The liberal media has marched to the White House's tune claiming the GOP investigation into the Obama administrations handling of the attack before, during and after, was nothing more than a "witch-hunt."
Until today, with the exclusive report from ABC News, on the 12 different revisions of the initial CIA Benghazi talking points, removing the word attack and replacing it with "demonstration," scrubbing references from the CIA about al-Qaeda ties, eventually even editing out the term "Islamic extremists" to replace it with simply "extremists." They also scrubbed any reference to jihad and jihadists.
(WuA post on the ABC News report with the Benghazi Talking Points timeline of revisions embedded can be found here)
While some in the mainstream media are still attempting to spin, others who most likely don't appreciate how the Obama administration played them from the beginning, have pulled their heads out of Obama's butt long enough to report on this and are not pulling many punches while doing so.
Starting out with the reaction from The Week, who headlines with "The damn bursts on Benghazi," and reports "Thanks to a bombshell report from ABC News, GOP accusations that the White House politicized a tragedy no longer seem so unsubstantiated."
I am starting with their reaction first because the analogy the use is just so entertaining.
For a long time, the Republican hunt for the truth surrounding the Benghazi terror attack has reminded me of one of President Reagan's favorite jokes. It concerns a little boy whose parents worried he was too optimistic. So they took him to a psychiatrist. Trying to dampen his spirits, the doctor led the boy into a room piled high with horse manure. The boy unexpectedly squealed with delight and began digging through it. "What on earth are you doing?" the psychiatrist asked.
"With all this manure," the boy replied, "there must be a pony in here somewhere."
Benghazi occurred seven weeks before election day. The administration's strategy was simple: Downplay the terror attack, change the narrative, and run out the clock. And that's what it did.
But now the dam has burst. Carney's "here at the White House" comment has essentially thrown Clinton under the bus. Republicans, who leaked the edited emails to Karl and Hayes, have succeeded on two fronts: They've got the administration on the defensive over Benghazi, and they've weakened the Democrat's most formidable 2016 candidate.
It seems that after all that digging, Republicans have found their pony at last.
Then we have the reactions from MSNBC's Luke Russert and BuzzFeed's Ben Smith, via Breitbart:
Friday afternoon MSNBC's Luke Russert anchored "Now with Alex Wagner" when the news of the altered Libya talking points finally made their way to the left-wing network hours after ABC's Jonathan Karl first broke the story. After Kelly O'Donnell finished her report, a visibly rattled Russert turned to his panel and said, "Politically, this is not good for the White House. Does it stick?"
BuzzFeed's Ben Smith was the first to answer, saying, "Sure, they look terrible." Smith then went on to lay out the rationale behind the coverup without actually using the word coverup:
There have been comparisons to Watergate. They in fact didn’t try to kill people. They did not try to get their staff killed, right? This was them trying to save face after something terrible had happened; and to try to prevent the -- what looks to be -- accurate perception that they had not been careful enough in Benghazi -- that they had been sloppy, they had ignored warnings.
The report also appears to contradict repeated assertions from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and others that the talking points were a product of the nation’s intelligence agencies and were crafted without political interference.
Nuland didn’t want to “feed” the possibility of Congress beating up on the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, and didn’t want to “prejudice the investigation” by naming terrorist groups. (Initial edits were apparently not to Nuland’s satisfaction, as she wrote, “These changes don’t resolve all of my issues or those of my buildings leadership.”)
Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney criticized the “attempts to politicize” Benghazi and said the edits made were “stylistic and non-substantive.” In November, Carney said the talking points came from the intelligence community and reflected their “best assessments” of what happened.
“The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate,” he said.
As Karl noted, his report appears to “directly contradict” that.
PBS, who is live streaming the delayed daily White House press briefing, where Jay Carney is expected to address the ABC News exclusive which published the Obama State Department Benghazi talking points revisions:
Edits primarily by the State Department deleted reference to al-Qaida and CIA warnings about terrorist threats prior to the September attack, reported ABC News.
The State Department explicitly removed all references to terrorism and extremist groups from the original talking points on last September's terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, according to a report Friday from ABC News' Jon Karl.
Karl reports that there were 12 different versions of the talking points before they were given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as she appeared on five Sunday talk shows in the days after the attack, largely blaming it on a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video.
The editing process on the talking points had input from the State Department, which appears to contradict earlier proclamations from the White House suggesting that the talking points were produced almost entirely by the CIA.
The new documents contain two rationales for the changes in language. The first is that it would prejudice the FBI investigation.
Perhaps, but I am not at all persuaded.
The other reason given, old-fashioned butt-guarding, is more credible.
As Ms Nuland puts it, such a report "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?"
However you read the motives, the state department and apparently the White House did get the CIA to change its story.
This is now very serious, and I suspect heads will roll. The White House will be on the defensive for a while.
Make no mistake, there are still plenty of folks with their heads planted up Obama's butt, but to the rest of them, I would suggest, take a deep breath of fresh air before you crawl back up there.
While it is expected the White House will toss Hillary Clinton and the State Department under the bus, both are part of the Obama administration and ultimately, the buck stops with him and he is responsible for what his administration officials do and say.