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Bryan Preston

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May 10, 2013 - 6:01 am
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Our government was aware of the threat. The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes provides the proof in a blockbuster story about the talking points that the CIA wrote and which the Obama administration altered in the days following the attack. Hayes writes.

Within 24 hours of the attack, the U.S. government had intercepted communications between two al Qaeda-linked terrorists discussing the attacks in Benghazi. One of the jihadists, a member of Ansar al Sharia, reported to the other that he had participated in the assault on the U.S. diplomatic post. Solid evidence. And there was more. Later that same day, the CIA station chief in Libya had sent a memo back to Washington, reporting that eyewitnesses to the attack said the participants were known jihadists, with ties to al Qaeda.

Before circulating the talking points to administration policymakers in the early evening of Friday, September 14, CIA officials changed “Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda” to simply “Islamic extremists.” But elsewhere, they added new contextual references to radical Islamists. They noted that initial press reports pointed to Ansar al Sharia involvement and added a bullet point highlighting the fact that the agency had warned about another potential attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in the region. “On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the [Cairo] Embassy and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy.” All told, the draft of the CIA talking points that was sent to top Obama administration officials that Friday evening included more than a half-dozen references to the enemy—al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, jihadists, Islamic extremists, and so on.

The version Petraeus received in his inbox Saturday, however, had none. The only remaining allusion to the bad guys noted that “extremists” might have participated in “violent demonstrations.” (emphasis added)

The social media reports must surely refer to the warning posted in El Faqr regarding the threat to riot in order to obtain the blind sheik’s release from US prison. The El Faqr warning never mentioned a YouTube movie. Not one time. When the CIA relayed that warning’s contents to Obama administration officials, its talking points never referenced a YouTube movie. Not one time.

Hayes writes that Gen. David Petraeus, then director of the CIA, was unhappy with the new version of the talking points.

In an email at 2:44 p.m. to Chip Walter, head of the CIA’s legislative affairs office, Petraeus expressed frustration at the new, scrubbed talking points, noting that they had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided. Petraeus noted with evident disappointment that the policymakers had even taken out the line about the CIA’s warning on Cairo.

The warning regarding Cairo is salient to understanding the nature of the attack in Benghazi. If the Cairo assault had originated from a protest about a movie, then the attack in Benghazi could plausibly be believed to have a similar origin. But if Cairo itself had nothing to do with a movie, then the likelihood that Benghazi was sparked by a movie is drastically diminished.

According to career diplomat Greg Hicks, who assumed command in Libya upon the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens on the night of September 11, the YouTube movie “was a non-event in Libya” and had nothing to do with the pre-planned and organized terrorist assault on the US compound in Benghazi. In its talking points, the CIA agreed  — until political officials at the State Department had the agency change those talking points.

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Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
I was in government long enough to know that when seeking to explain something and finding your choice to be conspiracy or incompetence, one should almost always choose incompetence, sometimes with a dash of conspiracy thrown in as the incompetents seek to cover it up. With Benghazi, I'm starting to run after the conspiracy train. Visualize: they make a deal to have a sham kidnapping of the US Ambassador who is then going to be exchanged for the Blind Sheik thus saving our poor, gay ambassador's life just in time to make Comrade Obama a hero just before the election. Easy, simple plan, the Ambassador is sympathetic to the Libyan rebels and known to them, so he assumes it's a safe plan for him. The radicals gin up the riots in Cairo and threats of them elsewhere for cover. BUT nobody tells the security underlings over at the "CIA Annex" about the plan, and lefties being lefties, it would never occur to them to even think about the untermenschen. So, in all the smoke, noise, and confusion those knuckledraggers devise to do the manly thing even without orders and go try to save the ambassador. The situation spins out of control, the radicals think they've been double-crossed and they kill the ambassador and his sidekick and have to fight it out with the security guys.

The Obamunists are not strangers to Potemkin Village thinking, see, e.g., Fast and Furious. They're not strangers to risking the lives of uniformed Americans, see, e.g., Brian Terry and the Godawful casualties in Afghanistan since Obama brought peace there. They brought Patraeus and the CIA to heel with threats about his affair, spun out the movie story that they probably already had set up to cover the sham kidnapping, and stuck to it until it began to unravel. They're still confident that their fellow travellers in the media will keep the ignorant masses ignorant and they're probably right. That said, there are a lot of members of Congress that have to get re-elected and some do have to face constituencies a little above the medieval level of ignorance and superstition characteristic of the typical Obama supporter.

