#BENGHAZI: Whistlerblowers, emails and a coverup

In an advance issue of The Weekly Standard titled The Benghazi Talking Points, Stephen Hayes lays out new evidence that members of the Obama administration actively lied about who was responsible for the death of four Americans.  The Weekly Standard has obtained emails detailing how high level officials made changes to the CIA talking points, effectively erasing Al Qaeda from the picture.

“The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House.”

This is a very detailed and long article with a lot of unwritten questions in it.  Questions I will pose here, so I urge you to read it all before proceeding with the remained of this post.


In the first page of the article, Hayes says that there were emails turned over that had ‘stipulations’. The section, with emphasis added:

“The White House provided the emails to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees for a limited time and with the stipulation that the documents were available for review only and would not be turned over to the committees. The White House and committee leadership agreed to that arrangement as part of a deal that would keep Republican senators from blocking the confirmation of John Brennan, the president’s choice to run the CIA. If the House report provides an accurate and complete depiction of the emails, it is clear that senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about Benghazi in order to mislead the public.”

Why an emphasis on Brennan? This administration has stonewalled, lied and spun Benghazi for over seven months. Suddenly now they turn these emails over, making Brennan part of the deal? Of all the things the White House could ask for, they ask for Brennan to be confirmed for CIA?  Why? Was it to ensure that someone would be in place to protect this administration’s narrative on Benghazi and the President’s alleged non-role in decision making that night?

Bear in mind that the active head of the CIA at the time of the attacks was Petraeus.  The scandal surrounding Petraeus’ affair was kept on the back burner until after the election, but put into public view last year on November 7th when Petraeus resigned. It it plausible the timing was coincidence, however more likely the administration wished to keep him from testifying, as well as keep Benghazi out of the limelight until after the election – although he did testify at a later date. By then the media had everyone focused on the scandal and not Petraeus’ role at the CIA and Benghazi.

In fact, it was Mike Morrell who would end up testifying for Petraeus in closed-door sessions first – the same one that The Weekly Standard article cites as being the one who changed the talking points:

There is little information about what happened at that meeting of the Deputies Committee. But according to two officials with knowledge of the process, Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, made broad changes to the draft afterwards. Morrell cut all or parts of four paragraphs of the six-paragraph talking points—148 of its 248 words (see Version 2 above). Gone were the reference to “Islamic extremists,” the reminders of agency warnings about al Qaeda in Libya, the reference to “jihadists” in Cairo, the mention of possible surveillance of the facility in Benghazi, and the report of five previous attacks on foreign interests.

Later in November, the Obama administration would shrug off the controversy surrounding Susan Rice and the YouTube video she pushed. Related reading: #Benghazi: Obama’s Lack of Concern On Rice’s Lies (Updated)

Where did the insertion of the  Youtube video come from? Victoria Nuland is identified by The Weekly Standard as a key player in the changing of the talking points:

The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”

In an attempt to address those concerns, CIA officials cut all references to Ansar al Sharia and made minor tweaks. But in a follow-up email at 9:24 p.m., Nuland wrote that the problem remained and that her superiors—she did not say which ones—were unhappy. The changes, she wrote, did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership,” and State Department leadership was contacting National Security Council officials directly. Moments later, according to the House report, “White House officials responded by stating that the State Department’s concerns would have to be taken into account.” One official—Ben Rhodes, The Weekly Standard is told, a top adviser to President Obama on national security and foreign policy—further advised the group that the issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.

So Nuland was the point person for the State department coordinating the changes desired by her superiors. No where in Nuland’s changes in the emails does the infamous YouTube video come into play. So where did the Nakoula video get added in and who did it? The Weekly Standard’s Hayes highlights the discrepancy:

More troubling was the YouTube video. Rice would spend much time on the Sunday talk shows pointing to this video as the trigger of the chaos in Benghazi. “What sparked the violence was a very hateful video on the Internet. It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States.” There is no mention of any “video” in any of the many drafts of the talking points.

