Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up of Benghazi Coverage:

The Liberal Wall of Benghazi Denial Cracks - Jonathan S. Tobin/Commentary @tobincommentary

ABC: Petraeus called final Benghazi talking points “useless” the day before Rice’s full Ginsburg; Update: Transcript added - HotAir

One of the mysteries in the Benghazi scandal has been the role of David Petraeus, who was then the Director of the CIA but was forced to resign in a personal scandal shortly thereafter. While the White House and State Department tried to cobble together talking points to explain away the terrorist attack that took four American lives, what did Petraeus do? According to new information reported for the first time by Jonathan Karl on ABC News’ This Week earlier this morning, Petraeus rejected the final version as “useless” — and then threw the issue to the White House...

Watch out for Petraeus in Benghazi scandal - Joseph Curl/Washington Times

Make no mistake: Benghazi is a major scandal. Benghazi is a scandal before, during and after the terrorist attack that left four Americas dead, including an ambassador....

For months before, there were warnings about weak security at the U.S. Consulate in Libya; no one paid attention. During the attack, when Americans were begging for help, the White House ignored their pleas, sent no help.

And after? That’s when the Obama scandal falls into the predictable second-term pattern his predecessors all learned the very hard way. Faced with a crisis, the Obama White House panicked. “We can’t have a terrorist strike two months before Election Day, so … let’s not have a terrorist strike two months before Election Day.” Cue the Cover-Up.

So little is known about what happened in Benghazi: Where was the commander in chief that night? No pictures from the Situation Room this time. Why didn’t the Pentagon authorize a quick-response team to swoop in? Members of the military say they were ready — burning — to go. The call came in: Stand down. Let them die. There were dozens of witnesses to the attack that night: Where are they? What do they know? What really happened that night?

And who forced the heavy-handed redactions of those infamous “talking points,” the ones that sent Mr. Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations onto the Sunday talk shows to declare that the attack was just the culmination of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video posted on YouTube?

Carnival barker Jay Carney looked almost ashen Friday as he took the podium to face a suddenly invigorated press corps. Of course, the public briefing came after a private session with “reporters who matter,” a sure sign the White House is in full hunker-down mode — and, more precisely, terrified.

“Again,” one newly curious reporter asked, “what role did the White House play, not just in making but in directing changes that took place to these?”

...Despite protestations by the White House, this scandal is just beginning. And the White House has picked a very bad scapegoat: the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA follows RFK’s edict: “Don’t get mad, get even.” And when the CIA gets even, it isn’t pretty.

With the White House putting all blame on the agency, expect push back this week — nuclear push back. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the former director forced to resign after a sex scandal, is a dangerous man to the Obama administration. Mad and intent on getting even, he’s already talking, telling one reporter the talking points were “useless” and that he preferred not to use them at all. The floodgates will open this week, and by the end of business Friday, the scandal will be full blown.

So, who changed the Benghazi talking points? - Allahpundit/HotAir

Stephen Hayes follows up on ABC’s scoop this morning by introducing some names. We already knew that State Department mouthpiece Victoria Nuland was unhappy with the passage in the talking points emphasizing that the CIA had warned the administration before about jihadi activity in and around Benghazi. But Nuland, per ABC’s update, wasn’t even in the meeting where the talking points were eventually changed. Who was? Hayes claims he knows....

Petraeus was, according to Hayes, shocked to see references to “al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, jihadists, Islamic extremists” etc. mysteriously gone from the rewritten talking points. Which we already knew, kinda sorta, based on what Peter King revealed about Petraeus’s closed-doors testimony to the House Intelligence Committee last November. At the same hearing, though, DNI James Clapper and acting CIA director Mike Morell — who, per Hayes, agreed to work with Sullivan and Rhodes to rewrite the talking points — told the House that they … didn’t know how the talking points got changed. Really?

On Benghazi probe, GOP's Issa says 'Hillary Clinton's not a target' - NBC News
Not everyone is out to destroy Hillary Clinton all the time - Foreign Policy Mag

It’s a cliché, of course, but it really is true: in Washington, every scandal has a crime and a coverup. The ongoing debate about the attack on the United States facility in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, and the Obama Administration’s response to it, is no exception. For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it.

When Myths Collide in the Capital - Maureen Dowd/NYT

...damage control that goes like this: “It’s not true, it’s not true, it’s not true, it’s old news....”

KLEIN: Obama 'on the same page as Richard Nixon'... - Joe Klein/TIME Swampland
Jim Inhofe mulls 'I-word' after Benghazi - Politico

“They knew that it was a cover-up at that time, the time that it happened,” Inhofe said. “To send Susan Rice out to lie to the American people is one thing that’s going to go down in history, that’s never going to be forgotten.”

More 'Whistleblowers Coming' - Reuters

Press Corps Races to Defend Hillary from Questions...

Weekend Wrap-up of Benghazi Coverage – Notable Quotes Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
Did Clinton and Obama believe their Benghazi baloney? - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner @michaelbarone
Benghazi: The Video Vanishes - Roger L Simon/PJM