This Benghazi shit just won't stop: On Wednesday, the White House released more than 100 pages of emails showing the modification of various talking points by Obama administration officials, the CIA, and the State Department in the immediate aftermath of last September's attack. The emails reportedly suggest that the CIA took the lead in shaping the talking points to describe the attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Most of the modifications appear to be minor ones, but the CIA and State Department reportedly made several significant changes. Of those, the most damning appears to be the decision to excise a reference to the warnings the CIA issued about the Benghazi consulate's security vulnerabilities in the months before last year's attack. From CNN:
But that warning was eventually removed. Senior administration officials say that long before the CIA heard concerns from the State Department about warnings being put in the talking points, CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell advocated for taking the warnings out, since he felt the talking points should focus on what happened in Benghazi on September 11, rather than the previous six months.
He also felt it was unprofessional and unfair for the CIA to cite its own warnings to the State Department, officials said. Victoria Nuland, then the State Department spokeswoman, raised concerns over the CIA's first version of the talking points, saying that they went further than what she was allowed to say about the attack during her briefings.
She also questioned including information about CIA warnings on extremist threats linked to al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya, saying "the penultimate point could be abused by Members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to agency warnings so why do we want to feed that either? Concerned..."