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Petraeus: I Knew Terrorists Were Involved in Benghazi

Former CIA Director David Petraeus said in closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee today that he knew from the beginning that the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi were a terrorist strike, according to the Associated Press and other reports.

Petraeus told lawmakers that the original CIA “talking points” about the assault said it was a terrorist attack, but that after other federal departments reviewed the document, the assessment was removed.

But Petraeus said the change was not made for political reasons and that there was no White House interference, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who sits on the Intelligence panel.

Nevertheless, Petraeus’s testimony will put pressure on the White House to explain why it continued for many days after the attack to insist that the best evidence showed the incident arose from an anti-Muslim video.

UN Ambassador Susan Rice apparently used the revised talking points five days after the attack when she went on TV and said the assault stemmed from a spontaneous reaction to the video.

44 Responses to Petraeus: I Knew Terrorists Were Involved in Benghazi

  1. Considering his wife has just been given a lucrative position with an administration that spied on, intimidated, & forced resignation from her husband, it is not surprising he would say no why interference. They will need her job. Besides, every rational citizen knows Jarrett runs the wh.

  2. What other “federal departments”?

    The changes “were not made for political purposes”? That’s a whopper if I ever heard one.

    These people make slip ‘n’ slide lawyers seem saintly. Pfffff.

    • Why does the FREAKIN CIA! have to submit anything for “review” to other “federal depts”?
      Its the C-I-A! the top of the Intelligence foodchain! Its this g#d-damn lame ass “Office of the Director of National Intelligence” (a useless post with a dope for ‘Director’)

      • No doubt. I have said ad nauseum the fact that Hillary Clinton did not resign on 9/11/2012 is a disgrace. Her behavior since then has been beyond shameful. And Holder is just a consigliere. Valerie Jarrett is running this WH.

  3. Whack! Pow! WhiteHouse trembles in shock and anger.

    Talking points questioning the General’s lack of character, honesty, and mental health are being sent to friendly MSM outlets (all of them except FOX), Leaks from FBI unnamed sources will claim that the General is a secret double agent of Hamas, and his lover is an Iranian spy.

    A suitable goat is being chosen from the low-level WhiteHouse drones or an unfortunate secretary who will be blamed for an innocent typo that caused MsRice to give a false (lying) narrative of the massacre in Bengazi.

  4. This is nothing but double talk. Once again, Obama skates!

    This little tidbit just in. Seems like the good General contacted the Romney campaign before the election re a position in his Cabinet. He was never a contender – Romney didn’t want anything to do with any member of Obama’s team. Looks like someone burned ALL of his bridges – Obama was ‘unhappy’ when he discovered his spy master was hedging his bets.

  5. Bill Whittle has an excellent alternative presidential response to the Benghazi attack during his Hancock Park Patriots talk. Skip to the 36.47 minute mark and sit back and enjoy.

  6. Does anyone really believe there were politicals motivations to the changes and how can he possibly say there weren’t when he allegedly wasn’t the one who made the changes.

    • Remember, WMP, the statement attributed to Petreaeus in this post was related by Congressman Schiff. It was not a direct quote from Petraeus.

      Big difference! Schiff is a partisan Democrat.

      Not only that, but Gen’l Petraeus would not have likely said any such thing simply because of the fact that he (and several others) told the Committee that they did not know who made the change.

      How could any of them possibly address the question of what the motivation was for making that change, if they don’t even know who made the alteration?

      Now, if Petraeus had been asked this: “Do you have any proof that there was a political motivation behind the change?? he probably would have answered, “No, I don’t.”

      If Schiff heard that, he could then have easily stretched such an answer into his formulation — i.e., that Petraeus told the committee that there was no political motive behind the alteration.

  7. This gets curiouser and curiouser–or should I say more and more boring. I am sure these famous talking pts had “TRACK CHANGES” yellow all over the as everyone stuck an oar in. Then someone said to Rice, “We can’t get anyone else–could you go on the shows and say it was that dumb video–just for now–there will be a nice job in it for ya.”

    • I’m with you on the curiouser but will go further and call this a political farce.
      Now a coven of Dem women are claiming that the attacks on MsRice’s veracity are because she’s a woman and a Af-Am.
      The implication being that if a spokesperson or political being is either/or female and either/or Black, any question of their statements or actions are racist or anti-female.

  8. Talking points, assessments [emphasis on asses and men] and we’re left with ‘ts’ ..tough shit as an answer? No MSM tour correcting the fallacy (LIE).

    Note to Petraeus: Oath of Office

    I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

  9. The answer to why the White House continued to go with the video story is probably simple: they think that they can say whatever they want, and the MSM will not question their story.

    And they almost got away with it. Fox News has been relentlessly hammering on Benghazi (Brett Baier did a great one hour investigative report on it), but NO ONE paid any attention to it.

