BBC: Okay, This Benghazi Thing is Actually a Big Deal

Katie Pavlich
Posted: May 10, 2013 12:52 PM

For months we've seen the vast majority of media outlets ignoring Benghazi but after sworn whistleblower testimony completely contradicted Obama administration talking points earlier this week, editors are finally starting to pay attention. Up until this point, newsrooms have used excuse that the investigation into the terrorist attack is simply a "Republican witch hunt" and therefore isn't newsworthy.

The BBC's North American Editor Mark Mardell wrote in a post this morning that he believes "heads will roll" after seeing the report from ABC News this morning that the White House and State Department changed the Benghazi talking points 12 times, purposely eliminating all references to terrorism and al Qaeda in the process.

In the interests of full disclosure I have to say I have not in the past been persuaded that allegations of a cover-up were a big deal. It seemed to me a partisan attack based on very little.

I remember listening to reports from the BBC and others at the time that did suggest the attack in Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction to a rather puerile anti-Islamic video.

The new documents contain two rationales for the changes in language. The first is that it would prejudice the FBI investigation.

Perhaps, but I am not at all persuaded.

The other reason given, old-fashioned butt-guarding, is more credible.

As Ms Nuland puts it, such a report "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?"

However you read the motives, the state department and apparently the White House did get the CIA to change its story.

This is now very serious, and I suspect heads will roll. The White House will be on the defensive for a while.

Meanwhile, the White House press briefing for today has been delayed as press secretary Jay Carney desperately searches for talking points to defend the Obama administration's falsified talking points on Benghazi.