Report: Benghazi 'Talking Points' Watered Down By CIA, Not White House | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he's revisiting the book A Crack in the Edge of the World.
NPR

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

There's no such thing as plain vanilla — at least if you're talking about beans from the vanilla orchid. Whether it's from Tahiti or Madagascar, vanilla can be creamy, spicy or even floral.
NPR

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction On Abortion Clinics

Requiring every center that performs abortions to meet all the standards of a surgical center is excessively restrictive, says the federal district court judge who blocked the state rule Friday.
NPR

Tech Week: Uber's Tricks, JPMorgan Hacked & A Desk Microwave

Also in this week's roundup, Amazon's $1 billion purchase surprises some tech watchers. But we're most excited about finding a way to avoid physical exertion at lunch.

Leave a Comment

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