photo of arrival of bodies from Benghazi at Andrews Air Force base
The White House released 100 pages of e-mails and notes about Benghazi today. CNN’s Jake Tapper had it first.
You can read all the e-mails here.
The 100 e-mails deal with the Talking Points but not adequately since the documents are from 9/14/12. The e-mails and notes cover what we know already. The origin of the anti-video protest story is not addressed. The video isn’t mentioned until page 92 and then it is only listed in the header without discussion.
It is obvious that the attack was dealt with as a political event.
One e-mail shows concerns about interpretations that would arise from the Talking Points.
One 9/14 e-mail says: Second Tick says we know extremists with ties to AQ participated in the attack, which implies complicity in the deaths of American officers. Do we know this?
There is concern about possible inflammatory news articles and future prosecutions.
The different versions of the Talking Points evolve throughout the 100 pages.
The first e-mail said that the attack in Benghazi began spontaneously after being inspired by protests in Cairo, the crowd was a mix, Ansar al-Sharia denies involvement but did not deny participation, the wide availability of weapons played into the attack, there were at least five other attacks since April.
The e-mails continually talk about the protests in Cairo and one gets the sense that this was predetermined prior to these communications. We know that the protests were a non-issue on 9/12/12 from Gregory Hicks.
On page 36 – Victoria Nuland of the State Department had concerns about the Talking Points because of how Congress will react [the Republicans made them do it]. Nuland does not want Ansar al-Sharia mentioned.
Tommy Vieter was heavily involved.
Ben Rhodes on page 37 does not want to say that we know extremists were involved – it will come back at podium.
They were concerned about “the last bullet will read to members like we had been previously warned. [That is the bullet about the attacks prior to the 9/11/12 attack.]
Nuland repeatedly says she does not want to arm Congress with the bullet points she is concerned about – knowing it was an attack by Ansar al-Sharia extremists and that there were attacks prior to the Benghazi attack]
By page 46, the Talking Points have been cleansed of the Ansar al-Sharia participation and the FBI is said to have had no major problems with the Talking Points according to the CIA.
By page 50, the prior attacks are removed.
The State Department has major concerns about the Talking Points throughout.
By page 62, the points say that the attack was by unidentified assailants.
Bey page 63, the Talking Points are completely cleansed. It is still Friday, 9/14/12.
Ben Rhodes was actively engaged. He is Obama’s fiction writer. He okayed the cleansed Talking Points.
On page 94, General Petraeus is allegedly concerned that it looks like the CIA warned about an attack on the consulate.
The involvement of Vieter and Rhodes contradicts Carney’s statement that the WH only changed one line and the CIA made most of the changes. Hillary Clinton’s testimony is also contradicted.