Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Release of E-Mails Shows Jostling on Libya Talking Points

Maybe when they get done with this they will shift the investigation to the important part – what happened before September 11, 2012 all there decisions made or not made and why leading up to the event.  I hope we can get to the real issues that will save lives in the future if we learn, adapt, and anticipate rather than focus on talking points that will not save anyone in the future.  Here is the link directly to the emails:

Release of E-Mails Shows Jostling on Libya Talking Points
Published: May 15, 2013 85 Comments

WASHINGTON — One hundred pages of e-mails released by the White House on Wednesday reveal intensive jostling among top intelligence and diplomatic officials over the government’s “talking points” in the aftermath of last September’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

The documents suggest that the top two officials at the C.I.A. disagreed about how many details the administration should disclose about the agency’s view of who carried out the attacks and its earlier warnings about terrorist threats in the region.

In a copy of a draft memo released by the White House, Michael J. Morrell, the agency’s deputy director, crossed out five sentences from the talking points that described the agency’s warnings about threats from Islamic extremists. State Department officials also strongly urged that the warnings be left out, according to the e-mails.

The C.I.A. director at the time, David H. Petraeus, evidently disagreed with his deputy and believed that the warnings should be made public. “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this, then …” Mr. Petraeus wrote in an e-mail to colleagues, referring to a version of the talking points that excluded the warnings.
The version the administration used in the days after the attacks, primarily by Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, did not include suspicions about the involvement of a Libyan militant group with ties to Al Qaeda. State Department officials objected to the inclusion of that information.

The administration has since acknowledged the involvement of Ansar al-Shariah, an extremist group with Qaeda ties. The White House released the e-mails to reporters after Republicans seized on snippets of the correspondence that became public last Friday to suggest that President Obama’s White House staff had taken an active role in altering the talking points.

In releasing them, White House officials were hoping to show that intelligence officials, not political advisers, drove the debate over the talking points.

It remained unclear why Mr. Morrell objected to the inclusion of the warnings and whether his objections or the State Department’s played the dominant role in having them removed.
After the release, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, criticized what he called the “political nature” of the State Department’s requested changes.
(Continued at the link below)

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