    It took a sex scandal to make everyone take notice.

  10. Pressure from whom, exactly? Pressure from the press? Somehow, I doubt this will alter what few articles and editorials are written about this horrible dereliction of executive duty.

  11. Want to know who “edited” those talking points and took out the ‘terrorism’ reference?
    Go ask that sneaky Romulan looking b#tch VALERIE JARRETT

  12. This whole thing just shows what kind of person Obama and his cabal are
    heartless and evil. They’ve put themselves above the truth and more to the
    point four dead American’s.

  13. This Administration will choose to lie even when telling the truth sounds better. They just can’t help themselves. They are institutionalized to deceit.

  14. Did anyone flat out ask Petaeus why he said it was all about the video? Did they ask why he outright lied,when he new right away it was terrorists? I want to know if he was pressured by someone,or at least if he was fearful. Can’t think of any other good reason.
    Why have these hearings if you don’t ask straight up questions?

  15. It seem clear that they had Susan Rice present the fairy tale BECAUSE she knew nothing about the situation. Then, when the fairy tale is attacked, they could say, “Hey, she knows nothing! nothing! Why are you being mean to her?” If they had let ANYONE with ANY attachment to the situation present the fairy tale there would be traction for an investigation. Now, there’s just a bunch of war on women and war on Af-Am rhetoric and everyone can march around defending Susie and the real questions are lost.

    That is how this administration swings.

    • Ding…Ding…Ding. Heard Jake Tapper say he was sitting in for Stephie on the day she did the Sunday show circuit. They had tried to get Hillary on to talk about Benghazi, but the WH sent this little lamb. She was auditioning for the SoS job and nothing more.

      Too bad for them, we’re not giving up on hearing him answer our question. Mr. presentdent, what did you know about Benghazi and when did you know it?

    • You hit the nail on the head, Anonna. That explains why Obama did such an exaggerated job of feigning indignance at the thought of anyone blaming this innocent foil.I think we should take his advice and go after HIM….but how do we accomplish that when he is so heavily protected by his Praetorian Guard!

      And to blondie – yes, why didn’t anyone ask Petraeus flat out why he said it was all about the video on Sept. 14?

    • There were remarks on Fox or CNN that since Rice has an Obama cabinet level position rather than under the SofS, that would she would receive daily briefings. If so, then she would have had additional information on the attack, not just the talking points she used on tv.

  16. What I want to know was during the re election campaign I think (although I could be wrong) the same week that SusieQ was going all nasty nasty video on us David Axelrod was also on the shows talking about Benghazi. I am wondering how much information was shared with the re election campaign by the Administration.

  17. I think this will be found to be a over reliance on Social Media. What will be discovered is that ‘someone’ at the Policy Level (probably one of the ‘five’) in the White House was reading their Twitter feed of the Benghazi attack. Because there was some rioting a few days earlier in Egypt because of the video, the Twitter Reader in the White House (thinking they had more ‘real-time’ information) than the CIA, used their Twitter feed to make changes to the Intelligence Report rather than the real information they were given.
    What the Reader probably didn’t know, was that installing false information in overseas Twitter feeds is a common ploy by the Terrorists. Why would someone fall for this? Because it is a lot easier to read a 140 character Twitter feed than a long, complicated Intelligence Report. It would result in a more ‘comfortable’ narrative to the public. It can be a faster and more realistically accurate picture of Social events so one tends to think you have ‘inside’ information, and these guys love it. I think it much more reasonable to assume incompetence on the part of the White House than malice.

  18. I was hoping Petraeus would be doing a “John Dean” in the hearing if anyone else here is old enough to remember John Dean. His testimony doesn’t make sense: the terrorism was removed for some vague reason but it was not political?

    • It was political. Someone in the WH cabal removed “Al Qaeda” from the briefing prepared by the CIA. It didn’t fit his campaign narrative – Osama is dead and Al Qaeda is on the run.

      We keep getting stuck in the weeds on semantics while Obama still hasn’t answered Mr. Woods simple question – “Who made the decision not to save my son?”

      • Obama is not the only one in the car ..

        “Perhaps Communists had wormed their way so deeply into our government on both the working and planning levels that they were able to exercise an inordinate degree of power in shaping the course of America in the dangerous postwar era.

        I could not help wondering and worrying whether we were faced with open enemies across the conference table and hidden enemies who sat with us in our most secret councils.” – General Mark Clark (1896-1984) American general during World War II and the Korean War

        • The State Department was crawling with commies during the Alger Hiss Soviet spy trial. Whitaker Chambers, a reformed communist, wrote the book about it – “Witness”.

