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View Diary: Petraeus' Testimony Makes McCain and Other Conspiracy Theorists Look Like Idiots (271 comments)

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  •  On Oct 19th, the Washington Post (16+ / 0-)


    “Talking points” prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States. According to the CIA account, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”

    The CIA document went on: “This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.” This may sound like self-protective boilerplate, but it reflects the analysts’ genuine problem interpreting fragments of intercepted conversation, video surveillance and source reports.

    The senior intelligence official said the analysts’ judgment was based in part on monitoring of some of the Benghazi attackers, which showed they had been watching the Cairo protests live on television and talking about them before they assaulted the consulate.

    “We believe the timing of the attack was influenced by events in Cairo,” the senior official said, reaffirming the Cairo-Benghazi link. He said that judgment is repeated in a new report prepared this week for the House intelligence committee.
    The (senior U.S. intelligence) official said the only major change he would make now in the CIA’s Sept. 15 talking points would be to drop the word “spontaneous” and substitute “opportunistic.” He explained that there apparently was “some pre-coordination but minimal planning.”

    Five weeks after the attack, the CIA stood behind their report that Rice used verbatim with "the only major change he would make now in the CIA’s Sept. 15 talking points would be to drop the word “spontaneous” and substitute “opportunistic.” ".

    CBS recently reported something similar:

    And like the CIA's talking points, Rice said on Meet the Press and other TV programs:

    Well, David, we can’t predict with any certainty.
    Well, let us-- let me tell you the-- the best information we have at present.  First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing.  And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired.  But putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is ...
    Obviously, that’s-- that’s our best judgment now.  We’ll await the results of the investigation.  
    So Rice cautioned everyone about the nature of the information she was providing. It was preliminary. And it was what the CIA "talking points" said at the time.

    The thing is: McCain, Graham, Issa and the GOP knew the above but went after her on bogus grounds anyway. that's what is so terribly wrong with this and the media who have covered it.

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