Official: Changes to Benghazi talking points made by intel community
US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on State of the Union on September 16
November 19th, 2012
07:32 PM ET

Official: Changes to Benghazi talking points made by intel community

By Pam Benson

The intelligence community - not the White House, State Department or Justice Department - was responsible for the substantive changes made to the talking points distributed for government officials who spoke publicly about the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, the spokesman for the director of national intelligence said Monday.

The unclassified talking points on Libya, developed several days after the the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, were not substantively changed by any agency outside of the intelligence community, according to the spokesman, Shawn Turner.

Republican criticism of the talking points intensified last Friday following a closed door hearing with former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, told reporters after the hearing that the original talking parts drafted by the CIA had been changed and it was unclear who was responsible.

"The original talking points were much more specific about al Qaeda involvement and yet final ones just said indications of extremists," King said.

The September 11 attack resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The unclassified talking points were first developed by the CIA at the request of the House Intelligence Committee, whose members wanted to know what they could say publicly about the Benghazi attack.

Benghazi talking points omitted link to al Qaeda

The initial version included information linking individuals involved in the attack to al Qaeda, according to a senior U.S. official familiar with the drafting of the talking points. But when the document was sent to the rest of the intelligence community for review, there was a decision to change "al Qaeda" to "extremists." The official said the change was made for legitimate intelligence and legal reasons, not for political purposes.

"First, the information about individuals linked to al Qaeda was derived from classified sources," the official said. "Second, when links were so tenuous - as they still are - it makes sense to be cautious before pointing fingers so you don't set off a chain of circular and self-reinforcing assumptions. Third, it is important to be careful not to prejudice a criminal investigation in its early stages."

Some Republican members of Congress suggested the change came from within the Obama administration - from the White House, the Justice Department, or another government agency.

Turner, the spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper, said that was not the case.

"The intelligence community made substantive, analytical changes before the talking points were sent to government agency partners for their feedback," Turner said, referring to the White House, Justice Department, State Department, Pentagon and FBI. "There were no substantive changes made to the talking points after they left the intelligence community," he said.

The House Intelligence Committee was not satisfied with Turner's statement.

"The statement released this evening by the DNI's spokesman regarding how the Intelligence Community's talking points were changed gives a new explanation that differs significantly from information provided in testimony to the Committee last week," said committee spokeswoman Susan Phalen. "Chairman Rogers looks forward to discussing this new explanation with Director Clapper as soon as possible to understand how the DNI reached this conclusion and why leaders of the Intelligence Community testified late last week that they were unaware of who changed the talking points."

The White House on Friday said it made only one change, substituting the word "mission" for "consulate."

The FBI requested a change in language which originally stated the U.S. "knew" Islamic extremists participated in the attack. According to a U.S. intelligence official the wording was changed to "there are indications" Islamic extremists participated.

Obama administration continues explanations on Benghazi decision-making

The drumbeat of criticism began early on with Republicans criticizing the Obama administration for publicly saying the attack grew out of a spontaneous protest against an anti Muslim video on the web even though the Republicans claim the administration knew it was a planned terrorist attack.

The harshest criticism has focused on Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who used the talking points as the basis for comments she made on Sunday talk shows five days after the attack. During her appearances, Rice said a small number of people came to the mission in reaction to demonstrations occurring in Cairo over the anti-Muslim film, but the Benghazi protest was hijacked by armed extremists. She never mentioned terrorists.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, said this isn't about parsing words. "There was some policy decisions made based on the narrative that was not consistent with the intelligence that we had. That's my concern," Rogers said last Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Former CIA Director Petraeus told lawmakers last Friday there were multiple streams of intelligence, some that indicated Ansar al Sharia was behind the attack, according to an official with knowledge of the situation. But other intelligence indicated the violence at the Benghazi mission was inspired by protests in Egypt over the anti Muslim video.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, told CNN on Monday that Petraeus explained why the talking points were changed.

"Gen. Petraeus made it clear that that change was made to protect classified sources of information, not to spin it, not to politicize it and it wasn't done at the direction of the white house. That really ought to be the end of it, but it isn't. So we have to continue to go around this merry go round, but at a certain point when all the facts point in a certain direction, we're going to have to accept them as they are and move on," Schiff said.

CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Benghazi • Central Intelligence Agency • CIA • Intelligence • Libya • Libya • ODNI • Peter King • Petraeus • Rep. Mike Rogers • Terrorism
soundoff (2,145 Responses)
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    February 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  2. Shelly

    Some one needs to tell Obamas mouth piece that when your Government lies and misleads it's citizens that is a big deal.
    This news agency has down played this. Makes me wonder if they know what real news is or do they even care that our government lies to us!

    December 2, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  3. omegabit

    So people will believe anything they read if it allows them to keep living in their bubble.

