Obama Promotes Official Who Edited Benghazi Talking Points

May 24, 2013 - 5:16 AM

State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland

State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland

(CNSNews.com) - President Obama reportedly nominated former State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland to be the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs on Thursday, but as of Friday morning, the official announcement was not yet posted on the White House website.

The appointment is controversial, given Nuland's role in editing the talking points on Benghazi to downplay the terrorism angle.

Republicans are expected to raise the issue at her confirmation hearing.

A batch of emails recently released by the White House reveals how the Benghazi talking points changed in back-and-forth communications between the White House, State Department and CIA in the days leading up to Ambassador Susan Rice's appearance on the Sunday talk shows.

On all five of those shows, Rice blamed the terror attack in Benghazi on protests in Cairo arising from an anti-Islam video.

In one of the emails released by the Obama administration -- dated Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, two days before Rice misled the public on the Sunday shows -- Nuland objected to the CIA's talking point that "Since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants..."

Nuland didn't want to include that information because it "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?  Concerned …,” she wrote.

As ABC News reported, that paragraph was entirely deleted.

As for naming specific terrorist groups, Nuland wrote, 'We don't want to prejudice the investigation."

The talking points that Rice used did not refer to al Qaeda or the security warnings in Benghazi before the attack.

 

Also See:
State Dep't sought to change Libya talking points (May 11, 2013)