been a persistent voice of news-media skepticism about the government’s story. On the air and online, Attkisson has questioned the administration’s timeline and its response. She has hunted down important eyewitnesses and pressed for release of documents that might shed more light on the attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Here is an article by Ms. Atkisson at CBS News:
Emails reveal a flurry of changes to Benghazi talking points
Updated 8:45 p.m. ET
As House Republicans piece together the events in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, that led to the death of four Americans, the focus has fallen on the talking points the Obama administration used to describe the attack in the days following.
The talking points were revised numerous times before United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice used them on political talk shows on Sept. 16. While the White House says the changes were merely stylistic, the changes suggest administration officials were interested in sparing the State Department from political criticism in the wake of the attack.
- Carney: WH didn’t “hide” anything on Benghazi talking points
- Kerry: Benghazi hearings revealed nothing new
- Boehner: More Benghazi hearings on the way
CBS News has learned there was a flurry of approximately 100 interagency government emails on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 regarding the content of the talking points to be released to members of Congress regarding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Benghazi. The email list included officials from the White House, State Department, CIA, FBI and others reviewing the talking points.
An early set of talking points was ready for interagency review at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14.:
11:15 a.m. talking points: “….we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.”
4:42 p.m. talking points: Changed “attacks in Benghazi” to “demonstrations in Benghazi.”
Added: “On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the Embassy [in Cairo] and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy.” This news that a warning had been given was later removed.
Added: “The Agency [CIA] has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.” This news of advance warning of a threat was later removed.
Removed reference to “ties to al Qa’ida” and again changed “attack” to “violent demonstrations.”
In a 6:52 p.m. email: John Brennan, then-Deputy National Security Advisor (now head of CIA) asked for removal of “the crowd almost certainly was a mix of individuals from across many sectors of Libya society.”
7:39 p.m. email: State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed the most sweeping concerns. “I have serious concerns about all parts highlighted below in arming members of Congress with information to start making assertions to the media that we ourselves are not making because we don’t want to prejudice the investigation… Why do we want the Hill to be fingering [al-Qaeda linked] Ansar al-Sharia when we aren’t doing that ourselves until we have investigation results? And the penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency [CIA] about al-Qaeda’s presence and activities of al-Qaeda…[which] could be abused by members of Congress to fault the State Department for not paying attention… so why would we want to cede that, either?”
8:59 p.m. email: A facilitator of the email threads answers Nuland’s concerns about “prejudicing the investigation” by stating “The FBI did not have major concerns with the points and offered only a couple of minor suggestions.” Nonetheless, they remove a paragraph referring to Ansar al-Sharia from the next version.
8:59 p.m. talking points: Changed “we do know” to “there are indications that” Islamic extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
Removed “Initial press reporting linked the attack to Ansar al-Sharia. The group has since released a statement that its leadership did not order the attacks, but did not deny that some of its members were involved. Ansar al-Sharia’s Facebook page aims to spread Sharia in Libya and emphasizes the need for jihad to counter what it views as false interpretations of Islam, according to an open source study.
9:24 p.m. email: Nuland responds: “These don’t resolve all of my issues or those of my building leadership. They are consulting with NSS [National Security Staff.]”
9:25 p.m. email: Jake Sullivan, then-Secretary of State Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff (now National Security Advisor for Vice President Biden) tells the group “I spoke with Tommy (Vietor-then-spokesman for the White House National Security Council)… we’ll work this through in the morning.”
9:32 p.m. email: Sullivan to Nuland: “Talked to Tommy (Vietor). We can make edits.”
9:34 p.m. email: Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser to President Obama regarding a federal agency Deputies meeting that’s been called the next morning to discuss the talking points: “…we don’t want to undermine the investigation…we want to address every department’s equities including the State Department, so we’ll deal with this at the Deputies meeting.”
The CIA’s legislative affairs representatives loops in then-CIA chief David Petraeus, notifying him of “major coordination problems… State has major concerns… the Bureau [FBI] cleared the points but [Ben] Rhodes said they will be reviewed in the Deputies meeting.”
Rush Limbaugh had this to say yesterday about the mainstream media being pulled into the Benghazi story.
Benghazi Story Escapes Conservative Media
May 10, 2013
RUSH: So it’s all over the place now that the White House lied about the Benghazi talking points. Ladies and gentlemen, the Benghazi story has now escaped conservative media, and it’s all over everywhere now. I shouldn’t say all over. It’s out there. It is everywhere.
So where to begin with this. I guess the buzz today about Benghazi is over a report by Jonathan Karl. But the actual beginning of this, if it weren’t for Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard writing the story in a way that for some reason was attractive to Jonathan Karl of ABC, it might not have escaped conservative media. For example, I just got a note from somebody who said that Scarborough, who is increasingly difficult to decipher, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC this morning said that we’d have been much further along in the Benghazi story if right-wing media hadn’t overplayed it.
