“ABC Finds Benghazi Talking Points Extensively Edited by State Dept,” Jim Geraghty’s writes at NRO’s Campaign Spot blog:
The final Morning Jolt of the week features trouble in Syria, Kerry getting static from Russia, an argument against the immigration bill from an unexpected source, more worries from . . . but the lead item is the morning’s breaking news:
BREAKING: Jay Carney Lied About the Benghazi Talking Points
Breaking this morning, from ABC News’ Jonathan Karl:
When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.
ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.
White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.
That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.
Also breaking: apparently ABC, aka, the House of Stephanopoulos, is temporarily at least, toying with the idea of getting back into the news business.
(As opposed to NBC: Lisa Myers said this morning on TV that Democrats have been calling her to attempt to undermine the testimony of Benghazi whistleblower Gregory Hicks,” the Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper notes today. What a shock.)
Also from Geraghty: “Stop Seeing Benghazi Through the 2016 Campaign Lens;” in other words, it’s as much about the man who holds himself out as Commander in Chief, as it is his former Secretary of State:
Today Andrew Malcolm asserts that “the big Benghazi mystery” was “where was Obama while four Americans perished?” The answer has always been pretty clear: at the White House. He was informed at the beginning of the evening by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, and then informed of the aftermath the following morning. As far as he and his administration were concerned, his staff was on it.
* * * * * *
For now, one of yesterday’s most stunning revelations was the news that at no point did the U.S. ask the Libyans for permission to fly into their airspace for a rescue operation, presumably one of the first steps in putting together an operation like that. In other words, at no point during the seven hours did the ball get rolling on an effort to rescue them.
As James Lileks noted yesterday on the Ricochet podcast with Byron York, the administration was likely so terrified of a botched Jimmy Carter-style rescue mission less than two months before the election, that it never sought to mount one.
Which brings us to Allahpundit at Hot Air, with sneak previews of “Coming soon to a congressional subpoena near you.”