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Sat May 11, 2013, 04:36 PM

Behind The-Benghazi Talking Points: Petraeus’ Revenge

Benghazi Talking Points: Petraeus’ Revenge
Posted on May 11, 2013 by emptywheel

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Consider how this rolled out. While ABC got the credit for the scoop, Cheney propagandist Stephen Hayes first published some of the emails (which ABC notes). Then Hayes did a follow-up story that was downright literary, a tribute to its maligned hero, David Petraeus.

CIA director David Petraeus was surprised when he read the freshly rewritten talking points an aide had emailed him in the early afternoon of Saturday, September 15. One day earlier, analysts with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis had drafted a set of unclassified talking points policymakers could use to discuss the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. But this new version​—​produced with input from senior Obama administration policymakers​—​was a shadow of the original.


Hayes’ new story is one depicting Petraeus’ disappointment when his (self-serving and deceptive) preferred narrative did not survive review by the Department whose Ambassador Petraeus’ Agency had gotten killed. It emphasizes the enemy the CIA would like to highlight — Ansar al-Sharia — and not Petraeus’ militia whose inaction had been at least as important to the success of the attack. It claims (this entire campaign being evidence to the contrary) that Petraeus resigned himself to the messaging decisions the Administration made.

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Finally, importantly, it at least appears to rely explicitly on the personal account of Petraeus himself.

This candid, real-time assessment from then-CIA director Petraeus offers a glimpse of what many intelligence officials were saying privately as top Obama officials set aside the truth about Benghazi and spun a fanciful tale about a movie that never mattered and a demonstration that never happened.


David Petraeus, who tried and failed to get his preferred spin of the attack in Benghazi accepted by the Obama Administration, who subsequently got fired, purportedly for fucking and possibly sharing classified information with his mistress, went to Dick Cheney’s propagandist to try to get his preferred spin adopted after the fact.

That’s what this Benghazi campaign has become.

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more plus links:
http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/05/11/petraeus-revenge/#more-35243

14 replies, 2290 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Behind The-Benghazi Talking Points: Petraeus’ Revenge (Original post)
kpete May 2013 OP
Dawson Leery May 2013 #1
grasswire May 2013 #2
ljm2002 May 2013 #3
AndyTiedye May 2013 #11
ljm2002 May 2013 #12
Wounded Bear May 2013 #4
dkf May 2013 #6
rso May 2013 #14
dkf May 2013 #5
Berlum May 2013 #7
DonCoquixote May 2013 #8
Berlum May 2013 #10
JDPriestly May 2013 #9
SalviaBlue May 2013 #13

Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 04:45 PM

1. kick

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 04:56 PM

2. wow

That circle is a vipers nest.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 04:58 PM

3. Petraeus didn't get as high as he did...

...without knowing how to play the game. Cheney, of course, has been a veritable master of the art of bureaucratic infighting. So it's no surprise they are rolling this out. I am SO glad to see someone spelling it out though.

Of course it won't do much good as far as the MSM narrative is concerned. They just LOVE being fed information and a narrative to go with it. The Republicans and their toadies are very, very good at doing just that. The Democrats suck at it, mainly because they do not have a strong alternative narrative, being caught up in being slightly less worse than Republicans, rather than trying to be excellent and principled Democrats. That fantasy is long, long gone. We're all corporatists now. Or that is what our party wants us to believe.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #3)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:33 PM

11. Democrats Don't Own the Tee Vee Networks, Rapeuglicans Do

Of course it won't do much good as far as the MSM narrative is concerned. They just LOVE being fed information and a narrative to go with it. The Republicans and their toadies are very, very good at doing just that. The Democrats suck at it


The Mighty Slime Machine only wants to be fed Rapeuglican narratives because that's what their corporate masters demand.

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #11)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:59 PM

12. Yes, what you say is also true...

...the networks want the Republican narrative.

However, if the Democrats presented a strong alternative, they would have more of a voice.

Instead, Democrats offer a lot of "me-too" policies and soft support for core constituencies. Remember Obama's promise to "put on my comfortable walking shoes" for the unions? Yet when they could have used him in Wisconsin, he was nowhere to be seen. I do not mean to single him out, it's just one glaring example. Again and again, our Democratic politicians sell us out, and promote policies that are harmful to working men and women, such as the NAFTA treaties and the like.

