“Now I don’t know about anyone else, but this is just rediculous. Do they really expect people to believe that an information division changed things they shouldn’t have in talking points for Susan Rice? They all knew immediately what was transpiring in Benghazi! Then the cover up began, because you see the public couldn’t know that Al-Queda did this. They simply didn’t get all their stories straight. And they have managed to muddy the waters so the average American doesn’t know what is really happening. And they expect to make Susan Rice Secretary of State. Why when she’s lost all of her credibility, if she ever had any. Remember she was handpicked by the president for a reason. “(iamnotashamed quote)
CBS News has learned that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack – with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. The White House or State Department did not make those changes.
There has been considerable discussion about who made the changes to the talking points that Rice stuck to in her television appearances on Sept. 16 (video), five days after the attack that killed American Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, and three other U.S. nationals.
Republicans have accused her of making misleading statements by referring to the assault as a “spontaneous” demonstration by extremists. Some have suggested she used the terminology she did for political reasons.
However, an intelligence source tells CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan the links to al Qaeda were deemed too “tenuous” to make public, because there was not strong confidence in the person providing the intelligence. CIA Director David Petraeus, however, told Congress he agreed to release the information — the reference to al Qaeda — in an early draft of the talking points, which were also distributed to select lawmakers.
“The intelligence community assessed from the very beginning that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” DNI spokesman Shawn Turner tells CBS News. That information was shared at a classified level — which Rice, as a member of President Obama’s cabinet, would have been privy to.
An intelligence source says the talking points were passed from the CIA to the DNI, where the substantive edits were made, and then to FBI, which made more edits as part of “standard procedure.”
The head of the DNI is James Clapper, an Obama appointee. He ultimately did review the points, before they were given to Ambassador Rice and members of the House intelligence committee on Sept. 14. They were compiled the day before.
Could he be the head that rolls as a result of all this? Clap on . . . [clap, clap] . . . He’s gone . . . [clap, clap] . . . Clap on, he’s gone . . . The Clapper!
Paul Mirengoff says this doesn’t make sense: “But the DNI himself, James Clapper, has testified before Congress. Based on the comments of some of the legislators who were present at the hearing, it did not appear that Clapper changed the CIA’s report or knew who did. Moreover, Gen. Petraeus reportedly testified that he had no idea who changed his report. It seems unlikely that the CIA would sign off on changes without consulting Petraeus. So there may be a disconnect here. Congress needs to find out who within the Office of the DIA made the changes and who within the CIA approved them, if in fact anyone did.”
Peter Kirsanow: “So Rice was privy to the classified assessment that the attack on the consulate was a terrorist attack. That’s not consistent with the president’s narrative that Rice was merely spouting what she was told. Yet she went on five news shows and said the matter was a spontaneous demonstration prompted by a video. Furthermore, nothing in the CBS News report indicates that the DNI’s office inserted anything about a video into either the classified or unclassified versions of the talking points. Just where did that idea come from?