Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Check The Transcript

This is a small thing but its a lie that is self sustaining at this point that I would like to eradicate.

One of the "questions that haven't been answered" by the folks pushing the Benghazi talking points after the fact as a cover up is why Susan Rice said the attack was a response to the video "Innocence of Muslims" when she and the administration knew that it was not?

This past week after the emails on the revisions of the talking points came out even liberal WaPo blogger Greg Sargent (of whom I am a huge fan) put this damning line about Rice's appearance on Sunday talk shows after the Benghazi attacks in his post about the revisions.

However, Susan Rice falsely extrapolated from the talking points during her now infamous TV appearances that the anti-Islam video was the cause of the attacks.
Now this isn't an attack on Greg nor anyone else, its an attempt to set the record straight.

The first thing is that context is needed about what happened on September 11, 2012.

There indeed was a protest in response to the Innocence of Muslims video, however it was in Cairo, Egypt.

Nobody disputes this.

The CIA talking points only related to the events in Benghazi, Libya.

This is the first bullet point of the original CIA talking points before any of it was changed.

  • We believe based on currently available information that the attacks in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex.
Now, what is tricky about Rice's appearances on the Sunday shows is that she wasn't just asked about Benghazi but instead was asked about all of the unrest from September 11, 2012. So yes she talked about the video in relation to events in Cairo, but what did she say when asked specifically about Benghazi?

This Week

But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous -- not a premeditated -- response to what had transpired in Cairo.
Face The Nation

But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy--
Fox News Sunday

The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.

Meet The Press

But putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of-- of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.

State Of The Union

CROWLEY: Why would one not look at what is going on in the Middle East now and say that the president's outreach to Muslims, which began at the beginning of his administration in Cairo and elsewhere has not worked because, yes, this video sparked it, but there is an underlying anti-Americanism that is very evident on the streets. So Why not look at it and think that this is this outreach has failed?
RICE: For the same reason, Candy, when you look back at history and we had the horrible experience of our facilities and our personnel being attacked Beirut in 1981, we had the attack on Khobar Towers in the 1990s. We had an attack on our embassy in Yemen in 2008. There have been such attacks. There have been expressions of hostility towards the west.
CROWLEY: But this was sort of a reset, was it not? It was supposed to be a reset of U.S.-Muslim relations?
RICE: And indeed, in fact, there had been substantial improvements. I have been to Libya and walked the streets of Benghazi myself. And despite what we saw in that horrific incident where some mob was hijacked ultimately by a handful of extremists, the United States is extremely popular in Libya and the outpouring of sympathy and support for Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues from the government, from people is evidence of that.

Now look closely and tell me where Susan Rice deviated from the original talking points on any of the shows. Did she mention the video? Absolutely. Because she was on those shows to discuss what happened in Cairo as well and to put into context why there was a protest in Cairo for the mob in Benghazi to be responding to in the first place. Hell Candy Crowley added that context herself and never asked specifically about Benghazi the way the other hosts did, yet Rice was still about to add the context of a mob being hijacked by extremists just as it was written in the final talking points.

But she did not, on any of five different shows, say the incident in Benghazi was in response to the video itself nor did she, as Greg put it, "extrapolate" that they were the cause of the video. She referenced the video in relationship to the protests in Cairo.

That's it.

I know plenty of people will dismiss this and say it doesn't matter, from both sides of the political spectrum. People on the left will say what's done is done and its an insignificant matter, people on the right have moved on to claiming calling something an "act of terror" is evidently how one *covers up* a terrorist attack.

So maybe this only matters to me.

But it does matter to me because I've had arguments with people who insist that Rice and the White House linking the Benghazi attacks to the video is THE definitive evidence that this was a cover up.

Now that its proven that it didn't actually happen no matter how the story was changed over the last few months, they at least may have to rethink some things.


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