Now, as often happens with Scarborough, he has inadvertently swerved into a decent point — 50%. It is true. I don’t think it is deniable, whenever we, I, conservative media, are really interested in something, the mainstream media purposely avoid it. They mock us for being interested. But they use, almost as a guidepost, anything that’s happening in the country — I don’t care, could be news, cultural, social, political, whatever it is that we are interested in, focused on, trying to call your attention to — they purposely avoid it because we’re pushing it. They have been, I think, moved into the area of journalistic malpractice.
My friend Andy McCarthy asked a question today in a post at National Review. Does the White House press corps have any self-respect left? Sometime during the administration of Bill Clinton, these journalists went from seeing their job as watchdog keeping Democrat government honest to admiring raconteurs of how artfully they were lied to. Remember that? He’s right about that. They marveled at how well Clinton lied. They appreciated it, they studied it, and they learned it. And, they put it into practice. One of the reasons I’m convinced the Monica Lewinsky story was spiked was because they knew we’d run with it, and then when Drudge did finally run it, look how long it took them. They were dragged kicking and screaming to the Lewinsky story, and they’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into the Benghazi story.
Now, the difference where Scarborough’s wrong is, had we not made a big deal out of Benghazi, it would have been forgotten. They would have buried it. So the idea that we woulda gotten to the Benghazi story a lot sooner if “right-wing media” hadn’t overplayed their hands is literally nuts. It’s crazy. One thing I want to add at the top in beginning this discussion today and letting you know where it is, the focus still remains on Hillary Clinton, as it should. But, folks, I’m telling you the real focus of this is Barack Obama. And it’s gonna end up being Barack Obama.
This is not to excuse Hillary, and it’s not to lessen her involvement, and it’s not in any way to suggest that her involvement is insignificant, by no means. But Obama should not get a pass on this. Where he was during this event is the fundamental question. And at some point that question also is going to be asked. Right now the focus is on Hillary and the 12 rewrites of the talking points, 12 rewrites of the regime talking points that were used by Susan Rice and others explaining what happened, the video as an excuse and all that. The focus right now is the State Department, but at some point this is going to build, and it’s going to expand because it must, if they stick with this, this actually becomes something they stick with.
At some point they’re gonna have to get to Obama and what he was doing and where he was because he’s the only guy that could issue the stand-down order. He’s the president. He’s the only guy that can order military action or no military action. So he’s not gonna get a pass. Certainly not here at the EIB Network.
Now, Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard a week ago essentially had the story, the essence of this news about the talking points being rewritten a grand total of 12 times so as to be flavored and shaped and formed to be the least damaging to the administration. And we must remember that the talking points, the fraudulent talking points were the basis for the appearance on the Sunday talk shows by Obama’s ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice. She pretended, on behalf of Obama, not Hillary, she pretended on behalf of Obama that this was nothing more than a spontaneous ad hoc protest provoked by some scoundrel Islamophobe who made a video that nobody at the time had seen. The administration knew, they knew from intelligence that was supplied from the compound throughout the siege. We’ve been through this.
You know all of this. But this is just now, the fascinating thing, everything I’m telling you, you know. You’ve known this for months. You’ve known this since before the election. The Drive-By Media is just getting to this, just now. You know that Susan Rice was lying. You know that she was lying on behalf of Obama. You know that they made up this business about the video. You know that the administration knew the night of the attack what was going on. The State Department knew at the time of the attack it was Al-Qaeda. The White House knew at the time of the attack it was Al-Qaeda. That’s what’s been so maddening about this, everybody knew. Dare I say the mainstream media knew. But the White House line was it was a video, so they parroted that knowing full well what really happened.
Jonathan Karl, ABC News, now reports that talking points went through 12 different rewrites, and something very key was eliminated, and that was all references to Ansar al-Sharia, the al-Qaeda-related group that did the terrorism. Ansar al-Sharia is the local al-Qaeda group that orchestrated the entire Benghazi operation. Jay Carney lied. The rewrites, these talking points were subjected blatantly. They blatantly contradict what Carney was saying. This is a remarkable development to happen here, and it does illustrate the importance and the relevance of the media.
It’s like I said yesterday (I might even been talking about Benghazi), “Nothing’s gonna happen here, folks, ’til the media gets on it. Nothing is gonna happen.” I remember telling you yesterday that nothing is gonna happen. Well, overnight something happened. Let’s let you hear it. Let’s go to the audio sound bites. We’ve got two bites here from Jonathan Karl. You might say that this is the smoking gun.