Surprise! So-called consulate in Benghazi was actually the site of a secret CIA operation!
Glenn Kessler, the fact-checker at the Washington Post, has more than a few juicy tidbits you probably didn’t know about the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya.
For example, various changes made to the Obama administration’s talking points on the violence in Benghazi — changes that are all the buzz among Republican conspiratorialists these days — are described by Kessler thusly:
This basically was a bureaucratic knife fight, pitting the State Department against the CIA.
In other words, the final version of the talking points may have been so wan because officials simply deleted everything that upset the two sides. So they were left with nothing.
And then there’s THIS from Kessler:
Although the ambassador [Christopher Stevens] was killed, the Benghazi “consulate” was not a consulate at all but basically a secret CIA operation which included an effort to round up shoulder-launched missiles. In fact, only seven of the 39 Americans evacuated from Benghazi had any connection to the State Department; the rest were affiliated with the CIA.
The official reports, such as the one from the Accountability Review Board and the Senate Homeland Security Committee Report, essentially dance around that uncomfortable fact…
So, from the State Department perspective, this was an attack on a CIA operation, perhaps by the very people the CIA was battling, and the ambassador tragically was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, for obvious reasons, the administration could not publicly admit that Benghazi was mostly a secret CIA effort.
The talking points were originally developed by the CIA at the request of a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Interestingly, all of the versions are consistent on one point — that the attacks were “spontaneously inspired by protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo,” a fact later deemed to be incorrect.
The talking points through Friday begin to become rather detailed, at which point there is sharp push-back from the State Department.
[I]n Washington, one should never underestimate the importance of internal conflict between agencies.