Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

James Clapper in 2011: Muslim Brotherhood 'secular'; James Clapper in 2012: al-Qaeda not responsible for Benghazi

As the matter of who changed Susan Rice's talking points continues to be a bone of contention for those demanding the truth about what happened in Benghazi, the White House has apparently decided to throw Republicans a bone fragment. The person they're now saying is responsible for taking out any reference to al-Qaeda in Rice's talking points is Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, while also saying that it wasn't him specifically.

Uh, yeah, I know.

As for the reason why references to al-Qaeda were removed...

Via CBS: intelligence source tells CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan the links to al Qaeda were deemed too "tenuous" to make public, because there was not strong confidence in the person providing the intelligence. CIA Director David Petraeus, however, told Congress he agreed to release the information -- the reference to al Qaeda -- in an early draft of the talking points, which were also distributed to select lawmakers.
Does this not beg a very simple question? If references to al-Qaeda were too "tenuous" and the source did not have enough credibility to warrant running with that assessment, what genius was trusted when the narrative came out that the anti-Muhammad video was responsible? It would appear then that the source that wasn't trusted but should have been, now has more credibility and that the source that was trusted and shouldn't have been is... who?

Back to the CBS report:
"The intelligence community assessed from the very beginning that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack." DNI spokesman Shawn Turner tells CBS News. That information was shared at a classified level -- which Rice, as a member of President Obama's cabinet, would have been privy to.

An intelligence source says the talking points were passed from the CIA to the DNI, where the substantive edits were made, and then to FBI, which made more edits as part of "standard procedure."
Since the truth is so evasive because those responsible for releasing it don't seem interested in doing so, let's go with the aforementioned narrative. The extramarital affair of former CIA Director David Petraeus notwithstanding, the CIA appears to be the only entity that assessed the attack correctly by pointing to al-Qaeda. Yet, the head of the CIA is the only guy who lost his job?! This would seem to point to the possibility of the administration holding the affair over Petraeus' head until after the election.

There are some interesting questions raised in the next two paragraphs from the CBS report:
The head of the DNI is James Clapper, an Obama appointee. He ultimately did review the points, before they were given to Ambassador Rice and members of the House intelligence committee on Sept. 14. They were compiled the day before.

Brennan says her source wouldn't confirm who in the agency suggested the final edits which were signed off on by all intelligence agencies.
First, as I mentioned in an update to this post, in a previous CBS report, dated November 15th, it was claimed that Susan Rice received her talking points on September 15th but as you can see above, the most recent CBS report says she received them on September 14th.

Second, note the last sentence in the excerpt above about "all intelligence agencies" ultimately signing off on the final edits. That would include Petraeus, right? Now, what sort of thing might motivate him to "sign off" on the talking points that excluded al-Qaeda?

Administration knowledge of an extramarital affair perhaps?

As for Clapper, he has a history of denial when it comes to identifying America's enemies. When one couples his involvement in the extraction of the words "al-Qaeda" from Rice's talking points with his claim in 2011 that the Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular", we have a bit of a trend with this guy.

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