- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 17, 2012) — Ulsterman is reporting that a Republican Insider has told him that the Obama “campaign” has been identified as having removed wording from a talking points memo from then-CIA Director David Petraeus which said that Al Qaeda-linked groups carried out a terrorist attack on the Benghazi outpost on September 11, killing four Americans.
Testimony given on Thursday to House and Senate Intelligence Committees by Acting CIA Director Mike Morell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper did not shed light on “who finalized” the talking points.
Petraeus, Morell and Clapper stated in private testimony on Friday that Petraeus’s original talking points had been altered. Rep. Peter King, who heads the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that he believed that “somebody in the administration” removed the wording from “the final version circulated to administration officials.” “Somewhere along the line, policymakers changed it,” King told Fox & Friends earlier today.
Petraeus testified for approximately about an hour and 20 minutes to the House Intelligence Committee, but in total, he he spoke for a combined four hours in front of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
During a press briefing following Petraeus’s testimony, King also said that “they” approved revised talking points to be used by United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who spoke on five different Sunday talk shows on September 16, insisting that the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest sparked by an internet video which mocked the prophet Mohammed. It is unclear if King meant that Petraeus was personally consulted about the changes made to his talking points.
The talking points, which contained classified information, were reportedly initially assembled by up to of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and departments, but who altered them after they were submitted to Clapper is as yet unknown. In late 2009, Obama signed an executive order detailing how information was to be considered classified or unclassified. The Obama regime disclosed classified national security information last spring about which campaign advisor David Axelrod, who does not possess a security clearance, appeared to have knowledge.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated in an interview earlier this year that a total of eight people have access to highly sensitive national security information, which includes the CIA Director.
Gates also said that prior to the raid carried out on Osama bin Laden, “…we didn’t have one single piece of hard data that he was actually in that compound, not one. The whole thing was a circumstantial case built by analysts at CIA.” There are those who doubt that bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011; an article in The New York Times dated the same day is titled “Bin Laden is Dead, Obama Says.” No photos of the raid have been released by the federal government.
Petraeus said publicly on October 26 that neither he nor anyone at the CIA had denied assistance to victims of the Benghazi attack, and those who reportedly told CIA annex staff to “stand down” have not been identified.
The AP reported that Petraeus said that the references to terrorists “were removed from the public explanation of what caused the attack so as not to tip off the groups that the U.S. intelligence community was on their trail, according to lawmakers who attended the private briefings.” Fox News has reported that King was not told “why” the talking points were altered. Bloomberg News reported that Petraeus “didn’t know” why his report was altered. Republicans are calling for an explanation after Petraeus’s testimony, as other reports refute the AP’s contention that Petraeus offered an explanation as to why his memo was altered.
Petraeus has both reportedly said that the violence was caused by an anti-Islamic video on September 14 and on Friday, that the CIA knew that the cause was terrorism at the outset. Statements made regarding the attack by the intelligence community and the White House do not agree. CNN continues to report that the intelligence community “revised its asssessment” of the cause of the violence.
Fox reports that Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat, said, “…’claims the talking points were changed are ‘completely wrong.’ Besides, he said, the affiliation of Ansar al-Sharia, the militant group suspected in the attack, to Al Qaeda is still being examined.” However, the AP reports that another Democrat, Adam Schiff, said, “The general was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda. He completely debunked that idea.”
But how would Petraeus know what the motive for the alteration was if he did not know who did it?
ABC News has described Petraeus as “disgraced” because of his affair with his biographer, Paul Broadwell and reports that his “testimony supported U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice,” which is refuted by other news services. On Friday Petraeus reportedly made a single statement on the Broadwell matter, focusing on the Benghazi incident in his testimony to the committees. Petraeus himself has said that the talking points Rice used on five Sunday morning news shows on September 16 did not come from him. He reportedly said at Friday’s closed-door hearing that Rice had “ignored” the “original CIA talking points” when she “was sent” “at the request of the White House” to speak with news anchors on September 16.
Democrats and Republicans have differed on the source of Rice’s information, with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein stating that the CIA prepared them and Sen. Saxby Chambliss stating that Rice “knew at that time that al Qaeda was very likely responsible in part or in whole for the death of Ambassador Stevens.”
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said that “The talking points about the intelligence assessment that Susan used were produced by the Intelligence Community…The White House and State Department offered one edit, changing consulate to ‘diplomatic facility’ for accuracy.” Rep. King said on Fox & Friends this morning that a number of federal agencies could have made the changes and that “Maybe Obama should be looked at.” The talking points Rice used do not refer to Al Qaeda but mention that “extremists” might have taken part in “protests” which began at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. A spokesman for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the CIA’s initial “assessment” had changed at the end of September.
Sen. John McCain has claimed that Rice “had access to classified information that indicated the story she was told wasn’t accurate,” referring to the talking points Rice used on September 16. Petraeus reportedly told McCain that he never spoke to Obama directly about the Benghazi violence. Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allegedly had a conversation “shortly after the Benghazi attack began.”
The CIA recently acted as a “corporate sponsor” at a conference where “the importance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) allies in the workplace” was discussed. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was formerly director of the CIA.
Ulsterman’s insider reported that “a staffer…said it was the campaign. The campaign reviewed it and changed it and sent Rice out onto the Sunday news shows. That sounds…well, it’s outrageous. But…it…all of the campaigning the president was doing…has been…he’s been at it for over two years. The campaing has always been his priority. So…so maybe that’s possible. Now that’s not a minor point here. If national security…the death of an ambassador and three other Americans…now if that…(inaudible)…so if there was a decision from the campaign, then…well…I’ll say it. That could be cause for impeachment. The president would be in violation of his oath. At least it’s how I understand it.”