          Back in the 50’s when William F. Buckley asked him to join the staff of his new political magazine, “National Review”, Chambers warned – “It is idle to talk about preventing the wreck of Western civilization. It is already a wreck from within.”

          • Susan, the State Dept. was crawling with commies before WWII.

            In March 1937, the State Department apologized on behalf of the United States to Adolf Hitler for comments made about him by the Mayor of New York City, Fiorello LaGuardia.

            “In this country the right of freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitution to every citizen and is cherished as a part of the national heritage,” James C. Dunn of the State Department said. “This however does not lessen the regret of the government when utterances either by private citizens or by public officials speaking in an individual capacity give offense to a government with which we have official relations. I very earnestly deprecate the utterances which have thus given offense to the German government. They do not represent the attitude of this government toward the German government.”

  19. From your post:

    But Petraeus said the change was not made for political reasons and that there was no White House interference, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who sits on the Intelligence panel.

    Huh? If that is what Schiff said, it is just not credible.

    First of all, consider the rather consistently reported fact that neither Petraeus, nor DNI James Clapper, nor the acting CIA Director, Michael Morell, nor anyone else who testified, was able to identify the “source” of the “inter-agency” change that resulted in the initial CIA report being altered to eliminate any mention of al-Qaeda or al Qaeda affiliates or terrorism, or participation by terror groups. The talking points instead were modified somewhere along the line to reference possible participation by “extremists” at a gathering to protest a video.

    . . .
    Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News that intelligence officials who testified in a closed-door hearing a day earlier, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell, said they did not know who changed the talking points. He said they went out to multiple departments, including the State Department, National Security Council, Justice Department and White House.
    . . . .

    If none of those who testified, including David Petraeus, knew who modified the report to eliminate any such terror-related references, how could Petraeus have said that the removal was not made for political reasons? He couldn’t. and he wouldn’t have said that. It seems far more likely that Petraeus may have been asked if he had any proof that the changes were made for political reasons, and he said no.

    Likewise, if neither Petraeus nor any of the others knew who made the changes, how could he have possibly concluded that there was no White House interference? Again, he may have been asked if he had any proof of White House interference in the development of the “talking points” and said that he didn’t. But that is not the same as definitively saying there was no White House interference.

    My own guess would be that whoever made those specific alterations, was likely not someone who was the subject to advise and consent of the Senate. In other words, the “author” would have most likely been a direct adviser to the President on Intelligence and terror-related matters, but someone who was also a political adviser sensitive to the necessity of eliminating any form of reference to al-Qaeda, or to an al-Qaeda affiliate, as participants in a successful attack on our consulate. Recall that this “amendment” was being included right during the heat of the Presidential campaign, and at a time when Mitt Romney was raising issues about the Benghazi attack.

    Back at the time this “report” was altered, the Administration simply did not want any public exchange about resurgent terrorism to dominate the discussion in the run up to two debates touching on foreign policy. So a vague reference to “extremism” and “extremist” participation was substituted into the official Administration line. Susan Rice was then dispatched to the talkies to spread the lie.

    But, by the time the Crowley-moderated debate rolled around, enough contrary fact-based information had been leaked about the attack to make it clear that the President simply could not stick with the “demonstration gone bad” line. It obviously had been a terror attack. So he was forced to shift his position to make the false claim that he had referred to the matter as a terror attack right from the start!

    If I had to hazard a guess as to who had the juice within the White House to suggest and make that alteration, I’d say the current National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. He replaced Obama’s former NSA, Gen’l James Jones in the fall of 2010, and is known for having a long political resume, as opposed to any substantive career involvement in national security matters.

    • UPDATE: A Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications — speechwriter, Ben Rhodes — who works under Tom Donilon, is now publicly denying that the White House had anything to do with editing the original CIA “talking points” to remove references to al-Qaeda and terrorism, and has thereby become an active public participant in trying to contradict the Petraeus testimony.

      Thus, the White House is trying to throw the responsibility for the “alteration” of the original talking points, right back on the intelligence community.

      It seems what they may be hoping for is a stalemate situation, where Petraeus — who is now out — is made the fall guy for the failure to initially and correctly read the situation on the ground in Benghazi.

      No doubt they further hope that because he is out, he will have no capacity to prove the accuracy of his position — such as by demonstrating via a paper trail, when the alteration was made and by whom. Almost makes you wonder if at least one item the FBI may have been looking for in the raid on his biographer’s home and computers, conducted just after his resignation and before he gave his testimony, was any internal communications documenting anything about the talking points “editing” timeline!

      Tom Donilon has always been a partisan operative, not any kind of substantive expert which would have otherwise qualified him in any way to be the National Security Adviser. It should not be surprising to anyone that he and his shop are now on point defending Obama against any criticism he receives related to the Benghazi fiasco.