Breaking: Top Obama appointee cut reference to Al Qaeda in Benghazi memo

Breaking: Top Obama appointee cut reference to Al Qaeda in Benghazi memo

A name and face have finally been connected to the edits to the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was given to read on national television five days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The name is James Clapper, the face is this one, but the individual whose face appears here also has some explaining to do.

According to CBS News sources, Clapper, who is Director of National Intelligence (DNI), was in charge of the agency where the specific references to al Qaeda and terrorism were excised from the memo that Rice recited.

Clapper is an appointee of the president, who is therefore ultimately responsible for explaining why the American people were misinformed by another of his appointees, Rice. And the misinformation was delivered not once but five separate times, which is the number of appearances Rice made on television the Sunday after the attacks.

CBS is quick to note that their intelligence source advises that the links to al Qaeda were deemed too “tenuous” to make public, but this merely raises another question: Why then did Rice make a definitive statement at all about the source of the attack, and why did the White House decide to blanket the airwaves with that statement?

And why Rice as the messenger? The president has already stated categorically that she was not well-versed in the topic, a point liberals have been seizing on in defense of her possible nomination as Secretary of State. But how does her having been reduced effectively to a mouthpiece, carrying out a rote exercise for the White House, not impeach her credentials?

Another CBS source, described as a “senior U.S. official familiar with the drafting of the talking points,” is quoted as saying:

The points were not, as has been insinuated by some, edited to minimize the role of extremists, diminish terrorist affiliations, or play down that this was an attack.

But once again, the commentary goes cold before an explanation is tendered as to why the points were edited.

Clapper, the man who ultimately signed off on the expurgated talking points, has been a center of controversy before since being appointed the Obama administration’s DNI. In February of 2010, he described the Muslim Brotherhood as a “largely secular” group.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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