Yes, the White House knows who changed Rice’s talking points

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Marc Thiessen @ AEIdeas:

Fox News reports that intelligence officials told members of Congress they do not know who changed Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points on Benghazi to remove references to al Qaeda for her five Sunday show appearances:

Former CIA Director David Petraeus stoked the controversy over the Obama administration’s handling of the Libya terror attack, testifying Friday that references to “Al Qaeda involvement” were stripped from his agency’s original talking points — while other intelligence officials were unable to say who changed the memo, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News that intelligence officials who testified in a closed-door hearing a day earlier, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell, said they did not know who changed the talking points. He said they went out to multiple departments, including the State Department, National Security Council, Justice Department and White House.

“To me the question right now is who changed those talking points and why. … I’d say it was somebody in the administration had to have taken it out,” King told Fox News. “That, to me, has to be pursued.”

Indeed it does, and the identity of the individual (or individuals) who changed Rice’s talking points is entirely knowable. After spending five years in the White House, I can say with certainty that it is virtually impossible to anonymously edit official talking points.

When a document makes its way through the White House, there is a process for collecting and making suggested edits. When it is a White House generated document, it goes through a rigorous staffing process. The White House Staff Secretary sends the document out for comments, collects all the edits, and shares them with the speechwriters, who either make or do not make the changes. Every comment and edit to every draft is saved. When talking points or statements related to national security are generated outside the White House — especially when they are for a coordinated series of Sunday show appearances made at the request of the White House — the National Security Council runs a similar process, circulating the draft for comments and collecting all the edits and changes.

In other words, there is a trail of bread crumbs somewhere in the bowels of the Obama White House

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

6 Responses to “Yes, the White House knows who changed Rice’s talking points”

  1. 1

    The dude

    This game will never end until someone demands the answers. Issa is probably the only one who has any guts but Boehner caves(every time) behind the scene. Still waiting on F&F info?

  2. 2

    Nan G

    If Clapper didn’t do it….and that’s his JOB….then the probability rises that it was NOT a person IN GOVERNMENT so much as a person in Obama’s CAMPAIGN who did it.
    Why else would Obama not throw whoever-it-was under the bus by now?
    But, if it was a campaign person, that was illegal and only for POLITICAL gain rather than any other reason.
    So, it would stick on Obama……he’d go under the bus, too.

  3. 3


    Unfortuately, James Clapper is unaware of what planet he lives on. Can anyone forget how he embarrassed himself when Diane Sawyer asked him about the British terrorist arrests that had been on the news all day and he was unaware of it? Or how Clapper testified that the Muslim Brotherhood is simply a “secular” organziation?

    James Clapper is not only an idiot, he is a disgrace, and the administration should be embarrassed to have hired him. He needs to be retired to some mental institution where they can treat him.

    Mike Morrell, now he’s a different story. He is simply a willing bootlicker try to cover his political ass.

  4. 4


    We need to grow up and stop playing games. Obama was in the White House during the Benghazi attack. Obama wanted the terrorist taken out of the attack. Obama ordered it changed. Obama sent Susan Rice out to blatantly lie to the American people. Obama blatantly lies to the American people. Obama blatantly lied to the American people during the 08 campaign and has not stopped. Obama failed to order a rescue operation for the Americans under attack in Benghazi. He was at the White House; they were receiving real time information. Yes, the next day in the Rose Garden he said it was a terriorist attack – well, no, but that’s what he said in the debate with Romney. The House Congressional Investigation was open and C-Span recorded it, so it’s archived. And this was before Rice went on the media as a voice of the State Department and the Administration and lied to us. Her only qualification for SOS is the ability to lie with a straight face. With Holder as the head of the Justice Department do you really think truth will out? Common sense and the preponderance of the evidence is all we will ever have. I wish Congress would quit pussy-footing around, saying we need to find out/we don’t know, etc.

  5. 6


    when you see a thing like that happen, it’s the top guy who must bare the responsability,
    did he send help? before , during, after ? no no, no,
    he is to blame for the death of the four heroes,

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