    Remember when Obama claimed he called it a terrorist attack the day after in the second debate?
    Now, a month later, we're back to "We didn't know, we thought it was a demonstration" even though we know the State Department and the CIA had access to a live video of the ambassador getting dragged out of the consolate... a demonstration that ran till 4:00 in the morning. ...with mortars and rockets,

    And so now we are supposed to believe that these same people read what the CIA put into the report, but they "disagreed" and removed all references to what happened, and finalized a report that claimed this was a demonstration, and Susan Rice read it.. and..

    You see? People will believe anything they read if it allows them to keep living in their bubble.

    November 22, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
    • omegabit

      And let's go to the tape: Susan Rice did not sound the least bit in doubt when she LIED REPEATEDLY as to her ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY THAT A DEMONSTRATION that was never photographed, videotaped or noted by anybody who was there was to blame.

      Wake up. The media will say anything to give credence to every flimsy excuse the president throws in front of these frauds. "Mr. President, I've never seen you lose".

      November 22, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply
    • wizardwerdna

      Just out of curiosity, what is the chattering conspiracy theorist reason why the CIA would change up the talking points? What possible reason, other than the one stated by General Petraeus could there be? What possible benefit could there be to "cover up" for the week-long period the initial reports and subsequent estimate?

      Or could it be that you will say anything, yes anything, to try to reduce the esteem of the public in the present administration?

      I must say it pleases me even more that the President won the election as I see the loathsome behavior of its enemies.

      In my case, I just read the statements, assumed they meant what they said, and I am for one quite satisfied with the explanation. Your mile may vary, but if you are going to call foul, why not cite to the harm? Or isn't there one, and you are just yapping as mindlessly as are the dull three Senators whose careers will be forever tarnished as a result?

      November 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • dnno1

      Just because they decided not to use the words "Al Qaeda" does not mean that it wasn't a terror attack nor does it change the fact that the President called it an "act or terror" all the same. Susan Rice did give the disclaimer that this was an ongoing investigation and that what she gave was their best assessment based on the information they had at the time. I do not think that they were obligated to tell anyone that they watched the attack in real time either. A lot of people are whining about this incident when we have had thousands of attacks on Americans during the Bush Administration that kind of went overlooked by both the media and right-wing politicians.

      December 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  4. Wise1Speak

    JOHN McCAIN IS STILL HARBORING A SEVERE DEBILITATING BITTERNESS FOR HIS 2008 ELECTION LOST TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

    It is pathetic and sad that millions can easily see the bitterness John McCain harbors against President Obama. The 'cranky old McCain' despises the 'smart, young, good looking Obama' because Obama beat him in the 2008 Presidential election.

    Get over it John, your bitterness is turning your soul into something very dark & wicked. Evil enough for you to make an attempt at destroying an innocent woman's character just so you can get back at President Obama. Sad, sad, sad!

    November 22, 2012 at 2:32 am | Reply
    • omegabit

      What is dark and wicked are blind Obama loyalists that always try to turn the criticism about his actions into a personal attack on the critic.

      Only a fool would believe that any intelligence community would watch a video, write a report, then change it completely to remove all references to what no one disputes actually happened.

      Of course only a fool would vote for Obama after he lied for 3 weeks about this scandal, or after four years of absolutely disastrous economic policy that could be summed up as "don't blame me, I only got here four years ago". Obviously America is not lacking for such fools.

      November 22, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
      • Dehya

        The facts are the white house made no sunstantial change and the intel community did as a matter or policy. Get over it, join the successionist or just continue with your membership with the Klan or the Nazi party. You are the one who has lost objectivity

        November 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  5. KBNJ

    Cut & Paste from Al Jazeera:

    Libya says US consulate attack 'pre-planned'
    President Magarief, in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, says he believes al-Qaeda is responsible.
    Yasmine Ryan Last Modified: 15 Sep 2012 01:33

    November 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • Skarphace

      When the CIA 'classifies' something, that does not matter to those not under the CIA's jurisdiction. What is it that you do not understand about this? How is the CIA going to keep the President of Libya from saying something that the CIA considered 'classified'? Explain that one to us.

      November 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
      • Ken Margo

        Why would the CIA even tell the president of libya? Whoever he is.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
      • KBNJ

        The President of Libya corrected Obama's all-to-obvious (at least those other than his worshipers) lie. There was no need to classify the information. There was no need to invent a story about a mob. There was no need to continue the mob fairytale for WEEKS after the Libyan President called him on his lie. Unless, perhaps, you're in a close election, you just said "al Qaeda is on the path to defeat" in your 9/6 acceptance speech, and you have no shame.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
      • Skarphace

        KBNJ: once again, I think you are giving too much power to the President of Libya. Contrary to your belief, our President does not and never will get his talking points from the President of Libya. Our POTUS gets his tallking points on matters of national security (of which this was) from the CIA. Where do you get this stuff?

