by Tim Brown
I wrote yesterday about how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) knew that the attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda operatives. We know the Obama White House put out the story for nearly a week that it was just Muslims upset over a benign YouTube video. In spite of knowing what was going on and having the ability to intervene, the Obama administration did nothing to stop or assist Americans who they knew were being attacked by Al-Qaeda. Instead, they chose to cover it up and intimidate witnesses. Stephen F. Hayes has an excellent piece at the Weekly Standard titled The Benghazi Talking Points, in which he fingers the man he believes is the main person behind the Benghazi cover-up, Ben Rhodes.
Of course, one would immediately have to wonder about those who would be around a man who has vowed to stand with the Muslims instead of America. If you recall, Barack Obama made a speech in Cairo, Egypt to an audience which included the Muslim Brotherhood, in which he distorted the Qur’an to put it in a good light and then attempted to make out like Islam had made great contributions to both America and the world. That speech was written by Ben Rhodes, Obama’s foreign policy speechwriter and now a part of a his National Security Council.
Hayes writes in his article about the talking points that were first put out to officials. He writes:
The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”
In an attempt to address those concerns, CIA officials cut all references to Ansar al Sharia and made minor tweaks. But in a follow-up email at 9:24 p.m., Nuland wrote that the problem remained and that her superiors—she did not say which ones—were unhappy. The changes, she wrote, did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership,” and State Department leadership was contacting National Security Council officials directly. Moments later, according to the House report, “White House officials responded by stating that the State Department’s concerns would have to be taken into account.” One official—Ben Rhodes, The Weekly Standard is told, a top adviser to President Obama on national security and foreign policy—further advised the group that the issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.
There is little information about what happened at that meeting of the Deputies Committee. But according to two officials with knowledge of the process, Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, made broad changes to the draft afterwards. Morrell cut all or parts of four paragraphs of the six-paragraph talking points—148 of its 248 words (see Version 2 above). Gone were the reference to “Islamic extremists,” the reminders of agency warnings about al Qaeda in Libya, the reference to “jihadists” in Cairo, the mention of possible surveillance of the facility in Benghazi, and the report of five previous attacks on foreign interests.
Ed Lasky writes concerning Rhodes, “Ben Rhodes should be called to account for trying to divert blame away from Islamic terrorists and the Obama team members whose feckless negligence led to the Benghazi massacre.”
“I have previously written about Ben Rhodes and his role in the Obama White House,” writes Lasky. “It is shameful that this ‘kid’ (he is all of 35) has been given any responsibility at all in our government. In ‘Does it bother anyone that this person is the Deputy National Security Adviser?’ I noted his problematic background for someone given so much power by Obama. But then again he does specialize in fiction-writing. He earned a master’s degree in fiction-writing from New York University just a few years ago . He did not have a degree in government, diplomacy, national security; nor has he served in the CIA, or the military. He was toiling away not that long ago on a novel called ‘The Oasis of Love” about a mega church in Houston, a dog track, and a failed romance. ”
Lasky concludes that Ben Rhodes is the man that attempted to whitewash Islamists and the Obama administration, not only in the Cairo speech, but in the talking points promoted by the Obama White House in the days following the attack on Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
I guess we’ll wait and see if he is even called as a witness this by the House in this week’s hearings.