The Benghazi cover-up is finally unraveling. A well-reported piece in the Weekly Standard exposes the process by which the intelligence estimate on Benghazi was laundered to remove all mention of Islamic militants. The claims that the drivel put out by the administration were the intelligence community’s best estimate are an outright lie.
The piece really needs to be read in its entirely, but a graphic illustrating the laundering process is extracted here. And here is the reason why:
The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”
There, in black and white: the estimates were laundered for political reasons.
In other developments: The Benghazi whistleblowers have been identified and will testify before the house committee. Second:
On the night of the Benghazi terror attack, special operations put out multiple calls for all available military and other assets to be moved into position to help — but the State Department and White House never gave the military permission to cross into Libya, sources told Fox News.
We don’t know who the sources are, I hope they are among the whistleblowers so we can get them on record. But we already know that the CIA operators who defended the consulate personnel were ordered twice to leave them to die, so this is entirely plausible.
Third, the Benghazi attack was an Al Qaeda attack. While we ponder that entirely unsurprising development, think of what transpired the morning after the Benghazi attack: Our feckless diplomats responded to a terrorist attack (one we now know, but always suspected, was an Al Qaeda attack) by apologizing. Mitt Romney said (paraphrasing) maybe we shouldn’t be apologizing to terrorists while we are still burying our dead, and virtually the entire media attacked Romney for it!
All of this shows massive malfeasance on the part of the administration, and the media that covers for them, but it misses the true scandal. The administration put a filmmaker in jail over the Benghazi attack, and he is still there. I can scarcely imagine a greater dereliction of presidential duty than jailing a man for exercising his free speech because it offended foreign Islamists. (Glenn Reynolds isn’t letting this go either.)
ASIDE: Please, no nonsense about how Nakoula Nakoula is in jail for parole violations. Yes, those were the charges they used to jail him, but they never would have cared about a minor parole violation if not for him making the video that they claimed was responsible for the Benghazi attack. In fact, they never would have known his identity if not for a federal investigation that pierced his pseudonym. We need to know who ordered that investigation and why (although we can guess). Efforts to get to the bottom of Benghazi won’t have even begun until we know that, as far as I’m concerned.