The Other McCain

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The Big Benghazi Lie: State Department Deleted Key Facts From Talking Points

Posted on | May 10, 2013 | 20 Comments

Jonathan Karl of ABC News reports that an entire paragraph of the CIA’s original assessment of the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was deleted after political objections were raised by a State Department official. The deleted paragraph — which referenced prior CIA warnings about terrorist attacks in Libya — was one of numerous revisions made in the talking points:

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.

ABC has published an eight-page document showing the 12 versions of the administration’s Benghazi talking points.



  • Sirius U. Guise

    Mr. Karl is treading dangerously close to advocacy.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Yeah, speaking the truth is advocacy when someone does not like the truth!

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  • t-dahlgren

    Can we officially describe Libya as a ‘quagmire’ now?

  • richard mcenroe

    Hey, remember when Senator Hillary Clinton stood up at that podium and demanded, “We need to know what George Bush knew and when he knew it?” Good times… good times… What’s sauce for the goose oughta be lotion for the cankles, er something….

  • Charles

    So the talking points were spontaneously inspired and evolved. That phrasing, which appears though all the many drafts, shows the most incredible naivete.

    How could there be anything spontaneous about the choice of 9/11 as the date for the attack?

    Nonetheless, the equally naive Mitt Romney muffed the Benghazi issue in the second debate by getting boxed into the word terrorism and completely missing the point.

  • t-dahlgren

    “Lotion for the cankles”

    Only if Jame Gumb is involved

  • TC_LeatherPenguin

    This isn’t some right wing shill, like Steven Hayes was portrayed when he broke this last week. This is from a member of the Unicorn King’s Praetorian Guard….
    Shit just got real.

  • K-Bob
  • Adjoran

    State was concerned that the original talking points might lead people to believe they had failed to respond to requests for added security, just because they had failed to respond to requests for added security, and that they ignored cries for help, just because they ignored cries for help.

    It is also clear now that Carney was lying to the press corpse in every single statement he made about those talking points. I guess now we get to see if the “mighty watchdog” which acts like a lapdog has in fact been neutered. If they continue their soft and docile treatment of Carney and Obama, we’ll know they left something on the cutting room floor.

  • Steve White

    So when is the MSM going to cut off Victoria Nuland and refuse to listen to her? After all, she lied to them…

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  • JeffS

    Not until Ted Kennedy calls it a quagmire.

  • richard mcenroe

    There’s lying and there’s lying…

  • Bob Belvedere

    I hope you’re right. The story, after all, was dropped on a Friday, along with the IRS abuse [squirrel?] story.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Well done.

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  • K-Bob

    Must get abuse and squirrel – B. Badinov

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