Lawmakers told reporters on Capitol Hill Friday that former CIA Director David Petraeus testified that the White House edited out “Al Qaeda’s involvement” from the agency’s original talking points. According to Fox News: (bolding is mine)
Former CIA Director David Petraeus stoked the controversy over the Obama administration’s handling of the Libya terror attack, testifying Friday that references to “Al Qaeda involvement” were stripped from his agency’s original talking points — while other intelligence officials were unable to say who changed the memo, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News that intelligence officials who testified in a closed-door hearing a day earlier, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell, said they did not know who changed the talking points. He said they went out to multiple departments, including the State Department, National Security Council, Justice Department and White House.
“To me 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,” King told Fox News. “That, to me, has to be pursued.”
But should that really be a surprise, though? As pointed out by Liz Sheld of Breitbart News, the piece I wrote on September 27 showed that even the FBI counter-terrorism manual does not include the term “Al - Qaeda.” In fact, it does not even include the terms: Jihad, Hamas, Hizbollah, or Muslim Brotherhood. PJ Media’s Patrick Poole found this counter-terrorism document that the FBI attempted to claim did not exist.
As I pointed out previously:
The Obama administration’s response to media inquires over what happened during the deadly terrorist attack on our U.S. consulate in Libya that took the lives of four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, has been that it is currently under investigation. However, according to CNN, the FBI is only investigating the attack from afar and “bureaucratic infighting between the FBI and Justice Department, and the State Department on the other” appears to be delaying the investigation.: (bolding is mine)
FBI agents have not yet been granted access to investigate in the eastern Libyan city, and the crime scene has not been secured, sources said.
“They’ve gotten as far as Tripoli now, but they’ve never gotten to Benghazi,” CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend said Wednesday, citing senior law enforcement officials.
Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that an FBI team had reached Libya earlier in the week.
“In fairness to the secretary, it may be that she wanted to be coy about where they were in Libya for security concerns. That’s understandable. But the fact is, it’s not clear they’ve been in Libya for very long,” Townsend said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°.”
“They had difficulty, and we understand there was some bureaucratic infighting between the FBI and Justice Department on the one hand, and the State Department on the other, and so it took them longer than they would have liked to get into country. They’ve now gotten there. But they still are unable to get permission to go to Benghazi.”
FBI agents have made a request through the U.S. State Department for the crime scene to be secured, Townsend said, but that has not happened.
“The senior law enforcement official I spoke to said, ‘If we get there now, it’s not clear that it will be of any use to us,’” Townsend said.
The FBI team has conducted interviews of State Department and U.S. government personnel who were in Libya at the time of the attack, Townsend said, but the FBI’s request to directly question individuals who Libyan authorities have in custody was denied.
It took the administration over one week to declare the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was indeed a “terrorist” attack and many wondered why the declaration took so long. Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly reported that sources told Fox News that U.S. intelligence knew that the strike against the consulate was the work of terrorists within 24 hours of the attack. So why the delay in the actual declaration from the administration?
According to the FBI Touchstone Document on Training the term “terrorist” and “terrorism” are defined:
The terms “terrorist” and “terrorism” are to be understood as they are defined in Section 2331 of Title 18, United States Code, namely the commission of acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any state, which appear to be intended to (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.
The training document also includes 3 guiding principles (One is listed here. The other two are at the link above) :(bolding is mine)
1. Training must conform to constitutional principles and adhere to the FBI’s core values.
FBI training must emphasize the protection of civil rights and civil liberties. Training must clearly distinguish between constitutionally protected statements and activities designed to achieve political, social, or other objectives, and violent extremism, which is characterized by the use, threatened use, or advocacy of use of force or violence (when directed at and likely to incite imminent lawless activity) in violation of federal law to further a movement’s social or political ideologies. This distinction includes recognition of the corresponding principle that mere association with organizations that demonstrate both legitimate (advocacy) and illicit (violent extremism) objectives should not automatically result in a determination that the associated individual is acting in furtherance of the organization’s illicit objective(s). Training must emphasize that no investigative or intelligence collection activity may be based solely on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation. Specifically, training must focus on behavioral indicators that have a potential nexus to terrorist or criminal activity, while making clear that religious expression, protest activity, and the espousing of political or ideological beliefs are constitutionally protected activities that must not be equated with terrorism or criminality absent other indicia of such offenses.
With all of this in mind, is it no wonder that Al Qaeda was not included in the agency’s original talking points and an obscure online video that was critical of Islam became the scapegoat for the Obama administration?