A top-secret timeline from inside the Obama administration shows how the U.S. government heavily altered talking points about the Benghazi consulate attack that left four Americans dead, despite having clear intelligence reports from Libya indicating that an al Qaeda-linked terror group ‘claimed credit’ for destroying the diplomatic outpost.
According to a report scheduled for publication May 13 in The Weekly Standard, Deputy CIA Director Mike Morrell cut or changed four of the six paragraphs – removing 148 of the 248 words – in a classified assessment of what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
The Weekly Standard released its article online Thursday, likely to make it public before a May 8 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about the terror attack.
As Morrell reportedly slashed information from the memo’s first draft, Weekly Standard senior writer Stephen Hayes reports, ‘gone were the reference to “Islamic extremists,” the reminders of agency warnings about al Qaeda in Libya, the reference to “jihadists” in Cairo, the mention of possible surveillance of the facility in Benghazi, and the report of five previous attacks on foreign interests.’
Hayes’ article includes the complete texts of three versions of the talking points, showing the edits made over a 24-hour period beginning three days after the attack.