Posted: 10/20/12 11:31, Edited: 10/20/12 11:36
by Dave Mindeman
As we come to the foreign policy debate on Monday, it is should be noted that a CIA report came out, in the last day or so, that was referenced in the Washington Post this way....
The Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attack last month weren?t supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official.
?Talking points? prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States. According to the CIA account, ?The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.?
Romney's continuing attempts to make political points on this tragic circumstance seem to have no understanding how things work in US Intelligence.
If Susan Rice had reported ideas different from the most recent CIA report, Romney would have criticized that as well. The reality is that she carefully quoted what US Intelligence was giving the administration at the time. It might have been totally wrong - intelligence has been wrong before as we all know - but it would have also been irresponsible to say otherwise.
Romney, of course, is not going to let this go. He can't - he has already doubled and tripled down on this. But his arguments will be evolving (as they always do) as he tries to fit his criticism into the facts that keep changing as this investigation goes forward.
Not exactly Presidential, but then for Mitt Romney, political points are more important than backing US policy.