Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Petraeus: Al Qaeda involvement was taken out of CIA account of Benghazi

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified in a closed-door hearing Friday morning that his agency determined immediately after the Sept. 11 Libya attack that “Al Qaeda involvement” was suspected — but the line was taken out in the final version circulated to administration officials, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who spoke to reporters after Petraeus testified before the House Intelligence Committee, indicated he and other lawmakers still have plenty of questions about the aftermath of the attack.

“No one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points,” he said.

[...]Petraeus’ testimony both challenges the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the attack was a “spontaneous” protest over an anti-Islam video, and according to King conflicts with his own briefing to lawmakers on Sept. 14. Sources have said Petraeus, in that briefing, also described the attack as a protest that spun out of control. 

[...]“The original talking points were much more specific about Al Qaeda involvement. And yet the final ones just said indications of extremists,” King said, adding that the final version was the product of a vague “inter-agency process.” 

Further, King said a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the Al Qaeda affiliates line “was taken out.” 

[...]The suggestion that the intelligence was altered raised questions about who altered it, with King asking if “the White House changed the talking points.” 

One source told Fox News that Petraeus “has no idea what was provided” to Rice or who was the author of the talking points she used. 

“He had no idea she was going on talk shows” until the White House announced it one or two days before, the source said. 

[...]The pressure was on Petraeus to set the record straight, after other top intelligence officials struggled a day earlier to explain why their initial talking points after the Libya attack minimized the role of militant groups.

Lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees heard testimony Thursday in private meetings with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell. But Fox News was told there were heated exchanges on the House side, particularly over the talking points that administration officials relied on in the days after the Sept. 11 strike.

Fox News was told that neither Clapper nor Morell knew for sure who finalized that information. And they could not explain why they minimized the role of a regional Al Qaeda branch as well as the militant Ansar al-Sharia despite evidence of their involvement.

Here’s what I think happened.

I think that the FBI found out about the affair months ago and the White House used that information to blackmail Petraeus into saying that Benghazi was not a terrorist attack. I think that they told him that if he lied for them, he could keep his job. I think that after the election, he was fired to prevent him from testifying and to discredit anything he said about Benghazi. I think that Ambassador Rice was sent out by the White House to deliberately lie to the American people in order to save Obama’s re-election chances. And I think that she did it in order to get selected as the new Secretary of State. It will be interesting to see whether my speculations are proved right as the inquiry proceeds.

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