        November 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
      • KBNJ

        Generally, things are classified to keep them secret. When the whole world, except maybe a gaggle of Obama adorers, already know the truth, there's not much point in classifying it. In fact, over-classifying information is WORSE than "under-classifying" it. We're supposed to be an open Government. "We the People..", remember? The SOLE reason we classify information is for National Security. When the whole world know something, it's not classified. Period.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Well, if you are concerned about what information is classified and what is not, then you will have to take that up with the CIA as they make these decisions, not I.

        In addition, if you read an earlier post from me, I stated that most people were aware from the start that this was a terrorist attack and did not have much to do with the video. Did we know it? No. Did the President of Libya know it? No. This is why he said, and I quote 'I believe' instead of 'I know'.

        Regardless, if the CIA says something is classified, then this applies to everyone under their jurisdiction which includes the POTUS and our Ambassador to the UN but does not include the President of Libya. If Obama or Rice had leaked classified information, then they would be to blame. They didn't and therefore they aren't to blame. Not that facts will stop you and your ilk.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @KBNJ....................You need to lay off the coffee man! You are taking conspiracies to a all new level. Let the investigation complete its course. We'll see what happened and why. You're going to have a stroke if you keep this up.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Skarphace

      By the way, "unequivocally stated Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks" (from a previous claim from you), and "says he believes al-Qaeda is responsible" do not equate. Do you have a reading comprehension problem or something?

      November 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • David

      Four days after the attack he BELIEVES it was pre planned and an act by a particular terrorist group. Did he also happen to mention why the help we sent was detained by the Libyans at the airport for hours instead of being let go to help? You people are focusing on one particular aspect of the situation that has absolutely no relevance on the events that occurred. Get your priorities straight and focus on real questions and not nonsense that helps you justify your hate.

      November 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      So Mr. America believes Al jazeera. Amazing.

      November 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
      • David

        Those are people we call fake Americans.

        November 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Yeah, I also found it quite ironic that he would quote Al Jazeera, given that they are a Muslim-run news source. Not that I mind, as I read Al Jazeera often and find them very professional.

        November 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • David

      Per one of your other statements that suggest a reason for a so called lie was because of the upcoming election. Since the explanation changed to include that it was in fact a pre planned terrorist attack, your claim to the reason for the so called lie has no merit. We also see that no matter what it was initially called and later changed too, had no effect what so ever on the election, since he did in fact win a second term. Logic is your friend.

      November 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  6. sohappy

    homie lied and Americans died, put him in a gas chamber

    November 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • Robert

      So long as you include GW and Darth Cheney for the lies that got us into the Iraq war.

      November 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      "Homies" lie didn't kill anybody. They died before the press release, not after.

      November 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Reply
      • popelikr

        So you agree!
        Homie lied.

        Homie being Obama .. Obama Lied to the American People. WHY?????? To win the Election. Obama would do ANYTHING to win. And if you don't think that him and his administration LYING, after the fact that nothing could have been done to help the deceased and injured(as you pointed out "Home Lied, but they were already dead, nothing he could do" or something like that. Then the ONLY reason for him and the administration for not telling THE AMERICAN PEOPLE the truth was ????? oh yeah... to win the Election.

        If there are still people out there that can't see that reasoning you never will...until it is too late, and then you might not even then.

        p.s. It was never about Susan Rice being a young, black female... it was about someone with authority out and out LYING to us ... that would be you too!

        November 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Skarphace

      And the troll feeds. Nom nom.

      November 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • A college educated white American male

      To whom are you refering to when you state "homie lied"?

      November 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  7. Skarphace

    Republicans sure can pivot quickly, I will give them that. Just a couple of weeks before the Benghazi incident, they were trying to get Obama impeached for leaking classified information. Now, they are trying to get him impeached for not leaking classified information. Nobody knows the meaning of the word 'hypocrite' as thoroughly as a Republican does.

    November 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • KBNJ

      LOL: The information was SO CLASSIFIED the President of Libya publicly corrected Susan Rice the next day and unequivocally stated Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks. Guess someone should have clued him in on the secret, huh? Didn't stop Obama from playing out the "mob" fairytale for a few more weeks, though.

      November 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
      • Skarphace

        Hmmm. So you think that the CIA controls the President of Libya?

        November 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      KBNJ Your guy lost. Stop being bitter.

      November 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Reply
      • KBNJ

        One of the reasons Obama won is the Press and his adoring fans believe everything he says without challenge. In truth, I don't think he's that bad a President and his foreign policy is FAR FAR FAR better than Bush's, whom I tried to vote out of office in round 2. BUT, and this is a HUGE BUTT, when a man as powerful as the President is given carte blanche to do and say what he pleases and the "Press" lovingly covers his butt, we've ALL got a problem regardless of how much you love him.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        I can give you several reasons Obama won.

