- Colorado judge strikes voter-backed gay marriage ban, but issues stay
- Brooklyn Bridge flag-swapping suspects identified by nickname
- Christian woman in Sudan spared for apostasy flies to Italy
- Iraq: 60 dead in attack on prisoner convoy
- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
Emails reveal how accuracy was scrubbed out of Benghazi ‘talking points’
Question of the Day
That version did not assert there was a protest and said Islamic extremists linked to al Qaeda participated in the attack.
The word ‘demonstrations’ appears
At 4:42 p.m. inside the CIA, a major change happened.
The word “demonstrations” showed up twice in the first and second paragraphs of a draft as a fact that day in Benghazi. The words “al Qaeda” were removed. The emails do not indicate who inserted the pivotal word “demonstrations.”
Still included was the language that “Islamic extremists” were involved. Language that had been added underscored that the CIA had been warning in reports to the administration “on the threat of extremists linked to al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya.”
State gets on the email train
At 6:33 p.m., CIA public affairs sent the first draft to the State Department’s public affairs office, then headed by Victoria Nuland, whom Mr. Obama has since tapped as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, pending Senate confirmation.
A career diplomat, Ms. Nuland has served under Democratic and Republican presidents, and was a national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Ms. Nuland would play a major role in altering the document.
At 7:16 p.m., she asked the CIA how it knew extremists attacked.
At 7:39 p.m., she told the CIA and the White House that she did not want to blame Ansar al-Sharia. “Why do we want [Capitol] Hill to be fingering Ansar al Shariah, when we aren’t doing that ourselves?”
She also objected to the language on CIA warnings, saying the words “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want to feed that either? Concerned.”
At 8:43 p.m., Mr. Vietor weighed in with an email to Ms. Nuland and Jacob Sullivan, then deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and now national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden.
“There is massive disinformation out there, in particular with Congress,” Mr. Vietor wrote. “They all think it was premeditated based on inaccurate assumptions or briefings. So I think this is a response to not only a tasking from the house intel committee but also [National Security Council] guidance that we need to brief members/press and correct the record.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- EDITORIAL: Poor Hillary, rock-star wannabe
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Hezbollah in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- FIELDS: A tale of a boy, a Bible and a gun
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq