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May 06, 2016

Flashback: Steven Hayes Reported One Key Player Behind Benghazi Talking Points Alterations -- Obama's Fabulous Fabulist Ben Rhodes

A blind man "sees" an elephant one touch at a time.

Even as the White House strove last week to move beyond questions about the Benghazi attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2012, fresh evidence emerged that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults. The Weekly Standard has obtained a timeline briefed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence detailing the heavy substantive revisions made to the CIA's talking points, just six weeks before the 2012 presidential election, and additional information about why the changes were made and by whom.

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. The frantic process that produced the changes to the talking points took place over a 24-hour period just one day before Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made her now-famous appearances on the Sunday television talk shows. The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House.

As you know, the initial talking points were very accurate -- it was a coordinated attack conducted by Al Ansar. The early drafts were now amended through the internal process. In some areas, the new material shed further light. But--

...

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."

Victoria Nuland -- Hillary's Praetorian at State -- objected to so much accurate information in the report, which could be used to accurately suggest that Hillary might have been at fault for not taking previous CIA warnings (and Al Ansar attacks and scouting missions) seriously.

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. The changes, she wrote, did not "resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership," and State Department leadership was contacting National Security Council officials directly. Moments later, according to the House report, "White House officials responded by stating that the State Department’s concerns would have to be taken into account." One official--Ben Rhodes, The Weekly Standard is told, a top adviser to President Obama on national security and foreign policy--further advised the group that the issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.

After that deputies meeting, "attacks" morphed into "demonstrations" and the early (correct) certainty that Al Ansar was behind this was mysteriously vanished.


Read the whole thing (re-read it, maybe). I can't really summarize it without just quoting the whole thing, which of course I can't do.

The American Thinker, though, had this to say of Hayes' report:

CIA career officials clearly and repeatedly identified Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-linked Islamic terrorists as the culprits behind the murder of four Americans.

Of course, this would cause embarrassment for the Obama team, especially in the few weeks before the election. They had been boasting for years that Al Qaeda had been decimated, the "tide of war" was receding; they had been on a mission to whitewash the prospect of Islamic terrorism as a threat to America (see Lauri Regan's superb column ("Can a President who has promised to stand with Muslims protect America? ). Obama's Cairo speech before an audience that included Muslim Brotherhood officials that he compelled Egypt to include, was a paean to Islam. It was also, to a great extent, a work of fiction that included grandiose and subsequently disproven claims about the positive contributions Islam has made to America and the world.

That speech was written by Obama's foreign policy speechwriter and now National Security Council team member, Ben Rhodes.

That is the man who Hayes "outs" as a key person behind the Benghazi cover-up.

He reportedly altered the CIA talking points to delete references to Islamic terrorists, "attacks" (they became "demonstrations") and other negative references to Islamism. Also, someone at the White House level apparently dreamt up the idea of blaming an inconsequential video for triggering a spontaneous protest, that in the frenzy of events, led to the murder of Americans. These CIA talking points were eviscerated to whitewash the role of Islamic terrorism.

Who is that man?

Well, we still don't know.

What we do know is that there were a lot of Force Multipliers in the press eager to run with it -- and eager, since then, to claim that nothing untoward happened in Washington on the night of the Benghazi attack, or in the subsequent days of lies when the battlefield, which had been clear and easily understandable, was obscured by an artificial Fog of Psychological Warfare created by someone with a gift for fiction in DC.

We know the talking points went from more accurate to more fictional through this process -- Kill Your Darlings, the writers call it, though they also Kill The Things In the Manuscript That Just Aren't Working.


Narratives.

Sometimes they just need a fictionalist's deft touch -- the crafty guidance of a frustrated failed novelists who likes storylines and clear heroes you can root for.

Thanks to ThunderB.


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posted by Ace at 01:01 PM

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