White House denies heavy editing of Benghazi memo
US: The White House denied Saturday having heavily edited talking
points to UN Ambassador Susan Rice about the deadly attacks on a US
mission in Libya to remove references to terrorism.
"The 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,"
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters aboard Air
"Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by
the intelligence community. So I can't speak to any other edits that may
have been made." Republican lawmakers briefed by former CIA chief David
Petraeus on Friday said that the original talking points about the
attack had mentioned groups linked to Al-Qaeda.
But Petraeus told the lawmakers that the reference was removed from a
final version given to Rice before she discussed the attack on five
Sunday television talkshows and said the assault was a response to an
amateur video denigrating Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
The initial talking points "specifically mentioned Al-Qaeda, and that
Al-Qaeda was involved in the attack," Republican Representative Peter
King, who attended the briefing, told Fox News.
"When the talking points were finalized, all the references to
Al-Qaeda were taken out and it was put in almost as an afterthought
saying there are indications of extremist involvement in the