- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
EDITORIAL: Diplomats died, Obama lied
Former CIA director’s testimony casts further doubt on administration’s Benghazi tale
Question of the Day
In a closed congressional hearing Friday, former Director of Central Intelligence David H. Petraeus told lawmakers that references to al Qaeda involvement in the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were stripped from the agency's talking points. In the wake of the assault, Gen. Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice then went about making public statements that failed to mention the terrorist connection. They instead attempted to pin the blame for the attack on a spontaneous uprising over a low-budget YouTube video. Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, told Fox News after the hearing that "the question right now is who changed those talking points and why. ... I'd say it was somebody in the administration had to have taken it out."
This latest news adds a twist to Gen. Petraeus' exit from the CIA over the revelation he had an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. On Friday it was reported that Jill Kelley, the Tampa Bay socialite who convinced a close friend in the FBI to investigate Mrs. Broadwell, had visited the White House three times in the months before the scandal broke. That raises a number of questions that can be added to a growing list: What did President Obama know when the Benghazi attacks took place, what orders did he give and how did agencies respond? The biggest puzzler is, what took place in the aftermath that spooked the administration into assuming a defensive posture in the face of this significant terrorist victory?
Mr. Petraeus is now contradicting his prior, Sept. 14 statement that had given weight to the administration's "spontaneous mob" tale. There are two key differences between then and now. In September, he was speaking as a White House mouthpiece from approved, sanitized, official talking points. On Friday he was testifying as a private citizen giving insight into the process under which the talking points were concocted.
Democrats claim the critical information linking al Qaeda to the Benghazi attack was withheld from the American people because it was classified. However, most if not all of the relevant facts were available in open source reporting that appeared days and even hours after the event. Furthermore, the administration's sanitized account included completely fabricated information. There was never any evidence of a demonstration or riot in Benghazi preceding the attack. It is not only important to know who took out the information about the al Qaeda connection and why, but also who inserted what has proven to be an outright falsehood.
At his press conference on Wednesday, Mr. Obama took direct responsibility for Mrs. Rice's false narrative. "If Sen. [John] McCain and Sen. [Lindsey] Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,'' he said. "I'm happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi ... to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.'' This is an important point. Mrs. Rice, like Mr. Petraeus, was simply carrying White House water. Mr. Obama is ultimately accountable for everything connected to the Benghazi attack, and it is good that he is taking full responsibility. Now let the truth come out.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time for some policy 'pars' from golfer-in-chief
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Texas law is making women safer
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Redskins partnership is a win-win
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No taxpayer funds for illegals
- EDITORIAL: The two faces of Mark Warner
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
Get Breaking Alerts
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public