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April 3, 2014

Spotlight Again on Benghazi as Morell Testifies

Former CIA director tells Congress politics had no “influence in the intelligence process.” Wrong.

So former CIA Director Michael Morell was back before Congress again Wednesday, this time for three hours of questioning at his first public hearing. The topic: The cover-up after the events in Benghazi, and, more specifically, the final pre-election talking points Morell produced for the Obama administration (a.k.a. Barack Obama’s re-election campaign). According to The New York Times, Morell clearly knew the attack in Benghazi was not the result of a YouTube video protest as claimed in those talking points, and Morell’s fingerprints are all over the narrative change to protect Obama’s re-election.

However, the Times is only a year behind Mark Alexander’s analysis of “Obama’s Benghazi Talking Points.” Last May, Alexander wrote:

> Clearly, it is the Obama administration that politicized the talking points last September. Blame-shifting from terrorism to the video narrative achieved two political goals. It framed the attack in one of the Left’s favorite themes, “intolerance,” and removed it from the specter of the Obama administration appearing incompetent and having overstated the demise of al-Qa'ida. But the blame-shifting charade needs to be exposed.

> The primary architect of the politically motivated alterations of the Benghazi narrative was likely then-CIA Deputy Director, Michael J. Morell, who has deep ties to former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and is vying for a key post in her administration if she is victorious in her 2016 presidential bid. Morell claims that the talking points were sent to the White House for informational purposes only, and nothing was “produced with any political agenda in mind.” But a cable from the CIA Station Chief in Libya on 15 September, days after the attack, said there was no escalation spontaneous attack over a YouTube video, and clearly indicated the attack was a well organized terrorist assault. That cable arrived before Susan Rice was sent out with the altered talking points designed to protect Obama’s presidential campaign. Moreover, the nine key U.S. personnel on the ground during the attack, in their congressional testimony, said the attack was a terrorist assault, and not one had heard about a YouTube video protest.

> Morell retired from CIA in 2013, and now works for Beacon Global Strategies, founded by Philippe Reines, who The New York Times describes as Hillary Clinton’s “principal gatekeeper.”

Morell admitted in his testimony Wednesday that “the CIA’s performance and my own performance could have been better,” but he then added the “but”: “[N]one of our actions were the result of political influence in the intelligence process. None.” Yet the politics were plain to see for those willing to look. The administration willfully deceived the public by blaming a YouTube video for inciting a riot that never actually happened because of a political narrative that was essential to Obama’s campaign. As House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) put it, “The White House wants to ignore reality and perpetuate the fallacy that al-Qaida and other Islamic extremists are on the verge of defeat.” To insist that there was no political influence in all of that defies belief.

Sources on the ground in Benghazi during the attack aren’t taking Morell’s testimony well, either. “He doesn’t have any idea what happened that night,” said one operator. “Why is he speculating? He wouldn’t have to speculate if he talked to the people in Libya that night, or others who were watching.” Indeed, the CIA’s final word on circumstances on the ground anywhere in the world is their station chief, who is the pinnacle of knowledge on all relevant affairs in a region. For a pencil neck at headquarters to ignore the station chief, who told Morell the attack was not an “escalation of protests,” is pure politics.

What happened at Benghazi and the subsequent political cover-up of the blood of four Americans to protect Obama’s re-election is sickening, and is arguably the worst of his major scandals. And given that it competes with Fast & Furious and IRS targeting, that’s saying something.

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