The bombshell that Republican hero David Petraeus was behind changes in the Benghazi talking points is another reason why Obama should not only clean out the Bush appointees, but should stop trusting Republicans in general.
The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that the emails released by the Obama administration reveal a rather shocking surprise. No, the Obama White House did not craft the Benghazi talking points to protect their reputation or that of the State Department. Nor did the State Department protect their image with “changes” to the talking points.
It was Republican hero, General David Petraeus, then the head of the CIA, who sought to burnish his image with demands to change the talking points. In fact, his version put him at “odds” with the State Department, the FBI, and officials within his own agency:
A close reading of recently released government e-mails that were sent during the editing process, and interviews with senior officials from several government agencies, reveal Petraeus’s early role and ambitions in going well beyond the committee’s request, apparently to produce a set of talking points favorable to his image and his agency.
The information Petraeus ordered up when he returned to his Langley office that morning included far more than the minimalist version that Ruppersberger had requested. It included early classified intelligence assessments of who might be responsible for the attack and an account of prior CIA warnings — information that put Petraeus at odds with the State Department, the FBI and senior officials within his own agency.
Ironically, given Republican claims going back to just hours after the attacks that killed four Americans, it was not the White House that tried to take over the talking points or craft them to appear in a more favorable light. In fact, the White House “played the role of mediator in the bureaucratic fight that at various points included the CIA’s top lawyer and the agency’s deputy director expressing opposition to what the director wanted.”
See, apparently even after it came out that ABC’s Jonathan Karl had misled the public by publishing Republican versions of the Benghazi emails that had been altered drastically enough to change their meaning, Republicans still claimed that the newly released emails proved that talking points had been changed. No word on whether they are investigating the Republican who leaked the lying emails to willing dupe Jonathan Karl, but Karl himself claimed that the actual emails (has he actually read this batch?) supported the Republicans’ original claims.
So even by their own argument, at the end of the witch hunt, they are face to face not with their mortal enemies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but their own hero and a Republican staffer or member of Congress.
You can be sure Republicans won’t be apologizing to President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or the reality based world any time soon.
This is the second time today that a Republican has been lurking behind a highly hyped by Republican-alleged “Obama scandal”. Aren’t you glad we spent millions to get to the bottom of this, and aren’t you glad that Republicans are heeding Hertitage’s orders to cease legislating in order to go after Obama with manufactured scandals? It is Republicans patriotic duty, after all, to unwittingly out their own malfeasance repeatedly, until one day they implode, choking on their own hypocrisy and refusal to govern.
There was no cover up by the White House or State Department. There was, however, a deceptively edited email leaked to the press by a Republican on Capitol Hill, and there was a Republican hero who demanded changes to the talking points in order to make himself look better. We call this Republican projection.
At the bottom of this scandal, Republicans are left facing themselves as the only cover up artists who made changes to emails for political reasons.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.