The Conversation

The Inter-Agency Process and Who Was Involved

Thanks to Jay Carney, we now know the Benghazi talking points were the result of an "inter-agency process" and not just a finished product handed over by the CIA. So who else had a hand in them?

Allahpundit notes that the latest story from the Weekly Standard sheds some light on that:

Ben Rhodes, a top Obama foreign policy and national security adviser, responded to the group, explaining that Nuland had raised valid concerns and advising that the issues would be resolved at a meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the following morning...

The Deputies Committee convened the next morning, Saturday the 15th...The proceedings were summarized in an email to U.N. ambassador Rice shortly after the meeting ended.

According to the email, several officials in the meeting shared the concern of Nuland, who was not part of the deliberations, that the CIA’s talking points might lead to criticism that the State Department had ignored the CIA’s warning about an attack. Mike Morell, deputy director of the CIA, agreed to work with Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to edit the talking points. At the time, Sullivan was deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department’s director of policy planning; he is now the top national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

So the CIA representative, Mike Morell, agreed to work with Clinton's chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, and Obama's adviser Ben Rhodes. The result of this collaboration was a set of talking points which removed any mention of prior attacks in Benghazi. Though Victoria Nuland was not there, these changes were made in line with her concerns expressed the previous evening. If further hearings are held, it might be interesting to hear from these individuals.

Finally, Allahpundit also notes that Jake Sullivan, who seems most directly connected to State Department's push to change the talking points, likely worked for Cheryl Mills. In Wednesday's testimony, Gregory Hicks claimed that Mills had told him not to talk to Rep. Jason Chaffetz and then called when an attorney she sent to shadow Chaffetz was not allowed into a meeting because he didn't have the necessary security clearance.


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