Still, top Obama officials would point to the video to explain Benghazi. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even denounced the video in a sort of diplomatic public service announcement in Pakistan. In a speech at the United Nations on September 25, the president mentioned the video several times in connection with Benghazi.

On September 17, the day after Rice appeared on the Sunday shows, Nuland defended Rice’s performance during the daily briefing at the State Department. “What I will say, though, is that Ambassador Rice, in her comments on every network over the weekend, was very clear, very precise, about what our initial assessment of what happened is. And this was not just her assessment, it was also an assessment you’ve heard in comments coming from the intelligence community, in comments coming from the White House.”

Here, below, is the full briefing on September 13, 2012 by Nuland. The very first question put to her is about the talking points given to the press. She deflects, says there is nothing new then speaks about witnesses coming out of Benghazi who need interviewing before they will have a full picture of what happened. Not far into the briefing, the Nakoula video pops up around the 7:18 mark and again beginning at the 19:00 mark through the 25:00 mark. There is a little more discussion of it past that as well, so view the whole thing.

In the briefing,  Nuland floats the idea that the Nakoula video had been around for a while, yet we know that the number of views on it prior to the attack in Cairo were very low. It wasn’t until after Hillary Clinton came out condemning the Nakoula video specifically on September 13th that the views on YouTube really exploded.

The day prior, Clinton only mentioned, “We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet.” Clinton’s related video link here. Note: There is also speculation the protests in Cairo were not about the little known video at all, but instead were protests to release the Blind Sheik.

Watch the full briefing by Victoria Nuland:

Side note: In the daily briefing on September 11,2012 just past the 26:40 mark, Nuland is asked about the attack on the Egyptian Embassy. Specifically about the American flag being replaced with the Black Al Qaeda flag. Nuland corrects the questioner and says it is just ‘a black flag’. Discussion of the topic continues through about 34:50. No where in this briefing is a YouTube video mentioned or discussed. Perhaps the idea of adding the YouTube video came from the Cairo embassy, who tweeted out an odd apology to Muslims and then deleted it. I noted some time ago, this administration already knew who Nakoula was and perhaps just kept him in view until he became useful.

Meanwhile, in a jail somewhere, someone else is paying for what happened in Benghazi courtesy of the Obama administration:

If the interim report is any indication, the hearing on May 8th should be interesting, especially in light of these emails and with the emergence of whistleblowers.  Also remember that Nakoula was not the only used like a human shield by this administration, remember the ‘systemic failures’? Refresh your memory:

From the video description:

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also said three others — two in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and one in the Bureau of Near East Asia Affairs — have been “relieved of their current duties” and placed on administrative leave “pending further action.” That contrasted with the AP’s earlier report that at least three officials had resigned, including Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security.

The State Department-ordered investigation of the Sept. 11 attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, concluded that “systemic failures” left the facility inadequately protected.

Systemic failures indeed — in telling the truth.

Even with just these piece put forward here in this post, it’s clear there are holes in Hillary Clinton’s testimony on Benghazi that you can drive a truck through.  Beyond a doubt there is a coverup going on; whether it is a coverup to mask gross incompetence or something bigger remains to be seen.

Flashback: Hillary Doubles Down




Prior posts from LL1885 on Benghazi here.

The Hill: Interim Progress Report On Benghazi, April 23, 2013

Hot Air:  CNN: Al-Qaeda operatives part of Benghazi attack

Ace of Spades:  Emails Reveal State Department Flack Has Fingers All Over Talking Points Deception, Stating That Her “Superiors” Were Unhappy With Implication They’d Ignored Warnings

FOX Special Report: Benghazi Developments (video via NRO)

FOX: Obama administration officials threatened whistle-blowers on Benghazi, lawyer says

Twitchy: President Obama “Not Familiar With” Any Blocked Benghazi Testimony (video)

Gateway Pundit: Whistle-Blower: Obama Administration Lied – US Forces Could Have Intervened in Benghazi (Video)

TheConMom: Benghazi related article archive

Newspaper Union Declares Koch Brothers Unfit to Own Newspapers
Bloomberg Assembles Leftist Cartoonists to Attack Second Amendment
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  • GarandFan

    “systemic failures”?

