One day after The White House released 100 pages of Benghazi emails, a report has surfaced alleging that Republicans released a set with altered text.
CBS News reported Thursday that leaked versions sent out by the GOP last Friday had visible differences than Wednesday's official batch. Two correspondences that were singled out in the report came from National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
The GOP version of Rhodes' comment, according to CBS News: "We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don't want to undermine the FBI investigation."
The White House email: "We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation."
The GOP version of Nuland's comment, according to CBS News: The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda's presence and activities of al-Qaeda."
The White House email: "The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings."
The news parallels a Tuesday CNN report which initially introduced the contradiction between what was revealed in a White House Benghazi email version, versus what was reported in media outlets.
On Monday, Mother Jones noted that the Republicans' interim report included the correct version of the emails, signaling that more malice and less incompetence may have been at play with the alleged alterations.
In that April interim report on Benghazi (which Buck noted), the House Republicans cited these emails (in footnotes 56 and 57) to note an important point:
"State Department emails reveal senior officials had 'serious concerns' about the talking points, because Members of Congress might attack the State Department for 'not paying attention to Agency warnings' about the growing threat in Benghazi."
Despite the White House's Wednesday move to release emails, Republicans continued to call for more information on Thursday.
"While these hundred are good and they shed light on what happened, we have nearly 25,000 that they haven't released," Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told Fox News on Thursday.
Also this from Polk Award winning journalist, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo:
More on ABC's erroneous report on emails:
"...on Tuesday of this week, CNN’s Jake Tapper published the entirety of the White House email, which showed ABC’s take on the story to be completely false."
From the Department of Moronic GOP pundits comes this piece of gobshite from "Our Lady of the Magic Dolphins," Peggy Noonan. She really ought to keep away from the gin:
"We are in the midst of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate."
Andrew Sullivan asks:
"Can she actually believe this? Has this president broken the law, lied under oath, or authorized war crimes?
Has he traded arms for hostages with Iran?
Has he knowingly sent his cabinet out to tell lies about his sex life?
Has he sat by idly as an American city was destroyed by a hurricane?
Has he started a war with no planning for an occupation?
Has he started a war based on a lie, and destroyed the US’ credibility and moral standing while he was at it, leaving nothing but a smoldering and now rekindled civil sectarian war?
So far as I can tell, this president has done nothing illegal, unethical or even wrong."
So in the face of all this hanky-panky and dishonesty by the GOP in trying to alter the substance of the WH emails--a terrible scandal in itself--what did the House do yesterday? It voted for the 38th time to repeal the ACA. A total and complete waste of taxpayers' money and nothing more than another sop to throw at their base. Another scandal. But IOKIYAR.
It's become apparent to the American people that the GOP has overreached on these issues and are more interested in hanging a scandal around this president's neck than in getting to the truth.
No wonder people are turned off by politics and government.
This is for those poop-flinging conservatives who were so eager to call Mr. Obama "Nixonian." Congratulations on revealing your inner chimpanzee:
The Washington Post editorial board chimes in with probably the best description of the modern GOP - "small-minded, hyperpartisan and foolish": "This is one of those Washington dust-ups where the actual facts don’t seem to matter much to the scandal mongers. [...] By focusing on the phony issue of the talking points, Republicans are missing the opportunity to press for needed reforms at State and a more active U.S. policy in the Middle East. They should also be spurring a sluggish FBI investigation to determine who really organized and led the attacks in Benghazi; it has yet to be established whether they were ordered by local jihadists, terrorists linked to al-Qaeda or someone else, and whether they were planned because of the Sept. 11 anniversary or inspired by the events in Cairo. Instead, with their bigger-than-Watergate rhetoric, the GOP’s scandal-pushers are making themselves look small-minded, hyperpartisan and foolish."
The Los Angeles Times editorial board: "On Monday, an exasperated Obama, referring to the emails, said: "There's no 'there' there." The same is true of the allegation of a broader Benghazi coverup. And now that we know, let's move on."
Scot Lehigh at The Boston Globe:
Watergate? Nixonian? Impeachment?
Please. Someone get the smelling salts. [...][C]harges of a Benghazi coverup don’t pass the evidence test. Comparisons to Nixon are idiotic. And it’s the height of partisan absurdity to suggest that anything we’ve seen in these so-called scandals could justify impeachment.