Blog WH denies editing ‘al Qaida’ out of Rice talking points — blames CIA

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WH denies editing ‘al Qaida’ out of Rice talking points — blames CIA

By JOEL GEHRKE

White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes put the blame back on the Central Intelligence Agency when asked about former CIA director David Petraeus’ claim that  UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points were edited to downplay al Qaida’s role in the Benghazi terrorist attack.

“[T]he only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word ‘consulate’ to the word ‘diplomatic facility,’ since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate,” Rhodes told reporters today during a press gaggle. “Other than that we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community.”

Rhodes did not specifically acknowledge that al Qaida’s name was ever purged from the talking points. “I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made,” he said.

Petraeus told Congress yesterday that he knew almost immediately of al Qaida’s involvement in the September 11 assault, which claimed the lives of four Americans, and that the original talking points produced by the CIA made that clear.

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