    Are they finally admitting that general incompetence is a ‘hallmark’ of this administration? From the top, down!

  • Commander_Chico

    LL continues to try to make small time con-man and meth dealer Nakoula into a hero.

    The guy’s a crim, violated probation, not a prisoner of conscience. Maybe if he talked about who gave him the money for that video he’d get out of jail.

    So the government bullshits the people (and the people of other nations)? Knock me over with a feather. Where was LL in 2003?

    • Jwb10001

      And that’s all you get from this sorted affair? The smallest fish in this kettle of fish is the poor guy who got the blame initially, and yet that’s what you want to focus on. It’s pretty clear you feel the lying and deception on the part of the Obama administration isn’t a big deal. You evidently don’t think leaving Americans at risk and then leaving them to die is a big deal. After all they signed up right?

      • Commander_Chico

        The video caused a lot of problems – attacks on US Embassies in several countries. Who paid Nakoula for it?

        The government lies all of the time – did about Vietnam, did about Grenada, did about Iraq.

        The after action talking points, false as they might have been, did nothing to change the fact that Americans in national service in dangerous places are going to get killed from time to time. Al Qaeda affiliated militias killed 2 CIA contractors and two Foreign Service officers in a dangerous place.

        • LiberalNightmare

          Hey you gotta break a few eggs right?

        • Jwb10001

          Hey extreme Islam causes quiet a few problems too or has that escaped your attention. Nothing changes the fact that these 4 people are dead, but if the people that let this happen then lied about it are dealt with maybe next time will be different, but hey the government lies so I guess there’s just nothing to do…. Except put that guy that did the video that had nothing to do with in jail. Is there anything Obama and Clinton could do that you would defend or deflect?

        • jim_m

          Chico defends the government by saying that it’s OK when the government lies to cover up illegal policies that he supports or lies to cover up the betrayal of American lives in the name of advancing an agenda he supports. I’ll bet everyone in his military unit made sure he was never standing behind them.

          • LiberalNightmare

            Plus they had to be careful that he didnt shoot them.

          • jim_m

            Shoot them or push them out from cover so the enemy could do it.

        • Vagabond661

          If we used liberal logic we would have called for the banning of video cameras instead of going after the guy who filmed it. See Aurora, Sandy Hook, et al.

        • herddog505

          Oh, OF COURSE somebody “paid” Nakoula to make a YouTube video. And, OF COURSE, their name starts with “I” and ends with “sraelis”, right?


          And given all the kvetching you’ve done about chickenhawks over the years, your dismissal of these dead Americans – “Meh, they got danger pay, and it happens, nothing to see here, move along” – is about the rankest example of hypocrisy I think I’ve ever seen on this blog. It is contemptible, disgraceful, and makes me question whether you ever learned a f*cking thing from your time in uniform other than how to find the PX (or whatever it’s called in the Navy).

          • Commander_Chico

            I didn’t think interfering in Libya was a good idea.

            Given that it happened, we did interfere, Ghaddafi was overthrown, and there were dozens of armed militias wandering around, Libya was known to be dangerous.

            It’s not that danger pay means they deserved to die, but that danger pay and the presence of Tier 4 CIA guys means that Libya was a dangerous place.

            I still wonder why this is such a big case with right-wingers and the scores of troops killed in Afghanistan since September don’t get any mention from them.

            There are more lies and hidden truths about Afghanistan than there are about Benghazi, I’m sure.

            Plus the same crowd bleating about Libya are now wanting to set up the same situation in Syria.

          • jim_m

            I still wonder why this is such a big case with right-wingers

            1) because you are a freaking moron.

            2) because embassies and consulates are supposed to be sacrosanct. That is not to say that they do not ever get violated, but they are supposed to be inviolate and they are regarded as our territory (even if technically they are not considered sovereign soil).

            3) because obama knew about the situation and did NOTHING

            4) because for weeks and months afterward he lied to the American public, mislead the public about why it happened, who did it, what he knew, when he knew it.