        Saved the auto industry
        Saved the financial industry
        Kept country out of a depression
        Killed Osama Bin Laden
        Ended the Iraq war.
        Ending the Afghanistan war (He should end it sooner)
        32 months of job growth
        Healthcare reform
        Respect for women (lilly Ledbetter act)
        Nuke deal with Russia to cut nukes

        I'm tired of typing. I'll give you more reasons later.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
      • Skarphace

        "the President is given carte blanche to do and say what he pleases".

        OMG! Are you delusional? Seriously, you can't be serious.

        November 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
      • popelikr

        I think it is more:
        Your guy won...Stop being so Bitter.
        I have never seen/heard so many sore winners!
        You should be happy happy happy!!
        But everyone I speak to is mad.

        WHY???

        November 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • James

      The information was UNclassified information, not classified. Can't you read, Skarphace? Patraeus specifically called it Unclassified info, and said someone else changed it, but he didn't know who, after he sent it along. Then, in the Senate hearings last week, the Director of National Intelligence said he did not know who changed it, either. Now, today, the spokesperson for the Director of National Intelligence says the Director of National Intelligence was the one who changed them. Do you see how none of this adds up, or are you too wedded to your own ideals to see inconsistencies when they stare you in the face?

      November 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
      • Skarphace

        'Someone', meaning somebody in the CIA, classified it. They have said so. This was not Obama or Rice's call. To go against this would be to leak information, something that Obama was criticised for several times, even though there was no proof of such. Therefore, these allegations against Rice and Obama are baseless.

        November 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
      • marty rogers

        he didn't say Clapper changed it. He said somebody within the intel community did. Clapper said he would find out who changed it and he obviously did that is why his spokesman reported it yesterday. NOBOY, not Clapper, not the CIA, not the FBI and NOT Petraeus thought it was a big deal to change it from terrorist to extremist and they are all shocked at the stupid "controversy". And by the way, do you people really think that it was coincidence that the attacks occurred in the middle of protests throughput the region on the exact day and exact time? isn't it more likely, or certainly more logical to initially assume so, that it was an opportunistic attack that capitalized on the chaos of the protests throughout the region? and more importantly: is anybody out there with half a brain really thinks the distinction of whether it was terrorist or a mob would make a scintilla of a difference in the election when the overwhelming majority of the people indicated the number one reason is the economy and that they felt the president related to their problems? in fact, foreign policy was like near the bottom of reasons. This is just beyond weird. REPUBLICANS: DO YOUR JOB! help the country's economy and stop wasting time with this silly stuff.

        November 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  8. give it up

    People with rational minds always wonder why the Republicans keep sniffing after conspiracies where there are none instead of just doing real work. Well, after reading many of these posts I realize that there are a lot of dopes out there who WANT to believe in these silly conspiracy theories. They are the Republican base.

    November 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • El Flaco

      Death Panels.
      Kenyan
      Birth Certificate
      Obama is the Antichrist
      Cadillac Driving Welfare Queens
      "Free" markets
      Closet Muslim
      Cutting taxes increases revenue
      WMDs in Iraq "No Doubt"
      Bin Laden in Afghanistan "No Doubt"
      Kindergarten Teaching Union Thugs
      Pedophile federal agents groping screaming children in airports
      Fast & Furious
      Obama-phones (free phone program was created in the Reagan Administration)
      Barnie Frank caused the world-wide Great Recession
      All scientists who assert that global-warming is real are socialists and communists.
      Obama allowed Gen. Petraeus to put his hoo-hoo in that psycho broad’s binkie

      All global media corporations have been in a communist (before 1991)/socialist (after 1991) conspiracy to defame Conservatism for five generations.

      The Social Security Administration is purchasing hollow-point bullets to shoot and kill Americans with.

      And now, Conservatism's latest product:

      "Obama laughs as dying ambassador begs for help. 'Allah is Great,' Obama is reported to have screamed."

      November 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Reply
    • Skarphace

      Luckily, the 'Republican Base' seems to be shrinking year after year. Hopefully, the Libertarian base will continue to grow and will eventually replace these freaks.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Reply
      • Libacryte

        Skarphace – I actually agree with this. I'm not glad that obama won, as I feel he is not what is best for our country at this moment, but I am glad the "republican party" lost because they offered up basically the same person in 2008 as well as 2012 – both of them were "RINOs" who then took a conservative VP pick.

        I would LOVE to see a viable 3rd party, someone who espouses fiscal conservatism while NOT being concerned about social issues.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Well, then we agree on something. See, not all of us who are Democrats are anti-America. I would have probably voted for Ron Paul if the Republicans had nominated him (probably, being based on the Presidential debates between Obama and Paul which I would have absolutely loved to see), and I would have definitely voted for Huntsman over Obama (I am actually hoping that Huntsman runs as a Democrat in 2016 because the Republicans will never nominate him).

        Regardless, I voted for Obama because although I don't think he is the best for our country, I think that Romney would have been the worse of the two, by far. At least with Obama, you know where he stands. With Romney, not so much.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • give it up

      Libacryt.

