Here’s the news from today’s closed hearing with acting CIA Director Morell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

Fox News was told that neither Clapper nor Morell knew for sure who finalized that information. And they could not explain why they minimized the role of a regional Al Qaeda branch as well as the militant Ansar al-Sharia despite evidence of their involvement.

If they do not know then the talking points were not drafted by someone in the intel community. That means they talking points were drafted at the White House.

How do I know?

As someone who regularly and frequently wrote talking points on issues pertaining to the Contra in Honduras during my time at the CIA in the 1980s, every thing had my name on it. My Branch Chief reviewed it and then it was reviewed by my Office Chief. Then it was reviewed by senior personnel in the Office of Latin America and African Analysis. Anything produced for a policymaker downtown had my name on it. Why? Accountability. The Intel production side of the house–the Analysts–do not get anonymity. Even though I was undercover, my product had my pseudonym on it.

The intel community has not changed. That is a standard practice. If Clapper and Morell allowed something to be produced without knowing who wrote it they are guilty of malpractice and should be relieved immediately of their jobs.

There is only one other logical possibility. The talking points were written in the National Security Council and passed off as an intel product.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • Ed Reilly

    Axelrod plaid a big role in changing the Talking Points and should be called to testify. He seems to be playing it low recently.


    backtrack calls morsi to help him calm situation in gaza seemingly unaware morsi threatened Israel earlier in the day.

    didn’t varjar tell him and take away his phone???

    what an embarrassment to this country

  • akaPatience

    Well, I certainly hope we find out more about the Benghazi attack than whether or not it was characterized correctly. Surely there had to be more discussed about the incident during the hearings of the last two days. Reporting only about the Rice sideshow seems dismissive of those of us with a deeper interest.

  • sowsear1

    O/T but now, I Won, wants to implement his main plan:
    Taking over our private retirement accounts for redistribution: (I told you, there goes your inheritance, kids)

    • DianaLC

      Can’t click the thumbs up on this news. I need to call them back and give more for the impeachment effort.

    • elijahzabmom

      I’m in my thirties. My generation should be able to opt out of Social Security. It’s a scam

      • binky354

        Sounds like your IRA or 401k won’t be your own. So what’s a person to do?

        • elijahzabmom

          Go galt!

  • elijahzabmom

    Roy Blunt just said it took them 10-12 days to call it terrorism. McCain called it an intelligence breakdown and rushed out of the press conference.What was Charlene Lamb watching? Did anyone call for help? Were they denied help? This attack happened on 9/11 and they have had a long time to classify into and get their stories together. No one is under oath and the truth will never come out.