Were CIA’s Libya talking points were changed?
Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton reacts
- Duration 8:12
- Date Nov 16, 2012
Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton reacts
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More than an hour ago I sat down with congressman Pete king he's chairman of the Homeland Security -- Committee and he's also on the house Intel committee about what he heard it from General Petraeus and all those Intel leaders.
That he sat down with yesterday.
And here's part of that.
I want to start with General Petraeus his testimony before you this morning.
He now says he and the CI EA knew this was terrorism from the beginning.
The General Petraeus -- that when he.
Came to the committee back on Friday September 14.
He had been told us that he thought it was a terrorist attack the CIA had believed that to -- different streams coming in with a definitely believed it was a terrorist attack.
And when I got a great regard for General Petraeus emphasized that's it -- might have very different recollection of what he told us on September 14.
He barely mentioned terrorism that type BD emphasize that he emphasized the video we have ties spontaneous demonstration.
And the as far as the terrorist questions he really minimize it totally also on the talking points may get.
Which came from the CIA the ones that for the payments.
Talking points is supposedly Susan Rice relied on.
And they they should say the talk what did you -- and CIA specifically mentioned al-Qaeda and then al-Qaeda was involved in the attack.
They left the CIA went through a whole process which I believe -- -- the White House.
Some of the talking points to finalize.
Or -- as -- Qaeda were taken out.
And was put in almost as an afterthought saying there are indications.
Of extremist involvement in the demonstration.
Nothing about the attack nothing about al-Qaeda and nothing about they would definitely al-Qaeda was involved so to me -- question right hours.
Who trades are talking points and -- That is -- big question at this hour who change those talking points and why not having spoken to the Director of National Intelligence the acting director of the CIA.
The former now former director of the CIA all within the past 44 hours.
-- were any of those people able to satisfactorily answer that for you.
No they -- this -- they don't know this is a long process inter agency process.
Expression they use it is that when it left the building mean it was CIA when it left the building a reference to al-Qaeda was in there.
When it came back -- was taken out.
Indicated went to the Department of Justice which the State Department.
Apparently went to National Security Council and went to public information officers who until they -- the deputies meeting.
And somewhere along the line that was taken out and that -- really change the whole tone of it.
-- believable to me that that you have all these officials on something this important.
And no one has been able to tell you the chairman of the homeland security committee or any of these other lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Who removed the al-Qaeda references from the talking points that would be delivered to the American people there's been no accountability by these folks -- Who answer to us we the people the -- you are representatives.
Mechanized agreed to completely especially since the president and the vice president the administration.
Had hidden behind the fact go along that Susan Rice only that set on the TV programs.
What she was told was the best assessment of the intelligence community -- practiced the best estimate of the intelligence community on September of fifty to sixty.
Was that there was -- -- -- involvement.
That was taken out -- committee again try to resume I'd say it was somebody in the administration had to have taken out there was nobody.
In the Director of National Intelligence office nobody in the CIA that did it so someone else to do.
And I doubt -- the State Department -- the Defense Department.
-- the -- of the problem would be a problem taking that out but again were brought to front of that committee has to be pursued.
Joining me now ambassador John Bolton former US ambassador.
To the United Nations and a Fox News contributor and that full interview with.
Your thoughts in reaction to.
yet chairman Pete king's that statement right there.
I put I think he's put his finger on the key issue and I think get General Petraeus is -- testimony today.
Has really put this dead cat right on the White House's doorstep.
I don't think there's any doubt at least as a working hypothesis maybe not a firm conclusion but is it working hypothesis.
That the only entity in Washington that believes in the demonstration gone out of control theory was the White House.
General Petraeus this morning said that he knew within 24 hours it was a terrorist attack.
He says he was trying to convey that position.
In his congressional testimony of September 14 he apparently didn't but the key point is he thought that he was being consistent.
And then somehow between then and the time that White House spokesman Carney speaks to the press on the fourteenth.
And Susan Rice goes on television on the sixteenth.
It goes a 180 degrees away from that notion of a terrorist attack.
-- toward the demonstration out of control theory in an inner -- process let me just say -- -- I'm sure most people say inner agency what what are they talking about.
For a theory to get advanced and end up as the as the conclusion some agency has to be pushing it.
And I think congressman came put it put it very well there's no reason to think the Justice Department -- Homeland Security or anybody.
Has anything invested in the demonstration out of control theory there's only one entity it's the White House.
At -- point I was I was asking your thinking about is -- -- you tell me is it incredible to you that.
We have these hearings on Capitol Hill that involve -- top intelligence officials in the country you can't get any higher as short of the President Obama.
Speaking to the chairman of committees on the house and that in the senate side and eight can not tell.
Our lawmakers who took out the references to al-Qaeda does.
From the information I would know perfectly sensible.
It's perfectly sensible.
If you accept the working hypothesis that it was the White House.
So this inner agency process bubbles along and they have countless meetings and endless drafts of the talking points.
And then it goes to the White House because it's the White House designee who's gonna look here.
On the Sunday shows.
And it's at the White House that they draft the final talking points for Susan Rice or person -- again.
And that's where the changes were made at least unless there's evidence to the contrary that's the only explanation and it's perfectly consistent.
With why the top intelligence officials the secretary of state anybody else you can think.
Doesn't have a clue who wrote those final words and -- -- then pick it -- says that they changed not only do they take out.
The line that was blaming -- al-Qaeda but they changed it to.
There are just indications.
Of extremist elements he says that was that was -- -- that's that there was an attempt to say.
You know it's.
It there's just some indications that some you know some extremist elements -- honored yet understand may have a role in this ambassador I know we talked about it before -- our viewers may be confused.
Why what would be the motivation.
For downplaying Al qaeda's role in a terror attack in Libya.
Well I think they're two possible explanations one -- ideology you know the war on terror is over Al qaeda's been defeated the Arab Spring has brought democracy to -- This can't possibly be a terrorist attack that's one.
The other is that it's just politically very inconvenient less than two months away from an election to have a terrorist attack it will expose.
The errors and fallacies of the Obama administration's policies.
That's why they were so worried under that theory about admitting -- in fact this was al-Qaeda or another terrorist group.
Some Democrats who were privy to these same briefings including have a representative Adam Smith come out and say that the notion that the talking points for changed is completely.
Wrong so still we get diametrically opposing information ambassador thanks for being here.