It is no surprise by now if you've been paying any attention to the Benghazi scandal that the Obama administration totally ignored reports from the ground in Libya on September 11, 2012 when it came to developing talking points for the American public. From the beginning, President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary of Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney all told the American people the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were a result of a protest over a YouTube video raging out of control. As we've known for months and revisited Wednesday through testimony from whistleblower Greg Hicks, there was no protest. The video claim is completely fabricated. What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack and was reported as such to Hillary Clinton at 2 a.m. Reports of a protest outside of the consulate were never issued from Libya to Washington because there wasn't one.
Regardless, the White House, not the intelligence community, came up with falsified talking points. According to ABC News, they were changed 12 times.
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.”
And about that whole al Qaeda thing? State Department Spokesman Victoria Nuland really didn't like that, so she had it scrubbed. A final meeting at the White House before the talking points were used publicly eliminated any reference to al Qaeda and the warning signs about an attack and terrorism in Benghazi.
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.
The CIA and the intelligence community were thrown under the bus by the Obama administration on Benghazi from day one, yet, the CIA was the only agency willing to actually tell the truth about what happened. The CIA gave the White House and the State Department accurate and factual information about al Qaeda and terrorist threats in Benghazi. They were ignored before the attack and then stripped after the threats came to fruition.