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The “minor” Changes To Benghazi Talking Points Not So Minor


Oh my.

This report from ABC News is pretty damaging.

State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland raised specific objections to this paragraph drafted by the CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points:

“The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya.  These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”

In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?  Concerned …”

The paragraph was entirely deleted.

That’s what I’d call “politicizing” — the decision to delete assessments of the threats based on the potential political ramifications.

The former White House national security spokesman, Tommy Vietor, tweeted today: “The Benghazi [talking points] were written at the request of the House intel committee Rs so they could go on TV. Cong forced admin to do them now attack.”

So, in other words, the GOP is to blame for the completely BS talking points because … well … the GOP asked for them.  This really is getting to be absurd. I rather doubt Congress asked for false talking points.

And while progressives, liberals, and Democrats in the national media seem to think the handling of Benghazi is irrelevant, Democratic leaders might be  uneasy ignoring the matter.

Back in October, before the Vice Presidential debate, Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter was asked about the Benghazi affair.  She accused the GOP of politicizing the tragedy.

Pete Kaliner hosts the 3-6 p.m. drive-time slot on Asheville’s WWNC Radio. Visit his blog and listen live.

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