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/.

WAMU 88.5

Berlin Wall Brought To University Of Virginia With 'Kings Of Freedom'

A massive piece of the Berlin Wall was recently delivered to the campus of the University of Virginia, adorned with a famous mural by German graffiti artist Dennis Kaun.

NPR

Tasting With Our Eyes: Why Bright Blue Chicken Looks So Strange

The color of food can affect how we perceive its taste, and food companies aren't afraid to use that to their advantage. An artist tests perceptions by dousing familiar foods with unorthodox colors.
NPR

Is Obamacare A Success? We Might Not Know For A While

Fans and foes want to know whether the Affordable Care Act is meeting its goals. But, for good reasons, there are no clear answers yet.
WAMU 88.5

Capital Bikeshare Supplier Bought, Reopening Door To Expansion

Bixi, the company that supplies bicycles and bike stations to the Capital Bikeshare program, has been rescued from bankruptcy. But does that mean the bike sharing will resume expansion in our area?

Leave a Comment

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