Ace @ Ace of Spades HQ:
We’ve suspected this for months. Now people are saying it was indeed Clapper. Actually they’re saying it was his office — the Director of National Intelligence — and any of several people might have made the changes.
But I will stick with Clapper. He’s proven himself to be a perfect Obama appointee, by which I mean incompetent and eminently malleable in his claims according to Obama’s political needs. Furthermore, we are speaking here of the deaths of four Americans, including an ambassador. We are talking about talking points prepared by the CIA to be given to the US Ambassador for wide dissemination on television. And the US Ambassador was appearing on TV at the order of the White House (which I imagine means the President).
As very senior people are involved on all ends of this, I doubt very much the edit job was done by a convenient subordinate. I would imagine another principal– Clapper himself — made the edits. Either way, Clapper is confirmed to have reviewed the edits, at the very least.
As I’ve been saying, these talking points are negotiated. It is not the case that the CIA just hands out talking points and the Administration accepts them without challenge. Everything Bush wanted to say about Iraq or Al Qaeda was subject to a discussion between his people and the CIA about what the CIA would be willing to disclose and also what they would be willing to sign their names to, as the official intelligence finding of the United States.
The White House wanted the terrorism angle all but written out of the report, and Clapper was the man who did the editing, and then the CIA, to its great dishonor, signed off on this lie.