      I think many in the republican party would like to see a candidate just as you describe, the problem is the pact the repubs have made with the tea party devils and radical right wing evangelicals. Sadly, it's causing many moderate repubs to resign or be ousted. I think the repubs know that they've got to do what you describe – which is why I think the next election we'll see the Tea PArty split off into their own party. It's the only hope.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • Tony in St. Louis

      Excellent point! I think America is growing tired of the foolishness. Where is the "like" button?

      November 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
      • Racheline Schwartz

        I'm a republican and it doesn't take much to see that the Obama administration and its minionsrice, axelrod, carney, gibbs, etcjust did a lot of lying to cover up the facts. It is people such as yourself who behave like cattle and accept everything that's said to them. I never haver nor will I ever accept what a politician has to say without examining the facts. The fact that our lying thug President wants us to accept that someone in the "intel community" took it upon himself or herself to change a memo of this importance is not something anyone with more than two cell brains would believe. It's analogous to your kid telling you "the dog ate my homework"grow up and look at facts without needing someone to tell you what you're looking at.

        November 21, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  9. Ted

    I have 2 questions for this administration......why was the ambassador in Benghazi on 9/11 when they knew about all of the threats and did someone order back-up military to stand down the night of the attack. If so, who gave the order and why. This is not a political thing. It is a matter of National Security.

    November 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Skarphace

      So you think it would be a good idea if every year on 9/11 the US pulled all of it's diplomats from every middle eastern and african country? You don't think that would be seen as a sign of weakness? Thank goodness you are not responsible for these decisions.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • El Flaco

      From what I have read, the Pentagon did not want to put troops into the situation until they understood what the situation was. A general said he was going to mount a rescue mission no matter what the Pentagon said. The Pentagon ordered his second in command to relieve the general. I forget the general's name.

      You don't voluntarily put your troops into an unknown situation, not knowing if they can actually accomplish the mission and come out alive.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Reply
      • Peter Principle

        From what I understand, you're an incredible imbecile farting absurd nonsense about that which you know entirely not poop. But does total ignorance stop you from farting foolish FUD? OF COURSE not. Complete and utter ignorance would only give not stupid people pause.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Why don't we all stay home and pull the covers over our head until 9/11 passes.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Reply
      • Skarphace

        What about 12/21 then? *shivers*

        November 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        I forgot about that! If the world doesn't end, can we please stop with that nonsense! If it does end, forget I said this.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  10. KBNJ

    "The intelligence community – not the White House, State Department or Justice Department – was responsible for the substantive changes made to the talking points"
    Umm...Who runs the show? The intelligence community can recommend anything they want, but ultimately it's the President's, or Congress's call, NOT the CIA's. Congress says they didn't know. The leaves one man, and ONLY one man responsible: President Obama. And Obama not only sent Rice out with talking points that had me scratching my head, but kept the "mob" story alive for WEEKS, even after the President of Libya firmly corrected Rice the very next day.

    November 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      partisan crap.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
      • El Flaco

        In other words, it does not conform to Conservative Propaganda.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Skarphace

      Very, very wrong. It is the job of the CIA to determine what information is classified and what is not. Not even the President can override the CIA. The CIA is not part of the White House and therefore is not under their jurisdiction. You are quite missinformed.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • David

      You do realize that no one man runs the country right? So if we go by your statement, we should have divulged information that would have put our CIA informants or plants in danger? You can't have it both ways. You can either have all the facts and put more people in danger, or you can come to terms with the fact that some information needs to be held to protect our people.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • KBNJ

      As noted, Congress and the President run the country. Congress apparently wasn't in the loop. That's a problem on it's own. The CIA makes recommendations. The President/Congress have a responsibility to NOT over-classify information. If they wanted to redact "Al-Qaeda" for security reasons, fine. But maybe they should have clued the President of Libya in on the little ploy, because he specifically stated the day after Rices tour that it was Al-Qaeda, and THAT news traveled around the world, making us look a bit silly. AND, after that, Obama makes NO corrections to the story for WEEKS?!?! Come, on folks, use your BRAINS!

      November 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Reply
      • Bobby Jindal

        Didn't you get my memo. It's time for Republicans to stop being the party of stupid.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        You are complaining about a press release! 4 Americans dead, small details. All that matters to you is what was said in a press release. sad.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
      • Skarphace

        That was just Jindal's way of positioning himself for 2016. Christie and Rubio have been making similar moves, away from Romney and towards the center. However, Republicans will never nominate a minority, so that puts Jindal and Rubio out of the question. It will probably come down to either Christie, as the moderate, and Ryan, as the Tea favorite.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • samuel

      The POUS follow intel ! Just like Bush for the WMD ! And now you are concerned. There are four American dead. Get a grap. I was in the military 30 years....you follow intel. Now maybe the POUS should have asked more questions. But it was eaarly in the intel collection process.

