CBS: Director of National Intelligence Office Altered the Benghazi Talking Points
November 20, 2012 - 12:07 pm
James Clapper’s time as Director of National Intelligence should come to an end, soon. Frankly he should have been fired when he described the Muslim Brotherhood as “mostly secular.” That statement was proof enough that he simply does not understand the world well enough to function atop America’s intelligence community. He is also proof that the position itself was a misguided creation. Stovepiping intelligence creates a situation in which a weak link such as Clapper can have a dangerous effect on how the US administration understands the threat environment.
Regarding Benghazi, CBS News reports that it was Clapper’s office that changed the talking points that came from the CIA regarding Benghazi. The CIA, according to its former director Gen. David Petraeus, understood that Benghazi was a terrorist attack almost immediately, and that its bullet point summary of the event described it as such. But by the time Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday talking head shows, the Obama government had already been blaming a YouTube video for several days, beginning on the day after the attack.
CBS News has learned that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack – with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. The White House or State Department did not make those changes.
“The intelligence community assessed from the very beginning that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” DNI spokesman Shawn Turner tells CBS News. That information was shared at a classified level — which Rice, as a member of President Obama’s cabinet, would have been privy to.
An intelligence source says the talking points were passed from the CIA to the DNI, where the substantive edits were made, and then to FBI, which made more edits as part of “standard procedure.”
The head of the DNI is James Clapper, an Obama appointee. He ultimately did review the points, before they were given to Ambassador Rice and members of the House intelligence committee on Sept. 14. They were compiled the day before.
Brennan says her source wouldn’t confirm who in the agency suggested the final edits which were signed off on by all intelligence agencies.
Let’s get Mr. Clapper’s testimony under oath so that we get a full accounting of who did what, and then let’s send him into retirement. He won’t have to worry, the government will still take care of him for life despite his obvious incompetence.
As for the ambassador, she is not let off the hook by this. She saw the unvarnished information. She went with the DNI’s nonsense. She deserves to be sent off to look for work into the Obama economy along with Clapper. I’m sure the Center for American Progress will hire her shortly.