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Update Benghazi Cover Up: Director of National Intelligence, Department of Justice, and the FBI, Face New Questions

From ABC News: FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director David Petraeus appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Jan. 31, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In the latest on the Benghazi cover up, as of Monday night, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has stated the intelligence community was responsible for the change in the talking points memo that removed all reference to Al Qaeda and a terror attack on the consulate.  The current Director of National Intelligence is James Clapper.

Top Senate and Congressional leaders vow to continue investigations, widening the scope of their investigation in the wake of this latest announcement.  Legislators have noted that like David Petreaus, who reported directly to James Clapper as the CIA Director, National Intelligence officials are now changing their initial story, and James Clapper has been asked to explain.

As legislators call for a select joint committee to investigate the overall cover up and state their intent to continue individual committee hearings, they continue to seek concrete answers on a number of critical issues in the mire of contradicting testimonies and timelines.

Legislators are also bringing the Department of Justice and the FBI under scrutiny for their role in the Petraeus scandal.

The following is an update on the latest in the Benghazi cover up.

The Latest on General Petraeus and General John Allen

Commander of US forces in Afghanistan General John Allen, who was implicated in the Petraeus scandal for communications with Jill Kelley, has returned to Afghanistan to resume his command.  Unfortunately for General Allen, he had been slated to appear before the Senate last week for his nomination to become commander of U.S. European Command and the top NATO general.  When the investigation into Petraeus’ affairs implicated General Allen last week, his nomination hearing was scrubbed and placed on hold by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Meanwhile, the CIA has launched it’s own investigation into David Petraeus, and Petraeus has hired a high profile attorney whose role does not appear to be that of a criminal attorney.  The attorney is Robert Barnett, who is known to have negotiated book contracts for the political elite, including Obama, Sarah Palin, and others.  The hiring of this attorney may signal a Petreaus book in the making, and if so, it is possible it may be a testimony of another type from Petraeus abscent the pressure of a Congressional arena.  Could it be a “tell all” book is in the making? Possibly.  But if so it will likely be on Benghazi, as it is not apparently linked to his relationship with Broadwell.  At this point nothing is known for certain, and we can only speculate that there may be a book in the making at all.

Following the hearings the latter part of last week, legislators emerged angry after it had been revealed by David Petreaus that the talking points memo had been edited to remove all reference to Al Qaeda and a terror attack.  Much speculation swirled on all sides over the weekend.  In the wake of this bombshell revelation, legislators vowed to discover who had made the edits.  Congressman Gowdy is one such legislator of many who will continue to pursue justice in the wake of the Benghazi cover up.

Congressman Gowdy (R-SC) is a former federal prosecutor and a member of the Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Committee, as well as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  Congressman Gowdy expressed his justified outrage over the Benghazi cover up in a recent hearing before the House Oversight Committee, where he blasted Susan Rice and the Obama administration for deliberately misleading the American people:

Congressman Gowdy also spoke with Lou Dobbs on the evening of November 15th, following that day’s hearing which included the testimony from Intelligence officials who stated they “did not know” who changed the talking points.  Congressman Gowdy firmly emphasized the determination of Congress to get to the bottom of the Benghazi cover up.  He stated in the interview with Lou Dobbs that Congress would continue to have hearings for as long as need be:

The day following this interview of last week, on November 16th, former CIA Director David Petraeus also gave his testimony and stated changes were made after the CIA had drafted the talking points memo.  The changes included removing all reference to Al Qaeda and a terrorist attack. At this time, Petraeus also contradicted his September testimony and stated he knew immediately it was an Al Qaeda linked terror attack.  His latest testimony confirms comments made by Paula Broadwell in late October at a speech in Denver where she also stated Petraeus immediately knew it was a terror attack.

In the afterman of the November 15th hearings, and the subsequent testimony of Petraeus on the 16th, the following new developments occured.  Here is an update on the latest.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence Changed Their Story

The Official Seal of the
Office of the Director of National Intelligence

As furious legislators demanded answers on who changed the talking points, this past Monday night, the Office of the National Intelligence Director headed by James Clapper, gave a statement in a briefing before reporters.

Their statement created a new twist in the Benghazi cover up investigation, which brings more questions than answers.  Sean Turner, a spokesman for James Clapper’s office, stated that the intelligence community had made the “substantive” change to the memo.  Quote:

“….late Monday night, Clapper spokesman Shawn Turner said in a series of  briefings for reporters that the intelligence community was solely responsible  for “substantive” changes to the talking points, which were finalized on Sept.  15 – four days after the attack and one day before U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s  controversial appearance on five Sunday talk shows, when she described the  attack as spontaneous violence that grew out of protests of an anti-Islam  film…..Along with changing “al Qaeda” to “extremists,” the new talking points  timeline stated the FBI apparently wanted a change in the language from the U.S. “knew” Islamic extremists were involved to “there are indications.”

Legislators must now add this new contradiction to the scope of their current investigation.  This latest statement utterly contradicts their previous sworn testimony .  This past Thursday, on November 15th, James Clapper and other intelligence officials testified under oath that the talking points memo was not changed by intelligence agencies.

Following the latest statement on Monday from Jake Clapper’s office that the intelligence community is responsible for the change in talking points, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich),  is demanding answers from James Clapper.

Congressman Rogers requested an immediate meeting to discuss the latest announcement by Clapper’s spokesman that the intelligence community was responsible for editing the memo.

The latest report from Fox also indicates that the new timeline provided by Clapper’s office destroy’s the Obama administrations repeated statements to the public that the attack was over a youtube video.  The following is noted:

 “The new timeline on the talking points – released by Clapper’s office – does not  address another inconsistency, first reported by the Daily Beast. After the  Sept. 11 attack, diplomatic security agents were evacuated from the Benghazi  consulate to Ramstein Air Base in Germany. By Sept. 14, two days before Rice’s  Sunday show appearances and one day before the talking points were finalized,  the FBI had learned from consulate agents that there was no demonstration when  the attack unfolded. This single data point appeared to gut the administration’s  anti-video protest theory.”

Statements were made on five Sunday talk shows by Susan Rice that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to a video.  The mantra was repeatedly echoed by others, including Hillary Clinton, press secretary Jay Carney, and Obama, who refused to call the attack a terrorist attack.

In addition to this ominous new twist from Jake Clapper’s office, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has serious questions for the Department of Justice and the FBI about their role in the investigation that revealed David Petraeus’ affair.  Fox News Catherine Herridge gave her report on these new developments:

See entire Fox written report of this latest turn of events here.

As Clapper’s office took the blame and claimed responsibility for the change they denied the week before, former Ambassador John Bolton stated the following in his assessment:

“I think Clapper has to say publicly whether he advocated the YouTube video  theory, whether he pressed it on the White House and others in the intelligence  community,” Bolton told Fox News. “And if so, did he do that at the direction of  the White House?” 

The 16 member “intelligence community” includes the State Department headed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Department of Defense, headed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and the Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Eric Holder.

As Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper serves as head of the 16 member National Intelligence community, oversees the National Intelligence Program, and reports directly to the President as a principle advisor.

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right ~President Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

UPDATE 11/29/2012: A new update has been posted on the meetings between six Senators and Ambassador Rice, the refusal of the White House to provide requested evidence, and the declaration of two more lawmakers that there is a Benghazi cover up.  To see latest update, please click here.


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