Yes, the Democrats have better policies. But not enough better to really have some bite when they present their narrative. Their narrative is a lot like the Republicans' narrative. Oh sure, they would never propose trickle-down economics. At least not in those terms. But they have assured us all these years that things like NAFTA actually, really, lead to more jobs for Americans. No, really! At least so they assure us. When we can all see, plain as day, that the good jobs are being sucked away and we are being left with the so-called "service economy" and even the Democrats want us to work til we're 70 -- even though there aren't enough jobs to go around in the first place, even though in reality, with modern advances, everyone could work a 20-hour week and we'd all still have plenty -- if our society were structured in anything approaching a sane manner.

The Republicans have a narrative. It's anti-immigration, it's hateful towards liberals, it's trickle-down, it's the moral superiority of the rich, it's their brand of Christianity, it's anti-abortion (these last three can all be subsumed under "moral superiority"), it's security and defense, its big bidness.

The Democrats' narrative is, we don't want to hurt the poor and the middle class quite as much. But we're strong on defense too! Hey, we like business too! We won't punish the banks! Look, the DOW is high under our own fearless leader! And we do too believe in God!

Stuff like that.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:09 PM

4. I always figured that the sex scandal that got Petraeus fired...

was largely manufactured to protect him from being fired for the incompetence displayed in Benghazi.

Politicians (or at least Republican politicians) can recover from sex scandals. Being fired for incompetence-especially when an ambassador dies-is a bit harder to bounce back from. Petraeus was the new Eisenhower for many Repubs. I think they still have hopes of resurrecting him.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #4)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:13 PM

6. Have they stated that security was the responsibility of the CIA?

 

I've seen it inferred but not stated. And it's not like the hazards were unknown. The ambassador himself mentioned it.

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Response to dkf (Reply #6)

Sat May 11, 2013, 07:49 PM

14. Security

Overseas security is not the CIA's responsibility, they are only responsible for intelligence. It is the State Dept. and its Diplomatic Security Service that is responsible for security.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:10 PM

5. If anything the initial assessment from the CIA was perhaps too candid.

 

That would have been the real source of the problem and where Petraeus got his revenge or whatever.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:23 PM

7. Republican family darkside "values" as usual. Right out of the cesspool.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:28 PM

8. as a Tampa person

I can tell you that the scandal was worse then even the national media made out. Tampa has a lot of people who work in central command, and they have influenced the culture. Even people who have nothing to do with Macdill know security is supposed to be TIGHT. For these ladies to play cut rate Mata hari was an embrassment,.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #8)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:31 PM

10. Corporate media (R) shows no interest in serving the public good

That is all.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 05:29 PM

9. This is what I have been wondering from the beginning.

Remember, Fox News suggested to Petraeus that they would help him run for president.

The CIA was in Benghazi but did not respond to the attack soon enough. If there is a scandal, that is it.

From Empty Wheel:

They might have also said, “since February, people tied to CIA’s mission have twice been harassed by militia members, suggesting our OpSec was so bad they knew we were in Benghazi.”

And when CIA’s talking points said,

The crowd almost certainly was a mix of individuals from across many sectors of Libyan society. That being said, we do know that extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.

They might also have said that the “trusted” militia, February 17 Brigade, trained by David Petraeus’ CIA, whose career legacy is based on false claims of successfully training locals, appears to have allowed the attack to happen (and, critically, delayed CIA guards from heading to the State mission to help).

Note that Congressman Frank Wolf is just now showing some interest in why CIA’s vetting of the militia central to the mission’s defense was so bad. Maybe if CIA had included that detail in their self-serving initial talking points, Congress would have turned to this issue more quickly, particularly since we’re currently training more potentially suspect militias in Syria.

http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/05/11/petraeus-revenge/

And that is the crux of the matter, Petraeus's strategy of paying off bad guys to be bad for us and not against us does not work. It was doomed from the start.

The CIA was in Benghazi. Why were the ambassadors meeting in Benghazi instead of in Tripoli? Was there something shady going on? Did it have to do with Syria? Egypt? What was is?

And what is our involvement if any in Syria. Extremists of any religion are trouble. Who are the rebels in Syria? And what is really going on in Libya today? Could we end up with a problem worse than Gaddhafi who was so vain and crazy and self-centered that he almost handled himself?

Somehow, the idea that Petraeus is behind the whole failed program makes a lot of sense to me. Look how well things are going in Afghanistan and Iraq where his strategy and leadership were key.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2013, 06:10 PM

13. K & R

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