UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who wants to become Secretary of State Susan Rice, blamed CIA talking points for her repeated lies about the Benghazi attack. Former CIA Director Petraeus denied responsibility for the CIA talking points. The Director of Defense Intelligence is accused of having edited the talking points, but claims that Rice would have known it was Al Qaeda anyway.
There's so much buck passing going on in the halls of Obama Inc. for Benghazigate that if we could just figure out how to turn those bucks into real money, the national debt would get paid off.
For those keeping score, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who wants to become Secretary of State Susan Rice, blamed CIA talking points for her repeated lies about the Benghazi attack.
Former CIA Director Petraeus testified before Congress and denied responsibility for the CIA talking points, which were then edited later by an unknown individual or individuals.
That unknown individual is now being identified as none other than James Clapper, the Director of Defense Intelligence of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (try saying that twice), but the ODNI spokesman is, reasonably enough, passing the buck back to Rice for claiming not to know that this was an Al Qaeda assault and not a movie review.
CIA Director David Petraeus, however, told Congress he agreed to release the information -- the reference to al Qaeda -- in an early draft of the talking points, which were also distributed to select lawmakers.
"The intelligence community assessed from the very beginning that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack." DNI spokesman Shawn Turner tells CBS News. That information was shared at a classified level -- which Rice, as a member of President Obama's cabinet, would have been privy to.
An intelligence source says the talking points were passed from the CIA to the DNI, where the substantive edits were made, and then to FBI, which made more edits as part of "standard procedure."
Turner is kicking the ball back to Rice on behalf of Clapper. To Obama Inc. Clapper is far more expendable than Rice, but like most insiders, he is unwilling to be expended.
It's entirely possible that Clapper did approve the excision of Al Qaeda from the talking points. He did after all call the Muslim Brotherhood a moderate and secular group, but it's also doubtful that he did it on his own. Most likely the edits reflected whatever the consensus on how to handle the attacks was in the administration.
And as Turner points out, Rice was certainly not dependent on the talking points. Rice was not some hired spokeswoman who could only know what was handed to her on a piece of paper. She was part of the inner circle and structurally knew everything that was known at the time. To argue otherwise is to suggest that Rice was so incompetent that she was incapable of doing anything more than repeating talking points, which also makes her completely unqualified to be Secretary of State.