            4) Because you are a freaking moron. Do you get that part? I don’t think you do. You really think that civilian representatives being murdered while our president stands impotently by is merely “suboptimal”. You probably thought that Carter’s lame incompetence during the Iran hostage crisis is exactly how the US should behave at all times. You have certainly made it clear that if your personal interests are not at stake you don’t give a damn who gets killed, and if your interests are at stake, there is no limit to the military lives that you are willing to sacrifice.

          • Commander_Chico

            I stopped reading at 1.

          • jim_m

            I’m sure it was beyond your reading comprehension level so it is just as well.

          • retired.military

            The truth shall set you free Chico

          • You are exceedingly unkind…

            …to morons everywhere.

          • herddog505

            Deflect, deflect, deflect.

            Other than the fool Yosemite Sam and his lackey, Grahamnesty, who, exactly, are the people plumping for us to get into Syria? Really, there’s nobody in the country who seems particularly eager to do it. Oh, Barry’s made some half-hearted efforts, but, like his “red line” statement, they seem more threats to get Assad to step down and otherwise play nice than actual preparations to do anything.

            And we’ve heard the, “You don’t care about GI’s killed in A-stan or Iraq” many times before. Frankly, this is grossly insulting. Unlike you lefties, we don’t use dead GI’s as stage props; we don’t keep score for the enemy how many have died; we don’t call them murderers and criminals.

            Finally, as I wrote above, you’ve got a helluva nerve to criticize people for (allegedly) not caring about dead GI’s when you pass of the deaths in Benghazi with a “meh”.


          • Disgrace to the uniform he claims to have worn.

          • jim_m

            I’ve never seen any proof that he was ever in the military.

          • Such evidence is almost as rare as any indicating his numbering amongst the cognoscenti.

          • Commander_Chico

            Don’t make no difference to me what you believe – I’ll be getting that reserve pension and blue ID in a few years and y’all won’t. Thanks for paying your taxes.

          • Jwb10001

            You know Chico this constant bragging about your service isn’t really very becoming. Not only the bragging about yourself but the belittling of people that didn’t serve.Most vets I know (me included) don’t really think it’s all that appropriate to constantly remind people that we’ve served and others didn’t. But most people I know aren’t jack asses.

          • Who knew pensions and ID were to be found in CrackerJack boxes?

          • Commander_Chico

            I know you wish you affiliated with the Ready Reserve, Rodnick, but suck on it, too late now.

          • jim_m

            I expect that if you did serve, you were the subject of more than one blanket party.

            I also envision you as being as well accepted as Pyle

            [edit] you know, come to think of it Chico’s avatar has a passing resemblance to Pvt. Leonard Lawrence. http://i0.wp.com/listverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/donofrio10-1.jpg?resize=266%2C400

          • As a fracktard wrote:

            Don’t make no difference to me what you believe…

          • Commander_Chico

            Well, in these comments, you’ve got jim m and Rodnick pimping for war with Syria. They swallow the “chemical weapons” propaganda like Jemma Jameson swallows cock.

            Also, unlike GIs, those killed in Benghazi were the most highly skilled, highly cleared, highly compensated and freest people (volunteers) there were. You insult them by implying they were somehow unaware of the risks and were victims of anyone but the militias that killed them.

          • herddog505

            Maybe I’ve misunderstood, but I don’t recall people here calling for war in Syria. They – like me – may believe that Baby Assad has used CW, but believing that and wanting to send US troops to do something about it are two entirely different things.

            As for the rest… keep digging. Now the people who were killed in Benghazi were “highly skilled volunteers” as opposed – apparently – to helpless, hapless conscripts fed into the meat grinder in Iraq? Seriously? And *I* am insulting them???

            All through the election season, you were “Gary Nash” and “I don’t like Obama”. One would never guess it: you’ve thrown not only the guys killed in Benghazi under the bus, now you’ve started in on the ones killed in A-stan and Iraq.

          • Commander_Chico

            Yeah, swallow today’s news that Carla Del Ponte the UN investigator said that the only evidence was that the rebels used chemical weapons.

