Up until now we’ve had crickets from most of the mainstream media on Benghazi. Suddenly now, since May 8, the day of the hearings, the internet and television media has been all in a furor trying to get their headlines out.
ABC blog online reported about the edits which involved deleting references to al Qaeda and the CIA’s warnings came after a White House meeting on the Saturday before Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday shows.
CBS News reported on the “flurry of approximately 100 interagency government emails” between Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 regarding the talking points, which were released to members of Congress. The email list included officials from the White House, State Department, CIA, FBI and others reviewing the talking points.
USA Today reports included a quote by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah where he stated that the information “goes right to the heart of what the White House continues to deny… For eight months they denied there’s any manipulation, but this continues to shed light on something that was never true.”
Each story gives summaries of White House and State Department emails which show that the State Department had extensive input into the editing of the talking points which included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack. These e-mails show that for the month after the terrorist attack on the compound, Obama, Clinton, Rice and others from the Obama administration were blaming a movie.
It’s interesting though, that all of this is now finally making news. The Right Scoop featured a story back on November 16, 2012 about David Petraeus admitting that the original CIA talking points had been edited by the time they got to Ambassador Susan Rice. While he said he wasn’t sure who did the editing. It was said that the part about Al-Qaeda was removed and replaced with indications of extremism. He also admitted that his agency suspected immediately that Al-Qaeda was involved.
It has been pointed out how deeply tied the media is with the Obama administration, which could account for much of the lack of interest of getting more of the important facts about Benghazi out. Most of the real reporting has come from right leaning websites, or news agencies such as Fox News. However, I was reminded a few days ago that there has been one other reporter from CBS who has been reporting on Benghazi from the very beginning. Sharyl Attkisson is one of the only mainstream media journalists who has reported on Benghazi and determined to find the truth about the White House’s involvement on the CIA talking points. Reports have been coming out that Attkisson’s bosses are unhappy with her, her Benghazi stories have been difficult to get on the air and that she’s being accused of engaging in “advocacy.”
Interesting that CBS News president David Rhoades is the brother of Obama’s national security advisor, Ben Rhoades, and now it’s been reported by ABC news that Ben Rhoades was very much involved in the editing of the now-infamous CIA talking points.
There are so different angles to Benghazi, that for some who have been following this from the very beginning, it seems an endless job of sifting through everything from the attack itself, to the media ‘non’ coverage, to political games, the cover up itself, and valid questions of what our people were actually doing in Benghazi to begin with.
It’s important to know the ties between the media and the Obama administration because it raises questions about how far we have come as a society when much of the media has become a tool of the state.
It’s also important to show the hypocrisy of those who accuse anyone wanting to find out the truth about Benghazi for politicizing it. For instance, the hour after the hearings where witnesses testified about the deliberate changes of the references to terrorism, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D. Maryland, had this to say, “We all watched today as unsubstantiated republican allegations about Benghazi disintegrated one by one. There was no evidence of a conspiracy…no evidence of a cover up… no evidence that the administration misled anyone…” It’s obvious that Rep. Cummings didn’t listen very closely to Gregory Hicks’ testimony where he states that video the Obama administration blamed for the attacks in Libya not the cause of the attack.
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D. Dist. of Columbia had this to say, “We had Benghazi One that was with Susan Rice. Now we’re having Benghazi Two with Hillary Clinton? Enough Benghazi.” Indeed Rep. Holmes Norton, after all, what difference does it make?
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney even quipped, “The republicans again, in this ongoing effort that began hours after the attack when Mitt Romney put out a press release to try and take political advantage out of these deaths, or out of the attack in Benghazi…and from that day forward there has been an effort to politicize it.”
Well Jay Carney, someone had to tell the truth about Benghazi. Secretary of State Clinton didn’t. She blamed it on the movie immediately after the attack.
As for Mitt Romney’s statement he made on that Tuesday night at 10:24 p.m., calling the Obama administration’s response to them “disgraceful.” He said, “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American Consulate worker in Benghazi…. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” Romney was obviously referring to the statement released by the American Embassy in Cairo condemning the video.
And hey Jay, on September 13, you blamed it on a movie too. “The protests we’re seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States.” You even kept up the meme 5 days later when you stated, “Our belief, based on the information we have, is it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo, and the video and the unrest in Cairo that helped — that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere. What other factors were involved is a matter of investigation.”
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on the same day also blamed the movie. “So I know that’s going to be frustrating for you, but we really want to make sure that we do this right and we don’t jump to conclusions. That said, obviously, there are plenty of people around the region citing this disgusting video as something that has been motivating.”
It’s a matter of recorded fact that Obama and Hillary Clinton even went so far as to spend $70,000.00 on a commercial to apologize for the movie. On September 18, 2012, from the U.S. Embassy Pakistan facebook page, it says that “President Obama and Secretary Clinton remark on the video circulating on the Internet. President Obama’s statement is from Washington, DC on September 12 and Secretary Clinton’s remarks are from Morocco on September 13″
Obama blamed the movie during a town hall meeting organized by Spanish language Univision Network saying, “What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.”
He repeated the movie theme during his speech at the UN on September 25, when he said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam…”
So, politically speaking, there is evidence of a cover up… there is evidence that the administration misled…
If you need any more proof, let’s hear those now infamous words from Hillary Clinton who testified before the Intelligence Committee where she responded to Senator Ron Johnson’s questioning and said, “I certainly did not know of any reports that contradicted the IC talking points at the time that Ambassador Rice went on the TV shows….And, you know, I just want to say that, you know, people have accused Ambassador Rice and the administration of, you know, misleading Americans. I can say, trying to be in the middle of this and understanding what was going on, nothing could be further from the truth…”
“Now, we have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants, they attacked us, they killed our people, but what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing is still — is still unknown…. And — with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night that decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”