Last week, former CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress he knew immediately that the attack on our consulate in Benghazi was an orchestrated act of terrorism and it was described as such in CIA talking points. But now, new reports suggest that the decision to remove references to al-Qaida and terrorism from those talking points was made by the office of the Director of National Intelligence and agreed to by the CIA and FBI.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said this is just the latest revision of the White House narrative.
"It contradicts what the director of national intelligence, Gen. Clapper himself, testified last week to committees of Congress that he didn't know who made the last changes," Bolton told WND's Greg Corombos. "The very fact this story keep changing shows the administration knows it is vulnerable. They made up this story about the out of control demonstration because of the Muhammad video, and now they're just trying to find some way to sustain it."
If the new report is accurate, it would represent the third version of events offered by Petraeus and at least the second from Clapper. Bolton said Petraeus, like Clapper, was clear in his congressional testimony that he always saw this attack as terrorism.
"If he sticks by that story, it's going to make it very hard for the White House to sustain this latest version," he said. "These hearings have just begun. I think we've got a long way to go on this. I just hope the Republicans don't lose heart because of the administration's stonewalling and obfuscation."
Bolton said the administration's response to this deadly attack was bad enough, but he sees an even worse repercussion from all the spinning.
"The threat of terrorism, quite obviously, is not receding despite the administration's rosy-eyed view of the world," said Bolton. "Not being able to understand reality obviously makes it very hard to formulate policies that protect the United States and its friends and allies around the world.
"To me, Benghazi was not only a tragedy because of administration failures to grant enhanced security that our embassy in Libya was requesting before the attack, and not only the tragic events of 9-11 itself and not only this ridiculous story that they concocted to explain the attack afterward, but what it reveals about the overall disintegration of American policy in the Near East and in the War on Terror more generally."