Petraeus knew it was terrorism in Benghazi

| November 16, 2012

This is a secondhand quote from Representative Peter King who spoke to Stars & Stripes while David Petraeus was testifying to the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors, so there is a partisan tinge to it, but regardless;

Lawmakers say Petraeus told them that CIA talking points written after the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans referred to it as a terrorist attack. But Petraeus says that reference was removed by other federal agencies that made changes to the CIA’s draft.

Fox News quotes King, too;

…Petraeus testified in a closed-door hearing Friday morning that his agency determined immediately after the Sept. 11 Libya attack that “Al Qaeda involvement” was suspected — but the line was taken out in the final version circulated to administration officials, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.


“No one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points,” [King] said.

So, tell me this; what good is a CIA intelligence report if other agencies are allowed to alter it? It makes no sense. If I send a sitrep to my commander and he alters it before he sends it higher to fit what he wants the report to say even though he doesn’t have eyes on the target, is it even a sitrep anymore?

“Director Petraeus went to Tripoli and interviewed many of the people involved,” said the head of the Senate committee, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

Added Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.: “”I’d like to get his sense of why it took as long as it did to get more accurate assessments of what took place in Benghazi.”

While the people who sat in front of cameras back here in the states were being spoon fed third or fourth hand information to spoon feed Americans the party line. Not that any of that information would have disrupted the season of giving before the election, I’m just sayin’ that it would be nice to know the facts from folks on the scene, seein’s how we were supposed to making decisions of our own here about who is leading the country.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Terror War

Comments (16)

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  1. DefendUSA says:

    Sounds stupid but THAT is why I kept the MFR book on my person all the time. In FRG, I had a soldier who supposedly had a four year degree, but was enlisted and trying to get commissioned…she would alter medical results (no computer systems, all hand-written, then)in my hot-room. I nailed her. She was psycho.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s possible that DNI looked at intelligence from other members of the IC, saw what WAS riots at other embassies and felt the evidence for a direct terrorist action in Beghazi was incomplete and that a riot getting out of hand was simply the more plausible explanation.

    In this case, it was also wrong, and we need to learn why we got it wrong and re-evaluate how we handle the synthesis of reports from multiple agencies.

    Rule of thumb: The faster you want intelligence on something, the more likely it’s an incomplete picture.

  3. USMCE8Ret12 says:

    Instead of making statements to the press that seemed pretty concrete (spontaneous demonstrations), Susan Rice should have kept her mouth shut – but then again, she was just doing what she was being told I suppose, and failing to ask questions. Given her track record at the UN, she seems to be a political opportunist, but that’s my opinion. I’ll also bet the “talking points” were changed at the WH with the intent of leading the public a certain direction since this administration is so afraid of using the “t” word. I also suspect Hillary Clinton distanced herself from the whole thing, knowing it would get far worse than better, hence the reason why BO put Rice in the hot seat. It’s peculiar to me that the UN Ambassador was speaking and NOT the Secretary of State. It just boggles my mind how initial reports can go from “terrorist attack” to “spontaneous demonstration” in the change/translation of the initial reports.

  4. Hondo says:

    Anonymous: yes, what you say above is possible.

    Whether it is probable or even plausible is another matter entirely.

  5. Nik says:

    You just don’t futz with a sitrep. Just. Don’t. Do it. You wanna toss an addendum to it. Ok. Have at it. But altering the original is worse than a “no-no”. It’s a dishonest action that can get people killed.

    Oh, wait…

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    Somewhere, in some hidden corner of an unobtrusive file cabinet, someone has the original copy of the report.

    Geezo pete, this is too much like “Rubicon” the spy show that was abruptly canceled on A&E. It got to close to the truth.

  7. Nik says:


    I think you have the right end of that one. Hilly didn’t want a damn thing to do with the whole mess and likely told BO as much, perhaps with the threat of “If you don’t let me bow out of this one, I’m going public”.

    I don’t believe for one second she doesn’t have further political aspirations. As things stand, and remembering that 4 years is a long way off, she has a strong chance of being the first female President. She’s not going to muck that up over anything.

  8. PintoNag says:

    I want to know what agency altered the CIA assessment. And why.

  9. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    At least this angle stops the dime-store novel sideshow for a moment or two. If you haven’t watched that video in Poetrooper’s piece, you really ought to. The last few minutes when posited against Benghazi will make you wonder a great many things, none of them good.

  10. USMCE8Ret12 Says: I also suspect Hillary Clinton distanced herself from the whole thing, knowing it would get far worse than better, hence the reason why BO put Rice in the hot seat. It’s peculiar to me that the UN Ambassador was speaking and NOT the Secretary of State.
    Same reason they do anything: so they can play the race card as a defense against any criticism.

    Some women apparently have the option of being Strong Capable Women or Weepy Defenseless Little Girls as convenience suits them.

    Republican senators’ angry criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice over her initial account of the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Libya smacks of sexism and racism, a dozen female members of the House said Friday.

    In unusually personal terms, the Democratic women lashed out at Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham who earlier this week called Rice unqualified and untrustworthy and promised to scuttle her nomination if President Barack Obama nominates her to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    In a separate appearance after a briefing on Libya, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the growing criticism of Rice “is almost as if the attempt is to assassinate her character.”

    “It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities,” Fudge said.

    Hey, remember when the media and Democrats smeared and spewed racist hate and vitriol at Secretary of State Condoleeze Rice and the Republicans accused them of sexism and racism? Yeah, me either. Apparently, only one party and ideology believes in judging Blacks and women by the content of their character, instead of the color of their skin or the type of their sexual organs.

    Related: Did Eric Holder or Robert Mueller Scrub “Al Qaeda” Out of the Talking Points?

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    @9 — Where is that piece? “If you haven’t watched that video in Poetrooper’s piece, you really ought to.”

  12. OWB says:

    @ #11: He probably means this one:

  13. DaveO says:

    On September 11th, 2012, Egyptian agents provacateurs stormed the US Embassy in Cairo, claiming to have been inspired by the Anti-Mohamed video.

    On September 12th, 2012, the NYT reported that:

    “Fighters involved in the assault, which was spearheaded by an Islamist brigade formed during last year’s uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, said in interviews during the battle that they were moved to attack the mission by anger over a 14-minute, American-made video that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon.”

    Key phrase: “…said in intervies during the battle…” which means on September 11th, 2012, the jihadists – said by the WH to be unrelated to the Egyptian rioters – were saying the same thing



    The POTUS and the WH also blamed the video as the cause of the attack.

    POTUS + AQIM + Muslim Brotherhood –> all unrelated to each other on the surface. All with the exact same talking points, at roughly the same time (even though the WH knew it wasn’t the film at all).

    So, who in the White House coordinated messages with AQIM and MB?

  14. OWB says:

    DaveO, that is precisely what many of us would like to know.

  15. Ex-PH2 says:

    @13 – “So, who in the White House coordinated messages with AQIM and MB?”

    That is the most loaded question anyone has posed on this blog to date.