The Blog

Benghazi Emails Directly Contradict White House Claims

12:09 AM, May 16, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Elsewhere, CIA officials seemed to understand that the document had been stripped of most of its content. An email from an official with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis, the office that drafted the original version of the talking points, signed off on the final version but seemed to understand that the new version wouldn’t please those who had requested it. “They are fine with me,” this CIA official wrote. “But, pretty sure HPSCI [the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] won’t like them. :-)”

When Petraeus received the rewritten talking points, he objected. “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this,” he wrote to a legislative affairs staffer. But he declined to put up a fight.  

The documents answer some questions and raise many others. Did Hillary Clinton have any role in the efforts of State Department staffers to push for the many substantive revisions to the talking points? Clinton, who testified that she was a hands-on part of the State Department’s response to the attacks, has claimed she had nothing to do with the talking points.

And what about the administration’s claims that State and White House officials weren’t involved with substantive edits? In one email, Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton, reports to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that he’s spoken with Obama’s top spokesman at the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor. “I spoke with Tommy. We’ll work through this in the morning and get comments back.”

In a separate email, he writes: “Talked to Tommy. We can make edits.”

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers