April 3, 2014

“Morell Testifies on Benghazi Talking Points: ‘Mistakes…not due to politics'”

Looks like the progressives have found their willing fall guy:

During a Congressional hearing that lasted more than three hours, former C.I.A. Deputy Director Michael Morell praised his former agency’s intelligence analysts as the best on the globe, yet ones who he admits were sorely mistaken when they reported that spontaneous protesters were to blame for the Beghazi, Libya terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2012.

“As you now know, subsequent information revealed their judgment to be incorrect [but]…that is where the best available information led them at the time, not because of politics,” Morell testified before the House Intelligence Committee today.

When Morell’s own C.I.A. station chief in Tripoli, Libya sent evidence that the Benghazi attacks were not the outgrowth of protests over a YouTube video, he says he and his Washington analysts disregarded it and didn’t pass it along to other agencies.

Morell was called to testify after several Republican member of Congress alleged new evidence shows he misled them by withholding what he knew about the genesis of the government’s so-called talking points after the attacks. It turns out that Morell was a key player in editing the talking points and interfacing with the White House.

[…]

Under questioning from members on the committee, Morell described a process under which C.I.A. analysts in Washington provided an early assessment without seeking or receiving information from the many C.I.A. officers and other witnesses on the ground in Libya. And when the C.I.A. Tripoli station chief attempted to correct the record in an email to headquarters on Sept. 15, 2012, Morell says it was discounted as unreliable. According to Morell, the email claimed the attacks were “not an escalation of a protest.” However, Morell said that intel relied on press reports and C.I.A. officers on sight who probably would have arrived too late to see a protest anyway.

“My actions were appropriate in response as Deputy Director of CIA,” Morell testified. “I immediately recognized the discrepancy between my station chief and the judgment of our [Washington] analysts.” Morell says he asked his analysts to revisit their judgment and “they stuck to their initial conclusion” that the attacks were by protesters. Morell defended the decision.

“I did not hide nor did I downplay the station chief’s comments as some have suggested, in fact I did the opposite,” Morell said today.

But as a result of the misinformation, the approved talking points provided to members of Congress and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice continued to perpetuate the mistaken narrative that spontaneous protesters rather than calculated terrorists launched the attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

[…]

[…] At today’s hearing, Morell stated that the C.I.A. believed then, and that he still believes, “some of the attackers” were “affiliated with al Qaeda.” That information, too, was edited out of the talking points but Morell said he was not responsible for that word change.

“I did not take al Qaeda from the talking points,” Morell said. When asked who did, he answered, “The group of officers from our office of Congressional affairs and our office of public affairs.”

Previously, government officials had vehemently denied that any public affairs officials made any edits to the talking points.

[…]

On Fri. Nov. 16, 2012, Petraeus told members of Congress that it wasn’t the CIA that revised the talking points to remove controversial references to “terrorism” and “al Qaeda.” The White House and the State Department said it wasn’t them. The CIA then told reporters that the edits were made at a “senior level in the interagency process” so as not to tip off al Qaeda as to what the U.S. knew, and to protect sources and methods. Soon thereafter, another reason was given. A source from the Office of the Director for National Intelligence (ODNI) told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan that ODNI made the edits as part of the interagency process because the links to al Qaeda were deemed too “tenuous” to make public. Then, in November of 2012, Morell provided yet another account. In a meeting with Republican Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Morell stated that he believed it was the FBI that removed the references “to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.”

But it was just a matter of hours before there was yet another revision. A C.I.A. official contacted Graham and stated that Morell “misspoke” in the earlier meeting and that it was, in fact, the C.I.A., not the F.B.I., that deleted the al Qaeda references. “They were unable to give a reason as to why,” stated Graham at the time.

When asked today how such an experienced intelligence expert could get such an important fact so wrong, Morell said, “I got it wrong and said the F.B.I. when in fact the C.I.A. was the one who took it out of the talking points…I got it mixed up.” Morell says he corrected the record within two to three hours of his mistake.

After retiring from the C.IA. last year, Morell was hired as counsel to Beacon Global Strategies, a communications firm operated primarily by former Obama administration and Hillary Clinton officials. He also became a consultant for CBS News.

Look, these guys can testify and lie until they’re blue in the face, but there are only two conclusions one can draw from Benghazi:  that the Administration was remiss, distant, and completely ill-prepared, then were later too lazy to do any fact checking themselves; or else they were remiss, distant, and completely ill-prepared, and then when they realized how this attack would look, they tried to cover it up.  As much stink as they can throw Petraeus they will.  If only to muddy the waters.

If I were a betting man, I know where I’d put my money.

When we find out where Obama was for those  missing 8 hours, then we can talk.  The fact that Morrell retired has been given a cushy coupla gigs is just another wink and nod to the overriding corruption happening inside DC and this, the most embarrassing and corrupt administration ever.   The rest is just noise.

(h/t Geoff)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 1:00pm
67 comments | Trackback

Comments (67)

  1. Well, of course it wasn’t due to politics. Politics is only done by the bad guys. Since they are always the good guys, nothing they do can ever be because of politics.

    You silly person, you.

  2. HEY FEETS!

    Remember when I said the SSM agenda was about punishing its enemies more than about equality and you said no it was butterflies and daisies?

    Wanna reiterate that? Or are you gonna tell me to switch to STFU and switch to Chrome?

  3. Say look, the Inquisition knows how to do the funny.

  4. Mozilla co-founder forced to resign.

    Dammit. Now I have to move back to Internet Explorer…

  5. there are only two conclusions one can draw from Benghazi: that the Administration was remiss, distant, and completely ill-prepared, then were later too lazy to do any fact checking themselves; or else they were remiss, distant, and completely ill-prepared, and then when they realized how this attack would look, they tried to cover it up. As much stink as they can throw Petraeus they will. If only to muddy the waters.

    You forget that both can be true for those who believe that the narrative determines reality, and not the other way around. The cover-up was about reestablishing the narrative, lest reality accidently reveal the skinny black ass ‘neath the Emperor’s mom jeans.

  6. Dude. Safari.

  7. l don’t think safari does windows

  8. I’m using it on windows to post this.

  9. oh no wrong again

  10. Morell described a process under which C.I.A. analysts in Washington provided an early assessment without seeking or receiving information from the many C.I.A. officers and other witnesses on the ground in Libya. And when the C.I.A. Tripoli station chief attempted to correct the record in an email to headquarters on Sept. 15, 2012, Morell says it was discounted as unreliable. According to Morell, the email claimed the attacks were “not an escalation of a protest.” However, Morell said that intel relied on press reports and C.I.A. officers on sight who probably would have arrived too late to see a protest anyway.

    “My actions were appropriate in response as Deputy Director of CIA,” Morell testified. “I immediately recognized the discrepancy between my station chief and the judgment of our [Washington] analysts.” Morell says he asked his analysts to revisit their judgment and “they stuck to their initial conclusion” that the attacks were by protesters. Morell defended the decision.

    What was there for the analysts to analyze? What would have tipped them toward a “protest”?

    The only thing I can find that suggested a protest was…

    On the day of the attack and the next day, The Associated Press referred to it as a mob attack, based on Libyan officials’ comment that there was a significant unarmed protest at the time.

    But then they sent people in and talked to those who were there and came to a different conclusion.

    In reporting the following days, AP referred to it as an “armed attack” and detailed its organized nature.

    The past week, the AP has gathered accounts from five witnesses, including one of the embassy guards and several people living next door to the consulate compound who were present when the militants first moved in. Most spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals for talking about the attack.

    The neighbors all described the militants setting up checkpoints around the compound at about 8 p.m. The State Department’s timeline says the attack itself began at around 9:40 p.m.

    It took Obama over a day before the talking point changed to “protest.” If the only report he had was that it was a protest then why the earlier talk of a terrorist attack?

    As for what the analysts had to look at there was the report[s] by Sean Smith of gunfire and also of a Libyan policeman photographing the compound from a high window across the street. Then there would be reports from the security people, in real time, at the TOC [Tactical Operations Center] plus reports from the people at the CIA Annex who went there and rescued people.

    As for the point that all these people were seeing things after the protest evolved into an attack, what of the visit by the Turkish official. Certainly when he left if there was an angry protest brewing it would have been noticed and reported on. He left at 8:30 local time and the attack happened just over one hour later. The street was quiet when the official left and the security people didn’t behave as if they saw anything happening outside the gates. An angry mob certainly would have been something noticed and preparations would have been made to deal with any escalation.

    So again, what were the analysts analyzing? Were they receiving advice on what the analysis should say?

  11. I’m Chromeward bound. Why choose the lesser of two evils?

  12. that is where the best available information led them at the time, not because of politics,” Morell testified before the House Intelligence Committee today.

