NPR : News

Report: Benghazi 'Talking Points' Watered Down By CIA, Not White House

"A highly cautious, bureaucratic process that had the effect of watering down the U.S.'s own intelligence" led to the controversial "talking points" that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she spoke about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

In a story based on interviews of "officials from a cross-section of agencies who had direct knowledge of the deliberations," the Journal adds more reporting to the picture of why Rice on Sept. 16 said on Sunday talk shows that "extremist elements" may have been involved in the attack — but did not refer to them as terrorists or say they were connected to al-Qaida.

Rice's words have led several prominent Republican senators to say they would oppose her nomination to be secretary of state if President Obama puts her name forward for that post. They question whether the Obama administration deliberately tried to downplay the role of terrorists in the attack because of the rapidly approaching presidential election.

According to the Journal:

"The officials said the first draft of the talking points had a reference to al Qaeda but it was removed by the Central Intelligence Agency, to protect sources and protect investigations, before the talking points were shared with the White House. No evidence has so far emerged that the White House interfered to tone down the public intelligence assessment, despite the attention the charge has received."

That account would seem to parallel what former CIA Director David Petraeus reportedly told members of Congress last month.

(Note: NPR follows Associated Press style on the spelling of al-Qaida. The Journal and other organizations do not.)
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Remembering Michael Herr, Whose 'Dispatches' Brought The War In Vietnam Home

Herr's 1977 book, Dispatches, was based on his time covering the Vietnam War. He also contributed to the films Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. Herr died last week. Originally broadcast in 1990.
NPR

Click For Fewer Calories: Health Labels May Change Online Ordering Habits

Will it be a hamburger or hummus wrap for lunch? When customers saw indications of a meal's calorie content posted online, they put fewer calories in their cart, a study finds.
NPR

New York, Colorado Hold Key Primaries In Fight For House And Senate

Democrats hope to contest as many as four congressional seats in the Empire State, a place that could prove critical to whether they're able to flip the 30 they need to win back the House.
NPR

Click For Fewer Calories: Health Labels May Change Online Ordering Habits

Will it be a hamburger or hummus wrap for lunch? When customers saw indications of a meal's calorie content posted online, they put fewer calories in their cart, a study finds.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.