The Washington Post has a front-page story on the formulation of the Benghazi talking points, concluding that:
a close reading of recently released government e-mails that were sent during the editing process, and interviews with senior officials from several government agencies, reveal [thenâÂ€â€śCIA Director David] PetraeusĂ˘Â€Â™ early role and ambitions in going well beyond the [House Intelligence] CommitteeĂ˘Â€Â™s request, apparently to produce a set of talking points favorable to his image and agency.
The story certainly reads like a hit on Petraeus â€” who, of course, did not respond to the Postâ€™s requests for comment.
A funny, widely overlooked point, though: If you look at the first version of the talking points offered by the CIA Office of Public Affairs, you will see that the summary never actually refers to a protest or demonstration outside the annex or diplomatic facility in Benghazi:
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.
The Ă˘Â€ÂśattacksĂ˘Â€Âť were inspired by the Cairo protests, and Ă˘Â€ÂśevolvedĂ˘Â€Âť into a direct assault. But what did the attacks â€śevolveâ€ť from? The noun Ă˘Â€ÂśprotestĂ˘Â€Âť is never used in reference to Benghazi, nor Ă˘Â€Âśdemonstration.Ă˘Â€Âť There is a reference to a Ă˘Â€Âścrowd.Ă˘Â€Âť
By the time U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is speaking on CBSĂ˘Â€Â™s Face the Nation, sheĂ˘Â€Â™s declaring that a Ă˘Â€Âśspontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi.Ă˘Â€Âť