The Talking Point Tiff – Bill Gertz

James Clapper / AP

James Clapper / AP

The office of director of national intelligence James Clapper changed the CIA’s draft talking points on the Sept. 11 Benghazi terrorist attack to omit references to al Qaeda as being linked to the attack, according to a U.S. official.

The changes resulted in U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice telling five Sunday television interview shows that the attack was caused by a spontaneous demonstration and not a coordinated terror attack on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attack on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people.

According to an intelligence official, an official in Clapper’s office changed the CIA’s initial talking points that stated a militia linked to al Qaeda carried out the raid by several dozen Libyan Islamist terrorists.

However, in the ODNI office the mention of the al Qaeda links was removed and replaced with a more vague reference to “extremists”—the more politically correct term used widely within the Obama administration to identify Islamist terrorists.


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