Petraeus Switches Up His Story on the Benghazi Attacks
Confusion upon confusion…
In his Friday testimony. Petraeus claimed “he thought all along that he made it clear there was terrorist involvement,” according to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). “That was not my recollection.”
Nor is it what Petraeus’ old boss was saying at the time. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, publicly explained on Sept. 28 that contemporaneous — and ultimately incorrect — intelligence reporting “led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo,” and “we provided that initial assessment to Executive Branch officials and members of Congress.”
Confusing matters further, Petraeus indicated to lawmakers that the “talking points” the CIA initially gave to the Obama administration and members of Congress omitted early references to terrorism. Those talking points, published on Thursday by CBS, say that the attack on the consulate was “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault.” They hold open the possibility that the intelligence picture will change — as, indeed, it did, significantly. Those talking points do not indicate the certainty that Petraeus now says he possessed to attribute the attack to Libyan militant group Ansar al-Sharia.
According to King, Petraeus couldn’t explain the discrepancy. King said the talking points went through an “interagency” review, but the CIA ultimately “said, ‘Okay for it to go.’”