    – This phrase is the core lie that everything else depends on. Call his sack of shit lying ass out on this by getting the people who told the truth from day one on the same panel at the same time and ask the questions again.

    – Watch what would happen if Issa tried to call suh a panel.

    – I’m pretty sure the administration is going to destroy the earth before you see that ever happen.

  13. a comment using safari

  14. Maxthon Cloud Browser (not really in a cloud), Sea Monkey, Avant, SRWareIron, all options other than Mozilla or IE (spit). The latest iteration of Safari for Windows has a tendency to crash in 7 (spit), alas. My current favorite is Maxthon as it has a trick engine that can switch modes.

  15. Last time I opened Chrome (earlier today) it spawned 5 windows yelling at me for something being wrong with my online profile.

    ::spit::

  16. >my online profile.<

    chrome now monetizes: online

  17. and discounted and mozilla

  18. Seamonkey is a Mozilla product, as I recall.

  19. And Maxthon at least started out based on MSIE

  20. I uninstalled Firefox, then remembered that my work product is customer-facing HTML help files.

    Had to reinstall. That plus my saved passwords, bookmarks to company resources, etc.

  21. proggtardia news

    >Wednesday’s hearing was the culmination of a week of escalating tensions between bureau officials and the committee’s Republican leadership, who opposed the creation of CFPB and have sought to weaken the agency, over what specific issues should be discussed in public. It was scheduled following revelations that a CFPB employee survey showed that white employees received higher ratings than minority employees on a rating scale the bureau uses to determine benefits, such as raises and bonuses.<
    link

  22. i’ll just let firefox sit there unused. chrome sucks and safari isn’t windows friendly. you’d think there would be a market for a browser that blocks pop up ads and monetizing words. with millions of users paying $0.10 there’d be a lot of profit.

  23. No matter how much bleach these fall puppets bleed, they can never remove the soul stain of “at this point WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE??!!”.

    May that evil testimony hound Hillary to her grave.

  24. Not giving up my 64-bit Nightly until another 64-bit browser not named by Gates comes along. Mobile does Safari, though.

  25. Oh. Unless it’s Opera. Safari on the iPad

  26. So, Maxthon it is, then.

    dicentra, bookmarks move very easily. Menu>tools>Import User data. Couldn’t be simpler.

  27. hillarity 2016

    >WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE??!!”.<

  28. Di, your first linky kills my Opera. Your second linky ruins my pie. )

  29. Yeah, I can move the bookmarks, but the saved passwords and cookies are another matter.

    Plus, you have to click a tiny X at the far right of the window to open an new tab, whereas with Firefox the X is next to the rightmost tab.

    Details.

    I also have to look at my stuff in all the browsers to see what formatting probs I have in each. Safari only recognizes half the italics, for example.

  30. And Maxthon at least started out based on MSIE

    Don’t know, but the “Maxthon Cloud Browser” isn’t, it is fast, stable, and you can set it up so it similar to Safari for Windows. Only weakness I have found so far is the ad block built in isn’t as good as the AdBlock add-on. The browser core switcher is fantastic.

  31. I’ve got a + next to the rightmost tab what opens new tabs.

  32. Who knew that “Progress” meant sticking our head up our butts and going back to the LBJ/Nixon/Ford/Carter era? Repeating every goddamned stupid thing that happened from 50 years ago to 34 years ago is progress.

    16 years of hell, over and over again, only with fast internet DVR and HDTV, is the definition of progress. Except now he have to ape Europe and go to 35 hour work weeks. And the Debt is bigger. Great. Progress.

    FUCK PROGRESS.

    The brand is tainted.

  33. told a comcast non indian speaker tonight that their box doesn’t live rent free on the side of MY house.

  34. I’ve been using Firefox for so long … sigh… will work on moving over to Maxthon (thanks Eingang) this weekend.

    And talk about broken clocks or blind squirrels… Andrew Sullivan came out against the firing today.

  35. So how long is it going to be before the next person gets the boot, not for contributing to a disliked campaign, but for not contributing to a cause considered de rigueur by the perpetually aggrieved?

  36. So how long is it going to be before the next person gets the boot, not for contributing to a disliked campaign, but for not contributing to a cause considered de rigueur by the perpetually aggrieved?

    Next week.

    Also, I’ve been asking peeps on Twitter where their limits are: at what point do you start standing up for the “toxic” anti-SSM peeps because their side has gone too far.

    “Stop it with the strawmen.”

