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May 03, 2013

Timeline: Emails Reveal State Department Flack Has Fingers All Over Talking Points Deception, Stating That Her "Superiors" Were Unhappy With Implication They'd Ignored Warnings

They lied.

What difference does it make?

That's an odd question-- if it made no difference to you, Hillary, why did you lie about it?

It's a very strange assertion to make that something doesn't matter if that same person spent hours and hours crafting a lie about that something.

As intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of events unfolding in Libya, they concluded even before the assaults had ended that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved. Senior administration officials, however, sought to obscure the emerging picture and downplay the significance of attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

...

Within hours of the initial attack on the U.S. facility, the State Department Operations Center sent out two alerts. The first, at 4:05 p.m. (all times are Eastern Daylight Time), indicated that the compound was under attack; the second, at 6:08 p.m., indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack. According to the House report, these alerts were circulated widely inside the government, including at the highest levels. The fighting in Benghazi continued for another several hours, so top Obama administration officials were told even as the fighting was taking place that U.S. diplomats and intelligence operatives were likely being attacked by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists. A cable sent the following day, September 12, by the CIA station chief in Libya, reported that eyewitnesses confirmed the participation of Islamic militants and made clear that U.S. facilities in Benghazi had come under terrorist attack. It was this fact, along with several others, that top Obama officials would work so hard to obscure.

Look, you've got to read the whole thing. Let me quote just one more bit, though:

After the internal distribution, CIA officials amended that draft to include more information about the jihadist threat in both Egypt and Libya. “On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the [Cairo] Embassy and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy,” the agency had added by late afternoon. And: “The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al Qaeda in Benghazi and Libya.” But elsewhere, CIA officials pulled back. The reference to “Islamic extremists” no longer specified “Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda,” and the initial reference to “attacks” in Benghazi was changed to “demonstrations.”

The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”

In an attempt to address those concerns, CIA officials cut all references to Ansar al Sharia and made minor tweaks. But in a follow-up email at 9:24 p.m., Nuland wrote that the problem remained and that her superiors—she did not say which ones—were unhappy.

See page 2 of the article to watch how Version 1 of the talking points -- specific, informative, accurate, and noting "attacks" by Al Qaeda connected groups -- becomes Version 3, that speaks only of "demonstrations" and does not mention Al Qaeda.

I seem to remember this Victoria Nuland woman offering many lies to the camera in defense of her image-concerned boss, but as of yet I haven't found them. I will update if I do. For now, I just have this.

More: Here, Nuland lies to the press -- a FoxNews reporter -- claiming that Susan Rice's Sunday Talking Points accurately reflected the government's "initial assessment," despite the fact that Victoria Nuland personally had the "initial assessment" changed to suit her "superiors'" political worries.

Note, in addition, there is no mention of a YouTube video in the Talking Points-- that's something Susan Rice added. And yet Nuland affirms that's part of their 'initial assessment."







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