      You follow intel. You know what it will rain tomorrow...blame the POUS !

      November 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
    • John Lubeck

      In the past, the GOP has gotten away with this nonsense. (By nonsense, I am referring to your comments, in case you were not clear.) It seems like maybe a time is now beginning where they no longer will. Hopefully, that is the case.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  11. El Flaco

    Attention Conservatives: The Benghazi yarn needs some work. It is not a lie with traction, like Death Panels or Liberal Media.

    Let's put something about Kenya into it. How about this?

    "Guns were smuggled by Fast & Furious through Mexico to Communist Venezuela and then transported by Kenyan Navy Vessels to Benghazi, where the ambassador was selling them to Islamic terrorists. The income from the weapons sales went to finance Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinics.

    "It was Obama himself who had the compound burned in an effort to destroy the evidence, which is why Obama refuses to close Guantanamo."

    Go with that. I think you'll see that is has a lot more traction.

    You guys can’t govern, but your Propaganda is very good, a little crude maybe.

    November 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      Steve Colbert would admire your sarcasm...but please, as a former Marine with an intell background residing in Arkansas, I ask you to include Olly North and the Mena Airport. Credit ,please.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • DemFromSC

      Sounds exactly like Republican hype.....You should have offered to sell it to them before putting it out on the web!

      November 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Reply
    • Karen Martin

      Brilliant!

      November 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  12. Skarphace

    So it turns out that all the criticism of Rice and all the allegations that Obama lied and that he was somehow responsible for the deaths in Benghazi all comes down to a misunderstanding of the word 'classified'. Color me surprised.

    Therefore, I will clear it up for you Republicans. If the CIA considers something 'classified' then you cannot speak about it in public, whether you are the UN Embassador or the President. Is that clear enough for you?

    The bottom line is that all Congressmen who criticised Rice and who called Obama a liar owe us all an apology. However, if that happened it WOULD surprise me.

    November 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • El Flaco

      The last Conservative who took responsibility for his actions was Robert E Lee

      November 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • Tina

        I don't think you could truthfully classify Robert E. Lee as a conservative. After all, HE freed his slaves... unlike certain generals on the Union side.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Karen Martin

      Isn't it John McCain's witch hunt?

      November 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Reply
      • Ken Margo

        SHHHHH. Don't talk too loud. You may wake john. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        November 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  13. Sly

    I support America's CIA and FBI and the rest of our Intelligence organizations. They are professionals, and certainly know a whole lot more about intelligence than anyone on here.

    Our President, our Congressmen, our Intelligence Community – these are smart people, almost all of them smarter than us at what they do.

    It is fun to come on here and toss around jokes and criticisms, but don't ever lose sight of the fact that we entrust leaders and experts to protect us. We are not out there ourselves.

    If the intelligence experts felt they would have a better chance catching the bad guys by not announcing their plans to the whole world, I respect their judgement.

    All the other noise on here is simply noise ... fun ... but worthless. (oh by the way, every Embassy worker in the world knows they are in danger 365 – 31 died under Bush, and every worker in the world knows the risk).

    November 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • Libacryte

      First off, they are not "gods" – they are humans. As such, they are fallible, and prone to corruption. They make mistakes. They lie. They cheat. They steal.

      The people we "elect" are there to work for us, NOT the other way around. They are, in fact, PUBLIC SERVANTS. The Founding Fathers did NOT intend for a "politician" to be a career, but rather a break in one's "real" life whereby he would go & serve the people, then come back to his "real life."

      Propping these guys up on pedastools & saying things like "they are smarter than us" is how dictators are born, and how monarchies start. They are NO better than us, and the sooner some of you remember that, the better off we all will be!

      November 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
      • Skarphace

        I think what he was saying is that they are far better at their jobs than we would be. Otherwise, we would have their jobs. Regardless, if the CIA says something is classified, then it is classified. I don't know how you can criticise Rice or Obama for not leaking classified information.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
      • Sly

        Lib – you make a valid point, and no, these are not 'gods'.

        I trust our intelligence community and our Republican Generals were honest in their intention to save American lives, and they thought announcing their 'game plan' in advance to the entire world would not help catch the bad guys.

        These are Democrats, Republicans, non-political types, and there just ain't no conspiracy going on here ...

        November 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
      • Libacryte

        speak for yourself – I'm pretty well convinced I could do the jobs of most modern politicians better than them, regardless of party. Today's "politicians" in the US Gov are an affront and embarrassment to the legacy of the Founding Fathers.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
      • ur point is?

        U know good and well there r no monarchies or dictatorships happening in America. Just deal with the fact that ur grand ol party got it wrong this time. People have been beating this dead horse (bengahzi) with a stick to see if it will move. Guess what it's not going any where.

