This afternoon’s White House press briefing was extraordinary. Spokesman Jay Carney stood by his now thoroughly discredited claim that the White House made just one “stylistic” edit to the Benghazi talking points. He invoked the name of Mitt Romney twice, and the “previous administration” once, the latter in connection with the IRS’ apology to conservative groups for targeting them during an election year. For the most part, Carney danced around the press corps despite the fact that many in the room were unhappy to have been left out of the afternoon’s off-the-record or “deep background” meeting with select but as yet unnamed members of the media. Carney was more prepared for the sparring match than his opposites were.
Who was in that press meeting? What was its purpose? That’s for Jay Carney and friends to know, and for you not to find out.
The subject of the Cairo warning did come up. Carney brought it up himself.
Carney should have been asked why, after the CIA inserted that warning into the talking points at 4:42 PM on Friday, September 14, it survived several iterations before being removed. He should have been asked who removed it, and why.
Here is the warning’s first appearance. It comes in the third version of the talking points.
It appeared again in the 5:09 PM version.
And again in the 6:21 PM version, with a minor change to clarify that the most specific part of the warning concerned Cairo.
Carney brought the 9-10 warning up, but only to dismiss it and claim that it backed up the White House’s view that the attack was sparked by the YouTube movie. The actual warning, as we’ve posted here numerous times, does no such thing. It never even mentions the movie. Cairo was not spontaneous. It was orchestrated to achieve an end.