          • Jwb10001

            Your hero disagrees with that assessment, so what now, you’ll have to choose between the UN and Obama.

          • jim_m

            Nobody is calling for war. We are pointing out that obama put himself in a box on this issue. We are pointing out that you wouldn’t ever do anything to save people from being victims of a criminal government.

            Ambassador Chris Stevens was none of what you just claimed. fascist pig.

          • Rdmurphy42

            No, Chico. Its better to have not boxed himself in with that red line statement at all, but if he makes a proclamation like that he should back it up with something other than “We will taunt you a second time’ and ‘write you a severely worded letter’.

          • [citations required]

          • Jwb10001

            And we have you admitting that Libya was a dangerous place but giving your hero a pass for not improving security. How do those 2 things square? We went in, Obama established a mission there knowing full well it was dangerous, when asked for additional help because the SITUATION IS DANGEROUS the requests are denied. What possible acceptable reason could there be for that? Once that has happened in order to avoid embarrassment the entire Obama team including Obama himself lied their assess off about what happened and the causes. That you’re ok with all of that is simply beyond belief.

          • slowinski5

            you seem to forget the fact they where denied security they asked for, and really your diplomat ask for more personnel and it’s coming up on 911, do you really have to be that bright not to beef up your security in a predominately muslim country? Just admit your a rascist. And oh yah i didn’t vote for bush jr either, I felt about him like i feel about our current president,”no credible knowledge of reality”.

    • I did nothing of the sort, but whatever helps you sleep.
      Ask yourself why he wasn’t in jail prior to the pushing of the YouTube video narrative when they already had their eyes on him.

      He was meant to be a quick way to placate the masses, but the masses asked too many questions.

      I wasn’t blogging yet in 2003, would you like to be more specific or are you about to blame Bush for violating civil liberties? Something this administration has done a hundred times worse than Bush did.

      • Commander_Chico

        You continually show his picture and say it’s unjust he’s in jail.

        He’s a criminal and he violated his probation.

        • No one is arguing he violated his probation.
          But if you think he’s in jail because of that, you’re kidding yourself. No, worse — you’re deluded.

          • Commander_Chico

            OK, He drew attention to himself violating his probation. He may have been in the employ of a foreign government conducting black propaganda operations.

            Maybe there’s a coverup on that as well. How about looking into that?

          • jim_m

            More conspiracy BS from Chico. Just like he claims that Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand, he claims without any proof whatsoever that this director was funded by a foreign government and IIRC he accused the JOOOS last time this was brought up. That’s right, Chico blamed the Israelis for it.

            Tell you what Mr Truther, if you are so convinced that there was a foreign government behind that movie go out and find the evidence. I’m sure you can find it. I believe you will find their guilt in their Hebrew religion.

          • He’s just helping replenish the smokescreen like a good little toady.

          • No coverup needed. He’s in jail – somewhere. Don’t see anyone interviewing him do ya?

          • jim_m

            Chico, your story line has moved from:

            – It’s all Nakoula’s fault
            – It’s his fault and he was a tool of a foreign government the Joos!!!
            – It was partly his fault
            – Benghazi wasn’t his fault but his video caused other problems elsewhere
            – he violated his probation and he was a drug dealer so there is nothing to see here, move along.

            If you had any honesty you would have admitted long ago that he was scapegoated for this and that the video was only ever a smoke screen for the admin.

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  • herddog505

    OK, everybody repeat after me:






    These being how Barry’s regime and MiniTru (BIRM) will attempt to deflect any criticism over what they did – or didn’t do – with regards to Benghazi.

    • Vagabond661

      I hope the Benghazi whistleblowers are prepared for the upcoming character assassinations of the leftist media.

      • Commander_Chico

        No, because they aren’t going to say anything surprising.

        They will say there were threat assessments and the recommendations were not totally followed.

        • jim_m

          Nothing surprising?

          So you are OK with the fact that the WH knew that this was a terrorist attack from the very beginning?

          You are OK with the fact that multiple calls for help were denied by either the WH or the Dept of State?

