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.