Friday May 24, 2013

Did David Brooks of The New York Times do his homework before he wrote the column that appeared in the May 17 Berkshire Eagle? I found the following information on the ABC News website in an article entitled, "Exclusive: Benghazi talking points underwent 12 revisions, scrubbed of terror reference."

State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland raised specific objections to this paragraph drafted by the CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points: "The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qaida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks."

In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it "could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned..."

The paragraph was entirely deleted.

EILEEN CHRISTMAN

Pittsfield