Via AP, General Petraeus, sworn under oath, in public hearings today "disputed Republican suggestions that the White House misled the public on what led to the violence in the midst of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign" according to Rep. Adam Schiff.
Rep Schiff adds
"There was an interagency process to draft it, not a political process," Schiff said after the hearing. "They came up with the best assessment without compromising classified information or source or methods. So changes were made to protect classified information.For Republicans politicizing Benghazi this is a serious, insulting blow. Their greatest hero takes Obama's side on this issue under oath.
"The general was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda," Schiff said. "He completely debunked that idea."
Update: Media Matters reports that FOX news "cover[ed] up acknowledgement that Petraeus was OK with Benghazi talking points"
Ah, life, why do you not fail to provide us with sweet, sweet irony? I think MM is being a bit tongue in cheek, since this isn't anything new for FOX News. But it turns the tables of talking points on them a bit, doesn't it?
Edit: Rachel Maddow posted on her blog that CIA approved the change of the word from "terrorists" to "extremists" in order not to tip off the bad guys.
However, there seems to be a potential dishonest talking point for the Republicans as Petraeus
testified that the CIA's talking points written in response to the assault on the diplomat post in Benghazi that killed four Americans referred to it as a terrorist attack. But Petraeus told the lawmakers it was removed by other federal agencies who made changes to the CIA's draft.Remember, that he is not pointing fingers at The White House but other intelligence gathering agencies. Any suggestion by the Republicans to the contrary must be met with serious pushback.
Via majcmb1 in comments, Rep Peter King is already starting to use this false talking point. Gen. Petraeus blamed OTHER federal agencies for the change of talking points NOT the White House. Be very clear.
At worst, this part of his testimony shows that there is a lot of bureaucracy in the intelligence gathering process, but we knew that already. If any Republican ever again says that Obama "lied" about Benghazi or tried to "cover it up", we can always respond with "General Petraeus disagrees with that assessment, and we always listen to our Generals". That will definitely shut them up. Or who knows, maybe they'll say Obama blackmailed Petraeus.
Good point in the comments: Obama's acceptance of Petraeus's resignation actually weakens the Blackmail conspiracy- Petraeus is now a private citizen siding with his former boss. He is a free man. I mean I can't believe I am thinking of serious rebuttals to that line of attack, but I think its important to hit back against any popular argument by conservatives and not ignore them.
Via Kossack D88, an interviewof Peter King buckling like a fool. Can anyone help me about imbedding the video? Thanks.
Great comment by Capsfan1978:
The righties have jumped on DP's statement that he believed immediately that it AQ and terrorism. And somehow it didn't make it into the talking points after other agencies looked at it and added input. So they claim that the WH somehow was involved.
Here's the thing. DP doesn't say he has evidence or a source or anything substantial to link it to AQ immediately. He has a belief.
Guess what? Intel estimates are not written based on belief, faith, gut feeling, or an inkling. There needs to be some evidence, some fact, something concrete on which to base conclusions and analysis.