          You are OK with the fact that Nakoula was deliberately scapegoated as part of a political cover story?

          As to that last part, since you keep up with you Clintonesque, “What difference does it make” attitude, here is an explanation from Glenn Reynolds

          The question is, why, exactly, were they so eager to put Nakoula away?

          The fast-tracking of Nakoula’s jailing was highly irregular. Among other things, I’d like to see the Congressional investigators get Nakoula’s prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale — and perhaps his boss, U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. — under oath about communications from the White House or the Justice Department regarding this case.

          Because what it’s looking like is that Nakoula was targeted and jailed so as to provide a scapegoat/villain in a politically motivated cover story that the White House knew was false. If that’s the case, it’s extremely serious indeed, and in some ways more significant than whatever lapses and screwups took place in Benghazi. I’d also be interested in hearing from Nakoula’s attorney, Steven Seiden, about any threats made by the government to secure a plea deal.

          If there’s an impeachable offense anywhere in the Benghazi affair — and at this point, I’m not saying there is — it’s more likely in what happened with Nakoula than in the problems abroad, which by all appearances are simple incompetence, rather than something culpable. Railroading someone in to jail to support a political story, on the other hand, is an abuse of power and a breach of trust.

          I guess I already know the answers. You don’t care how many people die to cover up the incompetence of obama. You don’t care how many people go to jail (and it has been argued that the government can always find an excuse to put anyone in jail) to cover up for the obama admin. You don’t care how much the rule of law is circumvented and how many people lose their freedom as long as your ideology is advanced.

          • Commander_Chico

            Again, the curious defense of a drug dealer and con man who violated probation.

            Where is the coverup?

          • jim_m

            Pick one Bullshit story and stick with it Chico. Either he is the drug dealer who violated probation or he is the tool of Mossad who made this movie to cause problems for obama. Pick one bogus meme for crying out loud.

            As for cover up, the cover up was the obama admin blaming the attack in Benghazi on his video and then denying that they ever received any requests for help or that this was known to be a terrorist attack from the start.

          • Vagabond661

            We know more about the film maker than any survivors at the consulate in Benghazi. Why do you think there is NOT a coverup?

            Why do you and people on the left insist there is nothing to see here? Why don’t we just find out? If there is nothing to see here. If not then boy oh boy will we have egg on our face! But if there is something here then some powerful people lied to us….once again. “Executive Privilege” saved people’s hides in Fast & Furious. Will it be used again? and by whom?

          • Jwb10001

            Again with the continued deflection and defense of out right liars. How is this not a cover up?

        • Vagabond661
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  • Jetstar99999

    This is about far more than Benghazi

    Connect the dots…… Massive and dangerous national security leaks (Joint Israeli- USA Iranian nuke hacking program, Drone kill list, and other programs) 12 to 18 months back, with White House at the time repeatedly declining “story callback” offers from the NY Times and other media entities, with Obama disinterested in finding leakers – all conveniently making Obama look like the strong Commander & Chief, such theme THE central theme at the early Sept 2012 Dem Natl Convention……… to slowing down or calling off an attack and leaving SEALS to die for a (“Al Qaeda is decimated”) political narrative……..to changed talking points and UN Ambassador Susan Rice letting her prestigious high office be used as part of a cover up to buy time to assist in winning the election mere weeks away.

    This was at systemic levels having one purpose – re-election at any cost. High crimes? absolutely, and will make Watergate look like a parking ticket. After a series of National Security leaks last spring, left wing reporter Judith Miller (obviously tipped by vested parties) very oddly kept repeating the following talking point, (paraphrasing): “well if Obama FIRST declassified certain programs, then the White House leaked” “its not a crime” Nice try for Ms Miller to try to clear the minefield, but one is still looking at impeachable type offenses – massive national security leaks to win an election, entire programs in shambles for political gain, field operatives exposed or perhaps killed – precisely why there is an impeachment clause..

    Put White House Natl Security Advisor (Obama hack) Tom Donilon under oath and watch him plead the 5th. By the way, nothing Donilon does is ever done w/o the full approval of the President of the United States…….