published Friday, May 10th, 2013

State Department pushed to change Benghazi talking points

Susan Rice
Susan Rice
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — State Department officials recommended significant changes in the widely debunked talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used five days after the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

A congressional official who has reviewed administration emails about the talking points said they originally included references to possible threats and Islamic extremists. The intelligence community had included the references but they were deleted.

The emails also showed that former State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland worried that members of Congress could use the talking points to criticize the State Department for not heeding intelligence warnings about the growing threat in Benghazi.

The official spoke anonymously because of lack of authorization to speak publicly about the emails. Rice had suggested protests set off the attack, not terrorism.

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