        People don't trust their government because it's part of our foundation. We were born out of a revolution. If our country was going to b a monarchy or a dictatorship it would have started that way. Our country started free and will remain so.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • Libacryte

        Sly – you "trust" the intelligence community, eh? So did you "trust" them during the ramp up to Iraq (you know, when they said that Iraq had WMDs?). Or what about regarding 9/11? Or what about the waterboarding?

        Sorry, you can't "pick & choose" when you trust, and do not trust them, based off of who is in office. You either "trust" them or you do not. Otherwise, you're just playing political games, which is laughable.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Libacryte: you could do a better job than our CIA operatives? Then go for it. Arguing on a blog will get you nowhere.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
      • Sly

        Liba – I 'trust' that our intelligence community is telling us what they want us to know in order to help accomplish their objective – in this case to catch the bad guys. (I dont think they were trying to get somebody elected).

        That said, I don't always believe that what they tell us is the truth. I think they fed us the WMD story in order to accomplish their goal – which would appear to be to topple Saddam.

        I don't think they are telling the truth about 9/11 – too fishy. Airplane engines don't bounce 3 miles on the dirt. But that was their way of not having to tell American's that we shot that airplane out of the sky, which would have made people mad.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Pete/Ark

      a grain of truth here...what the professionals have said is "we didn't trust the politicians to stay off camera and let us work"...they were right.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  14. D-Nice

    The GOP keeps going round and round in circles over this and they are getting nowhere and wasting tax payer money. Come on GOP, you can't score as many political points as you thought off these 4 dead Americans so why don't you just give it a rest and pass a freaking budget!

    November 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • Libacryte

      "wasting taxpayer money" hahahahahahaha... ummmm, pot... it's the kettle... and ummmm... you're black (now watch some leftist nincompoop try to make that a racial statement) hahahahaha

      November 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
      • Skarphace

        Anybody who feels it necessary to say 'I am not a racist' probably is.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
      • Libacryte

        Skarphace – I didn't say that. I said (perhaps you should try to actually comprehend it this time) that someone will try to turn the old "pot calling the kettle black" saying into a racist comment. You know, like how you folks try to make it seem like if a classroom has a "Secret Santa" that somehow that means that it's offensive to those who don't believe in or celebrate Christmas? Political correctness, in addition to allowing our Gov to spend money it doesn't have, will be the death of this once great nation.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Let me give you other examples. 'No Spin Zone', 'Fair and Balanced'. If you feel the need to defend yourself before anybody even attacks you then you are feeling guilty of something. This was my point.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
      • Libacryte

        Skarphace – what about "tingly legs" example? Cut the crap. And personally, I don't care if you, or any of your bretheren call me stupid names like "racist" or whatever – that's all you guys can do – you're like the boy who cried wolf regarding using the word "racist" – you've rendered it meaningless, so much so that most ppl just roll their eyes when they hear that word thrown about. Good job!!

        November 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Just remember who brought up the 'race card'. Hint: it was not me.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    They will NEVER get over the fact they lost the Presidency. Since the Supreme Court can't save them (and after this election, they will not have a rightie tightie court for decades. YIPPEE, YEHHAAAA, IN YO' FACE!!!!!) they are going to try and fall back to the old impeachment line of attack.
    Gimme' a break... the man ultimately responsible fell on his sword (and he was a republican sweetheart, one who couldn't keep his willy in his pants, but a republican sweetheart nonetheless).

    November 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  16. Cris

    Listen, the sooner we get our men/women home, the better off we'll be. This won't happen anymore... at least not on FOREIGN SOIL. You want jobs? The men and women that come home can help get our infrastructure rebuilt and back up to standards. The Republicans want this to escalate, so we can enter into one more useless, pointless war... and for what? One more playing chip in the game. Congratulations <-please note sarcasm. The Intel Community itself stated that they were the ones that made the changes. The Republicans are STILL arguing that the administration made the changes... REPUBLICANS: Maybe you should consider in different terms... WHY would you want your enemy to know what you're thinking/planning/considering? WHY would you want them to know what you know? YOU DON'T!! It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. And to the Republicans who are still CRYING over the election, grab a kleenex, wipe your snotty nose, and move on. Don't say "Oh! Wait until the next mid-terms!" You barely held on to the seats you have, AND Democrats did win back a couple of seats in the Senate. Americans are done with YOU... that's why you lost the general election; and unless you can prove that, as a party, you can come to the table with ideas that will benefit ALL Americans, you WILL NOT take back the White House or the Senate. GET TO WORKING!!

    November 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      You should change your name to "The Truth"

      November 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  17. Belle

    I live in Europe and am visiting this site.
    Are you all for real or have some of you lost your ability to think clearly.
    Why are you covering up for your President and his administration , of course there should be an investigation.
    The Brits and the Red Cross pulled out of Benghazi a few weeks before the attack , why didn't you.??
    Somebody was not doing their job , 4 people are dead and who is responsible for that.

    November 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      factual answer : those who carried out the attack.

