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Damning Proof that Former CIA Official, Mike Morell, Lied to Congress–UPDATE

Judicial Watch’s document dump today on Benghazi has some real stunners. Fox News jumped on one document, a White House memo, outlining the lies that Susan Rice needed to tell on the Sunday morning talks shows, in which she, per White House script, blamed the attack on a video.

But the real news is buried on page 20 of the docs. Mike Morell, the former Deputy Director of the CIA, appears to have lied to Congress about the talking points. Here’s what that despicable soul told Congress on April 1:

Rogers also asked Morell why he did not say during a November 2012 hearing following the attack why references to Al Qaeda had been taken out of the talking points. Morell said that at the time, he did not know who took them out.

“But to be fair, and, in retrospect, what I wish I would have done, was to say to you, ‘Chairman, I do not know who took Al Qaeda out of the talking points, but you should know that I myself made a number of changes to the points.’ That’s what I should have said. I didn’t,” Morell said.

Morell also said there are things that both he and the agency “should have done differently,” but he dismissed political motivations.
“There are areas where the CIA’s performance and my own performance could have been better, but none of our actions were the result of political influence in the intelligence process. None.”

Morell said he did not know that the talking points would be used by Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in her appearances on the Sunday talk shows shortly following the attacks, which were widely criticized and, many say, cost her the secretary of state position, as she later withdrew her consideration for the spot.

“In fact, I didn’t even know she was going to be on the Sunday shows,” Morell said, adding that no one asked him or the agency to prepare Rice.

Morell said he believed that Rice, who is now national security adviser, would have had the talking points, as well as intelligence information from the days prior. However, he acknowledged that she did not have information sent by the CIA’s station chief on the ground, which concluded that the attack was possibly preplanned.

However, the documents obtained by Judicial Watch tell a damningly different story. Let’s start with the email on p. 19. It references “SBU/CLOSEHOLD: 0800 SVTS ON MOVIE PROTESTS/VIOLENCE.”

Let me translate–SBU means Sensitive But Unclassified. SVTS is the acronym for Secure Video Teleconference.

It is the substance of the message that exposes the fraud of Morell. Let me quote at length from an email sent to Susan Rice.

CIA DIRECTOR PETRAEUS GAVE THE HPSCI A HOTS SPOTS BRIEFING AND WAS ASKED FOR UNCLASSIFIED TALKING POINTS THAT ITS MEMBERS COULD USE ABOUT INCIDENT IN BENGHAZI. (APPARENTLY NCTC DIRECTOR MATT OLSON RECEIVED A SIMILAR COMMITTEE (SIC) FROM A CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE.) THE FIRST DRAFT APPARENTLY SEEMED UNSUITABLE (BASED ON CONVERSATIONS ON THE SVTS AND AFTERWARDS) BECAUSE THEY SEEMED TO ENCOURAGE THE READER TO INFER INCORRECTLY THAT THE CIA HAD WARNED ABOUT A SPECIFIC ATTACK ON OUR EMBASSY. (emphasis added) ON THE SVTS, MORELL NOTED THAT THESE POINTS WERE NOT GOOD AND HE HAD TAKEN A HEAVY EDITING HAND TO THEM. (emphasis added) HE NOTED THAT HE WOULD BE HAPPY TO WORK WITH JAKE SULLIVAN AND RHODES TO DEVELOP APPROPRIATE TALKING POINTS. MCDONOUGH, ON RHODE’S BEHALF, DEFERRED TO SULLIVAN. IT WAS AGREED THAT JAKE WOULD WORK CLOSELY WITH THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY (WITHIN A SMALL GROUP) TO FINALIZE THE POINTS ON SATURDAY THAT COULD BE SHARED WITH HPSCI. I SPOKE TO JAKE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SVTS AND NOTED THAT YOU WERE DOING THE SUNDAY MORING SHOWS AND WOULD NEED TO BE AWARE OF THE FINAL POSTURE THAT THESE POINTS TOOK. HE COMMITTED TO ENSURE THAT WE WERE UPDATED IN ADVANCE OF THE SUNDAY SHOWS.

It is a White House document from 15 September that makes the case that Mike Morell deliberately misled Congress about his role in the talking points. If he was under oath, this is perjury.