For those of us old enough and who don't think history began with our cognizance of things, President Nixon wasn't forced from office by a groundswell of public opinion demanding it. The WaPo and NYT took almost two years and intense TV coverage of the "hearings" to even drive down Nixon's popularity seriously. Even then, if Nixon had had to face McGovern again in '74, he'd probably have beaten him almost as badly as he did in '72. Nixon was forced from office because he lost the support of his own party in Congress. A lot of members of Congress have to be asking themselves already if they're willing to end their political careers for Comrades Obama and Clinton. If we're smart, we'll pivot a bit on this; Obama isn't up for re-election - if he has another term it will be because we're no longer a sovereign country. HRC seems the designated successor and she should be our target. Obama is a god to his supporters and gods are infallible so why bother with him? HRC ain't even likeable unless you're a lesbian feminazi, so she has vulnerabilities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"For going on eight months now, we’ve pointed to one of our own posts as evidence that the Obama administration never should have believed that a YouTube movie had anything to do with the terrorist attack in Benghazi."

IMHO they DID NOT believe that crap. They knowingly sacrificed 4 American lives for political purposes, then obfuscated and suppressed to cover it up until after the election. It is shameless, bordering on treason.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Having lived through Watergate I don't know if I buy this as a smoking gun. We all know that Obama's policy of appeasement of political Islam blew up in his and Hilary's face just before the election. So they lied and spun it.That's their job after all as politicians. Heck, Romney was too polite to even mention it in the debates and the press was there too to help them cover it up. But the Islamists are not going away and no amount of appeasement will stop the kind of workplace violence we saw in Boston where those two alienated athletes blew up the Boston Marathon. Relax, last month around the world workplace violence killed nearly 1000 people - many of them Muslims by the way. So even the Muslims are Islamophobic it seems and for good reason. Mark my words - before this Administration finishes they will be overwhelmed by workplace violence and receive another Nobel Peace Prize.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (45)
All Comments   (45)
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Here's an idea: How about we load up a 747 with all these prisoners, remote control fly it to Cairo or Benghazi and then - OOPS - fly it into the ground, claiming it was hit by an RPG.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The question is becoming not "why didn't the admin admit additional factors driving unrest and attacks?" at the time, to "where did the idea that the YouTube video had much of anything to do with anything?" come from?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
WHY DIDN'T OBAMA HOLD THE EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR ALLOWING OUR EMBASSY TO BE ATTACKED?

The leader of the attack on our embassy had just been released from Egyptian prison. He was under surveillance. This is how the attack was known in advance. Also, this leader's brother was a terrorist (surprise, surprise) who had recently been killed by a drone in Afghanistan. It was clear he was after the US.

The real question is why Obama never held the Egyptian gov't responsible for allowing our embassy to be attacked, since the Egyptian gov't knew in advance the embassy was going to be attacked.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Q: WHAT IS AT THE HEART OF BENGHAZI?
A: TREASON

Although Congress has seen 4 1/2 years of this administration, it still doesn't understand the kind of scum it's dealing with: 1) It was clear from the beginning that the crummy Mohammed video wasn't the cause of the Benghazi massacre. It was classic misdirection; 2) This use of this video was to divert attention from the fact that people who could've helped Americans in Benghazi were told to 'stand down'; 3) The 'stand down' order was given because the White House didn't want to draw attention to what was happening in Benghazi -- especially during an election 4) What was happening was treasonous; 5) It was treasonous because the WH, through cut outs (Saudi Arabia, Qatar), was arming al Qaeda to fight in Syria; 6) Al Qaeda is an enemy of the US; 6) A definition of treason is: "The betrayal of one's own country by ... consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies." Any wonder why no one, yet, has been brought to 'justice'?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have to wonder, due to other news particularly by A. McCarthy, if Huma Abedin has the goods on H. Clinton and has become her puppeteer? She has been around her long enough, has motive and means. Such a conspiracy theory dovetails with the rest of this story. It even explains more than just this story. It explains the entire Obama/Clinton narrative including the why question as to explaining the administrations whole approach to governing. It is too much like a book.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whoah - CNN sez "E-mails raise new Benghazi questions."

However, they characterize the deletions as "a flash point in a long-running battle between Republicans and the Obama administration."

So see - it's still just a partisan pissing contest, not a REAL scandal...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Am currently listening to Tim Carney spin on and on about what he referred to as "the Benghazi incident" - well, at least he didn't call it workplace violence. But he has managed to twist tendrils in such a way that the multi-faceted and constantly morphed talking points were the fault of congressional Republicans wanting information with which to smear the administration. And so they naturally had to amend them to keep them from becoming "political". He even said outright that they had these fears because Romney had already tried to use the deaths of four Americans as political fodder. There has to be a special place in hell reserved for Tim Carney.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ooops. Jay Carney, not Tim. But the way I laugh all through each of his spin sessions I should probably call him Art Carney.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Art Carney was funny. This guy's just a pathetic loser.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"We didn't tell SpecOps to stand down. We just told them not to go."