      November 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
      • Belle

        Your administration is responsible for the safety and security of employees serving abroad , this would be the State Department , hence the Brits were asked to leave.

        November 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
      • Pete/Ark

        Belle , your definition of "fair play" is a bit skewed. The government did not cause the deaths...those who carried out the armed attack did. It's a shame that you are wasting your life siding with terrorists. You must be rather young and immature.

        November 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Ol' Yeller

      The Brits pulled out!?! Really? The Brits never stay around for the fighting. And if we had done that, these repubtards would be crying that Obama cut and run and calling him an appeaser (like they already have been, though he has kicked way more actual a$$ than the bushie boys did) I actually think you are a troll, but let me say this... if you are truly from Europe as you say, then why don't you start off by thanking us that you aren't posting in German right now. That being said.... no one is against an Investigation.... not me anyway, but this is just actually some whine babies who are way more interested in a witch hunt than any real investigation. They always are when we have REAL President.

      November 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • Belle

        I speak 3 languages and yes German is one of them.
        Of course the terrorists are responsible for the deaths , that doesn't mean there shouldn't be any accountability for actions before , during and after the attack.
        Anyway , your commenting is too uncivil and not open minded enough , you are right and everybody else is wrong , so there is nothing to discuss.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • CRG

      The enquiry in to this is strictly political and must stop. It is a waste of time and does nothing to help this country. There are legitimate security reasons why some information was withheld from the public. When we go to the polls in 2014, we need to remember those politicians who were more concerned about politics than serving this country.
      Rick

      November 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • dbrock

      I don't buy your story dude. Why don't you try being honest with yourself and then people might listen to you. Lying about visiting from Europe gives you zero cred.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      "Belle" has left us in a pique...when faced with reality he/she/it retreats with hurt delicate sensibilites.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
      • Belle

        Don't you have a lawn to mow because you should really get out and get some fresh air , your juvenile drivel is becoming really boring.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Skarphace

      If you truly live in Europe and are not just another Teatroll, then this is absolutely none of your business. Butt out.

      November 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
      • Belle

        I do have dual nationality and all international affairs are of interest to me , so why do you resort to name calling , obviously you don't have anything else to say.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Oh, look. Libacryte just logged back in as Belle.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @belle You don't know republicans as well as we do. I wouldn't trust them if they said the sky was blue. republicans are bitter because they lost. If you want to really find out what is happening, watch any news EXCEPT FOX NEWS.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Ken: and you would be right, if you lived in Oregon as I do. This time of year (November through March) the sky is hardly ever blue. Here, it is almost always shades of gray.

        November 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Sorry about the DUCKS!

        November 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
      • Skarphace

        Ken: I am not. They didn't deserve to win. Stanford outplayed them, fair and square.

        November 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Right Wing Wacko

      We didn't pull out because you guys did.
      Someone had to stay and defend freedom instead of running away with their tail between their legs...hey but thanks for sticking around and help.

      November 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  18. teddielavallee

    Do you think anyone is going to believe that the Inteligence Committee changed the Benghazi report to a-and I quote-"spontaneous demonstration" about a distasteful video. And sent Susan Rice out to 5 television stations to give this message to all the voters?
    We are not talking a few words here--we are talking about the entire meaning of the report!

    Shame of the media! Go back to journalism school!

    November 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      go back and re-read the article ... not the legislative committee...the professional intelligence community... so that the load mouths wouldn't interfere with thier job. Nice work.

      November 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
    • Deb

      I agree , it is almost like we have a state owned media , like in Russia.

      November 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • Pete/Ark

        the "media" were not suppossed to get the whole truth...they would have broadcast it as a warning...like Geraldo showing the tank deployments on world TV.

        November 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Skarphace

      I fully agree. It's almost like the CIA thinks it is their job to determine what information is classified and what is not. And it's almost like Rice and Obama fell right into their trap and failed to leak classified information (like the Republicans seem to have wanted although they would have criticised Obama even more if that had happend). Who would have thought?

      November 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  19. RonBiss

    The GOP, having already given up on science and more recently math (see GOP polling assuring a Romney landslide), appears now to disbelieve every thing they hear, regardless of source, unless it matches their ideological needs.

    That rabbit hole is getting smaller and stranger by the day.

    November 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  20. Pete/Ark

    The intell community did the job as they thought best ...trying to keep politicians from weakening thier cababilities through public grandstanding ... not important to republicans who can't live without stepping into the "bully pulpit" of the angry press conference. Message to ALL stripes of politician : the professionals don't trust you to keep your big mouths shut.

    November 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  21. ELH37

    If they had not changed the talking points and had, instead, released classified information about a classified CIA opperation the GOP would have been howling for Obama's head as well. Sorry Mr. President, you were darned no matter which route you took on this one. The GOP just can't get over the fact that they didn't win the Presidency.

    November 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • My Friend

      Amen to that.

      November 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
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