The next step is to get the complete record of communications between Jake Sullivan and Mike Morell, including emails. Morell tried to pretend that politics was an afterthought in this. Instead, it was the priority–lie to the American people about the failure of President Obama and Secretary Clinton in protecting US personnel and facilities in Benghazi.

UPDATE–With these new documents, which for some reason were not included in the SSCI report on Benghazi, the timeline becomes clear. The decision to put Susan Rice out on the Sunday talk shows to shill for Obama and spread a lie was finalized on Friday, 14 September.

The email from Ben Rhodes, sent at 8:09 pm on the 14th, carried the Subject: RE:PREP CALL WITH SUSAN: SATURDAY AT 4:00 PM ET.

The “Susan” in question is Susan Rice.

At 8:58 PM (see p. 50 of the SSCI Report on Benghazi) the talking points, which would be the basis for Susan Rice’s presentation on Sunday (REMEMBER, RICE INSISTED SHE WAS ONLY REPORTING WHAT THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE INTEL COMMUNITY), were redacted by the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs. This is their version:

  • The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex. This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and currently available information continues to be evaluated. On 10 Spetember the Agency notified Embassy Cairo of social media reports calling for a demonstration and encouraging jihadists to break into the Embassy.
  • The investigation is on-going as to who is responsible for the violence, although the crowd almost certainly was a mix of individuals. That being said, there are indication we do know that Islamic extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.
  • Initial press presorting linked the attack to Ansar al Sharia. The group has since released a statement that its leadership did not order the attacks, but did not deny that some of its members were involved. Ansar al Sharia’s Facebook page aims to spread sharia in Libya and emphasizes the need for jihad to counter what it views as false interpretations of Islam, according to an open source study.
  • Eleven hours later, a “Close Hold Secure Video Conference” was held. CIA Deputy Director, Mike Morell, was on the call. The Subject? “MOVIE PROTESTS/VIOLENCE.”

    This was where the lie was crafted and prepped to be sold to the American public by Susan Rice.

    According to the email from Eric Pelofsky, sent at 1:23 pm on the 15th, the issue of the talking points came up. Remember, the focus of the SVTS was “MOVIE PROTESTS/VIOLENCE”. According to Pelofsky:

    ON THE SVTS, MORELL NOTED THAT THESE POINTS WERE NOT GOOD AND HE HAD TAKEN A HEAVY EDITING HAND TO THEM. (emphasis added) HE NOTED THAT HE WOULD BE HAPPY TO WORK WITH JAKE SULLIVAN AND RHODES TO DEVELOP APPROPRIATE TALKING POINTS. MCDONOUGH, ON RHODE’S BEHALF, DEFERRED TO SULLIVAN. IT WAS AGREEd THAT JAKE WOULD WORK CLOSELY WITH THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY (WITHIN A SMALL GROUP) TO FINALIZE THE POINTS ON SATURDAY THAT COULD BE SHARED WITH HPSCI.

    So, what changes did Morell make to the talking points subsequent to this meeting? According to p. 51 of the SSCI Report on Benghazi, Morell’s edit at 9:45 am produced the following result:

  • The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex.
  • This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and currently available information continues to be evaluated. On 10 Spetember the Agency notified Embassy Cairo of social media reports calling for a demonstration and encouraging jihadists to break into the Embassy.
  • The investigation is on-going and as to who is responsible for the violence, although the crowd almost certainly was a mix of individuals. That being said, there are indications that Islamic extremists participated in the violent demonstrations. the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.
  • At 11:08 a.m., Morell took one more whack. He added a meaningless phrase to the first bullet point.

  • The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.
  • The banality and vacuousness of that phrase is mind numbing. You think some “extremists” participated in the ransacking of two U.S. installations and the murder of four American citizens? What were the rest? Aspiring Democrats? Members of Green Peace? Mike Morell is an embarrassment to the intel community by inserting meaningless crap like this into the talking points while excising actual substance.

    The nature of Morell’s lie is now quite clear. He sat in on the SVTS at 8:00 a.m. (and apparently never anticipated that someone took notes on the substance of that meeting) and came out of it with a clear mission to water down the talking points and erase any evidence that this was an Al Qaeda operation.