"We didn't re-draft the CIA talking points. We just told them what to delete."

"We defended our right to free speech. We just pointed out that the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
main stream, lame stream media reporting today that the talking points were changed some 12 times, with all reference to terrorist cells removed.

Now if that isn't a cover up, tell me what is.


Now go figure why obozo, has pardoned Willie Horton, the murderer, sentenced to life in prison, but out on a furlough and commmitting more murder and mayhem.

Seems the line is that because he was used in political ads he is a political prisoner that deserves special concern.


Picture that with the video maker, in jail now, because of lies that the president, sec. of state and UN Ambassador told, and who really is the political prisoner.

And to tell me that obozo doesn't see everything in context of political gains is absurd.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Political gains are merely the means to an end: inflicting as much misery on the American people as his office permits, even going beyond what his office permits, by skirting or ignoring the law.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was in government long enough to know that when seeking to explain something and finding your choice to be conspiracy or incompetence, one should almost always choose incompetence, sometimes with a dash of conspiracy thrown in as the incompetents seek to cover it up. With Benghazi, I'm starting to run after the conspiracy train. Visualize: they make a deal to have a sham kidnapping of the US Ambassador who is then going to be exchanged for the Blind Sheik thus saving our poor, gay ambassador's life just in time to make Comrade Obama a hero just before the election. Easy, simple plan, the Ambassador is sympathetic to the Libyan rebels and known to them, so he assumes it's a safe plan for him. The radicals gin up the riots in Cairo and threats of them elsewhere for cover. BUT nobody tells the security underlings over at the "CIA Annex" about the plan, and lefties being lefties, it would never occur to them to even think about the untermenschen. So, in all the smoke, noise, and confusion those knuckledraggers devise to do the manly thing even without orders and go try to save the ambassador. The situation spins out of control, the radicals think they've been double-crossed and they kill the ambassador and his sidekick and have to fight it out with the security guys.

The Obamunists are not strangers to Potemkin Village thinking, see, e.g., Fast and Furious. They're not strangers to risking the lives of uniformed Americans, see, e.g., Brian Terry and the Godawful casualties in Afghanistan since Obama brought peace there. They brought Patraeus and the CIA to heel with threats about his affair, spun out the movie story that they probably already had set up to cover the sham kidnapping, and stuck to it until it began to unravel. They're still confident that their fellow travellers in the media will keep the ignorant masses ignorant and they're probably right. That said, there are a lot of members of Congress that have to get re-elected and some do have to face constituencies a little above the medieval level of ignorance and superstition characteristic of the typical Obama supporter.

For those of us old enough and who don't think history began with our cognizance of things, President Nixon wasn't forced from office by a groundswell of public opinion demanding it. The WaPo and NYT took almost two years and intense TV coverage of the "hearings" to even drive down Nixon's popularity seriously. Even then, if Nixon had had to face McGovern again in '74, he'd probably have beaten him almost as badly as he did in '72. Nixon was forced from office because he lost the support of his own party in Congress. A lot of members of Congress have to be asking themselves already if they're willing to end their political careers for Comrades Obama and Clinton. If we're smart, we'll pivot a bit on this; Obama isn't up for re-election - if he has another term it will be because we're no longer a sovereign country. HRC seems the designated successor and she should be our target. Obama is a god to his supporters and gods are infallible so why bother with him? HRC ain't even likeable unless you're a lesbian feminazi, so she has vulnerabilities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Excellent post. Very astute analysis.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That particular conspiracy theory is not so far-fetched given what we learn from Stephen Hayes today at the Weekly Standard:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/benghazi-scandal-grows_722032.html?page=1
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That piece really demonstrates how arrogant and amateurish the Obamunists are. A good investigator should be able to crucify some of those punks. A group of people passing around drafts and doing that sort of stuff by email is just horrible security, at least if you're a Republican. I had a simple rule: I never put anything in writing on a State computer network drive or email that I didn't want to read on the front page of the Anchorage Daily Worker, er, News. I never asked for a briefing memo or wrote one if I could help it unless it was a fake intended to be left on a copier or leaked to some reporter.

These people are so arrogant and confident of the media's protection that they simply don't seem to care that they're throwing all that stuff out. Maybe they're right; I'm sure there are a Helluva lot more people wondering why Angie got voted off Idol last night than are wondering what happened at Benghazi, and there's a Helluva lot more about Angie than Benghazi in mainstream news today. I have to think that if we stay on it, we'll get that necessary critical mass of members of Congress and serious candidates for '14 and '16 that really don't want to flush their political careers on behalf of Comrades Obama and Clinton. That said, I really think that some of these underlings are going to have to face the stark choice of going to jail on the Administration's behalf; that tends to clarify a person's perceptions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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