It’s clear from a reading of the interim report on Benghazi- and consultation with sources in the Intelligence Community (IC)- that policy and politics-- not intelligence failures-- led to the deaths of four Americans when Al Qaeda attacked the consulate in that Libyan city on September 11, 2012.
But we knew that already, didn’t we?
What we don’t know, still, is who in the administration is responsible for the alteration of key talking points generated by the IC in wake of the attack and who else knew about the alterations.
The report authors, who work for congress, have detailed information about the editors of the talking points, apparently. I’m guessing that they know very well who ordered them.
Why haven’t they named names?
Why have Republicans teamed up with the administration to conceal the fact that top Obama officials altered national security documents in a way that could be criminal.
“It is clear that the State Department expressed concerns — and was backed by the White House — that the information be removed to avoid criticism for ignoring the general threat environment in Benghazi,” the Washington Times quotes the report in saying.
And so he information was removed.
Here’s what you may not know: Talking points generated by security agencies for events like the Benghazi assault are official documents. The alteration of the talking points in order to protect senior members of the State Department and/or the White House is a felony that calls for up to 12 years in prison, a $25,000 fine and immediate dismissal from the service of the United States government --including elected officials-- with a lifetime ban from further federal employment.
The authors also reveal that Hillary Clinton denied requests directly for additional security, which is in contradiction to her testimony to congress that she never saw a request for extra security from Benghazi.
“Repeated requests for additional security were denied at the highest levels of the State Department,” says the report. “For example, an April 2012 State Department cable bearing Secretary Hillary Clinton’s signature acknowledged then-Ambassador Cretz’s formal request for additional security assets but ordered the withdrawal of security elements to proceed as planned.”