    Yeah. Because dealing with dissent never goes there.

  37. Such as what they’re doing to Venezuelan dissidents: stripping them naked and forcing them to walk the streets.

    #humiliation

  38. >“Stop it with the strawmen.”<

    ax them when we get to play their game? some of us could go postal on you.

  39. oh and chrome sucks pop up ads and monetizing words and garbage. google + fed gov’t

  40. gulag again

  41. Darleen,

    If you haven’t already found it this is the link to the Maxthon Cloud Browser – if you google Maxthon you can also get the older versions which aren’t near as nice.

  42. It’s just the latest perk. Must be HR and EEOC approved. To do otherwise would be to have a hostile work environment. Couldn’t have that. Someone’s feelings might get hurt.

  43. new tag
    #banbossymozilla

  44. ungulaged

  45. In fact, good luck finding a tech company in the Bay Area that doesn’t consider itself infused with a sense of higher purpose.

    It’s one reason I rather admire Larry Ellison – his “higher purpose”, as far as I can tell, is simply to make money. Lots of it.

  46. to make money is a chrome thing. all the browsers suck

  47. Fascism is on the goosesteping march. Jew hate is out in the open on American campuses. The Senate Majority leader smears private citizens on the floor of the Senate, with not a care in the world for the truth. A deluge of lies is the only resort the fascists know.

    “Silence, peasants!”, say the Democrats when they see the Supreme Court sides with an individual right to speech.

    It’s a ill wind a blowin’, and a horror on the way.

  48. My company was acquired by a Bay Area company a year ago. They have two Utah offices now, but what if they decide to adopt a Mission Statement that puts us in peril?

    Not just us in Utah, what about India and other traditional countries? I’ve been informed by a Twitterlocutor that rank-and-file don’t get the boot, only “the face,” but these things have a trajectory…

    …aw hell, I don’t have to explain it to youse guys.

  49. Over-Under-Sideways-Down-topic.

    Barrett Brown Cops a Plea

  50. I won’t uninstall Firefox.

    I’m considering making some very sarcastic statements regarding it. Maybe something where I pretend to praise the whole episode but if someone bothers to look carefully they will realize it’s anything but.

    I lack Jeff’s word skills, alas. I’d probably use “doubleplus ungood” or similar and that’d give it all away.

  51. FireFox? Nah. More like Terror Muffin. Or Wimpy Squish.

  52. I’ve installed AdBlock Plus and Flashfree on Chrome for Winblows. The ads are now as scarce as they were on Liarfox.

  53. Looking at Maxthon now. I run Linux at home so IE and Safari aren’t real options for me, FireFox has been the default.

    Took me about a minute to install, and got my LastPass and bookmarks moved over in another three minutes.

    One thing I have to try is using it to access my work VDI session from home.

  54. I was able to get my news feeds moved over to Maxthon also, but the Sage reader I was using in Firefox isn’t available. That is a bit of a pain, as I liked having all the channels on one side of the browser. But I expect I can find something similar or get used to what’s available.

  55. The people at google are very evil. I will not use chrome.

  56. My phone is Android and my email is Gmail. Friends close, enemies closer.

  57. This, the Mozilla destruction of Eich, is one way that a new[left] USA form of internal exile will be done. Opposition will be financially and socially ruined until they get their mind right.

  58. I’m continually amazed that the world doesn’t just spontaneously combust.

  59. Eich, latest victim of Right Think.

  60. #NewMozillaAdOns Get in on the ground floor.

    I’m continually amazed that the world doesn’t just spontaneously combust.

    Give it time.

  61. “Ya’ got your mind right, Luke?”

  62. Thoughtcrime at Mozilla

    Here’s why this is important: Baker is saying that she never saw Eich acting badly, or exhibiting uncharitable or uncivil behavior. So the problem isn’t with how he comported himself. It’s with what he thought.

    […]

    By any reasonable chain of logic, voting for Prop. 8 is at least as bad–probably even worse–than merely giving money to support it. […]

    And once you get to the point where merely voting for candidate x or issue y makes you unemployable, Katie bar the door.

    When even Andrew Sullivan is all like “why so fascist, bro?”… I’ve got nothing.

  63. I hope Eich received a Golden Parachute from Mozilla. He was hired in good faith and hounded out of a job in eleven days. I wonder how long he was contracted for?

    I smell LAWSUIT.

  64. Pingback: From Around the Blogroll | The First Street Journal.

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