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White House has meeting with media allies on Benghazi fiasco – off the record

10 May

 

Politico reports that the Obama White House held an off the record meeting with their political strategists the media this afternoon to discuss the Benghazi  investigation.

The White House held a “deep background” briefing with reporters on Friday afternoon to discuss recent revelations about the Benghazi investigation, sources familiar with the meeting tell POLITICO.

The meeting was conducted on “deep background,” according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, but sources told POLITICO that the existence of the meeting was “off the record.” The meeting began around 12:45 p.m. and postponed the daily, on-the-record White House press briefing until mid-afternoon.

The session was announced to reporters in the wake of an ABC News report showing that White House and State Dept. officials were involved in revising the now-discredited CIA talking points about the attack on Benghazi.

Emails obtained by ABC News show that State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland requested that the CIA scrub references to an Al Qaeda-linked group, which, Nuland told White House officials, “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings.”

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to the meeting as “off the record.” Though the existence of the meeting was off the record, it was conducted on “deep background.” 

UPDATE (3:05 p.m.): I asked Earnest to explain the meaning of “deep background,” as defined by the White House, for my readers. He emails:

Deep background means that the info presented by the briefers can be used in reporting but the briefers can’t be quoted.

Hmmm.  Someone must be on to something if the Obama White House is calling a special meeting with their comrades in the media.  Look for the media to all be singing the same tune by the time the Sunday shows roll around.

 

 

 

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ABC Exclusive: Benghazi Talking Points Scrubbed of Terror Reference

10 May

 

 

More on this from ABC’s John Karl:

When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.

ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.

This is a paragraph drafted by the CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points:

“The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya.  These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”

After reading that paragraph, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it

“could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?”

Naturally, that paragraph was removed.

 

“Benghazi hearings in the Mirror Universe”

10 May

 

John Hayward has an excellent piece over at Red State titled Benghazi hearings in the Mirror Universe on the testimony by whistle-blowers in the Benghazi hearings on Wednesday of this week, and the attempts by the media to bury it.

It’s amazing to watch the media bury yesterday’s explosive testimony on Benghazi.  Just imagine for a moment that today is the day after a veteran career diplomat – the top man on the ground in Libya after the murder of the ambassador – testified that a Republican administration told him not to cooperate with Democrat congressional investigators, shook him up with a menacing phone call from the top political “fixer” for a Secretary of State widely viewed as a leading 2016 presidential candidate, demoted him under cloudy circumstances so they could portray him as “disgruntled”… and then spent eight months loudly boasting of their enthusiastic, transparent cooperation with Congress.  Imagine the media coverage – from the glowing profile of Gregory Hicks as a new whistleblower demigod in the pantheon of good-government heroes, to the hows of outrage that noble truth-seeking Congressmen were thwarted by the machinations of a shadowy White House bent on preserving its electoral viability, no matter the cost to public transparency or national security…

…Remember how reporters were grazing through the rubble and finding important documents, such as Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ journal, while the FBI was still bottled up in Tripoli?  Remember how the Administration kept falsely claiming the “crime scene” was under control, even though it wasn’t?  You sure would remember that if Barack Obama was a Republican, because the media would be busy stitching together montages of all the false Administration claims and comparing them to Hicks’ testimony from yesterday…

…In the Mirror Universe where this is a Republican scandal, you can bet your bottom dollar that the media would never have stopped asking why Stevens was so poorly defended, and why there was no plan in place to mount an effective rescue operation.  Instead, they let Obama apologists get away with talking as if they knew exactly how long the attack would last…

…Above all, a Republican administration’s claims of “transparency” would lie in ruins after yesterday’s hearings.  That’s an incontrovertible conclusion for anyone who paid the slightest attention to the testimony.  There were very specific allegations about Administration interference with congressional investigations, and no one has attempted to refute them.  There is no way to square this whistleblower testimony with the notion of an honest White House and Secretary of State working with Congress and keeping the American people informed.  That would be a huge story for the media today, if they were not primarily interested in ignoring all that bombshell testimony, so they can push the Obama-approved line that Benghazi is old news.  Just try to imagine them performing such a service for a Republican president.

It is amazing to watch these people in the media who claim to be “journalists” give cover to a Democrat Administration in a scandal that involved the death of 4 Americans, a cover up, intimidation of whistle-blowers and a continuous misleading of the American people.  We’ve gotten to the point in our country where the only time that Democrats, or the media, cares when someone dies is when it helps them politically (think Sandy Hook).  But, in defense of the media, it is probably how most of them are taught at “Journalism” School.

Rule #1:  if it harms a Democrat, it’s not news

 

 

 

 

“Rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers”

8 May

This is a tweet from the Washington Post shortly after the whistle-blower hearings on Benghazi started today:

 

So, rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers are the only people who care that 4 Americans died?

Keep up the great work, Washington Post!  Don’t know what we would do without all of the “objective” “news” organizations like you.