RUSH: Well, General Petraeus did change his story. He changed his story. Look, I’m starting with this ’cause I was wrong. I thought he would stick with what he said in his first round. He changed his story. Doesn’t matter. Not gonna matter a hill of beans, but he changed his story.
Hi, my friends. How are you? It’s El Rushbo here. It’s Friday, and you know what that means.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny South Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: Okay. For those of you who are new to the program, Monday through Thursday, callers on this program, when we take ’em, have to talk about things I care about, or they don’t get on. And if they lie or cheat, try to talk about things I don’t care about, we politely hang up on ’em in a way you never hear. They’re gone. But on Friday, whatever you want to talk about is okay with me. It doesn’t matter whether I care about it or not. Friday is your day. You can define what the program is all about. When we go to the phones, the telephone number is 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
Now, Petraeus is claiming that he’s saying what he told ’em in the first briefing, but there’s no transcript of that. Everybody is of the belief that Petraeus, in the first briefing, went along with the regime and said that it was a spontaneous protest due to the video. I mean, that’s what he said. Now he’s saying, no, that’s not what I said at first, but there’s no transcript. We have this from Peter King, congressman, New York. General Petraeus is saying that he always thought it was terrorism. Today is the first day, though, that we are learning that he always thought it was terrorism.
RUSH: Now back to Petraeus and back to Benghazi and the select committee and why there had better be one. Petraeus is saying, and Peter King from New York, the congressman, is saying that it was terrorism from the get-go, that he always thought it was terrorism. He’s not really changing his testimony here, which, of course, is curious because all of us — you, me — have been under the belief since September 13th that Petraeus went out and said that it was a video, like everybody else in the regime.
Well, let’s review some of the histoire. On September 14th, three days after the attack at Benghazi, Petraeus told members of Congress that the video was the problem, the video is what caused a protest, which led to the attack on the embassy in Benghazi. Today, November 16th, so just a little over a month, it’s being said for him that his September the 14th story, he’s massaging that now and saying he meant or tried to convey on September 14th that it was terrorism, it was always terrorism. And I suspect the answer here lies in something Bill Kristol said on Fox earlier this week.
See, Kristol is the leader of the neocons. He knows these guys. Kristol said that somebody told him, Congress or somebody, that he ran into Petraeus at that original hearing, September 14th, and said, “What really happened?” Petraeus said, “You want the real version or you want our version?” And he said Petraeus said it’s terrorism, there’s no question, but we’re saying it’s the video. Kristol said something like this on Fox earlier this week. So therefore Kristol could confirm that it’s on record, “Oh, yeah, Petraeus said back then that it was terrorism all the way, but he had to say something else.”
But here’s the other thing. Greta Van Susteren on her blog at Fox says: This is why I don’t believe it. If that were true, if on September 14th he told members of Congress that it was the video that was the problem and then today he’s saying he’s always thought it was terrorism, if that’s true, that he was committed to telling the American people the truth on September 14th, and it was terrorism, it was Al-Qaeda, why didn’t he correct the false story much before today? Why wait until today? He could have issued a public statement or even made a private call to friends in the media, but he let it survive for over a month that his interpretation was the video. But if he’s now saying, no, no, no, first day out of the box it was terrorism, Greta is saying, if that’s true, why didn’t he later correct the false story before now?
He had so much opportunity to correct the record. He had to know what was being said by others in the press and by members of the House and Senate. He could have corrected it publicly or even privately to those who continued the silly story in order to stop them. Why didn’t he? If he knows that it was terrorism. Here’s what she’s getting at. If he knows and if he thought it was terrorism and he’s watching Susan Rice out there on the five TV shows say it’s the video, and he’s watching Obama say it’s the video, if he’s watching every Democrat say it’s the video, why not get a statement out, “No, no, no, it’s not the video.” Because the false stories continued after that congressional testimony on the 14th.
Susan Rice on September 16th on five different shows: It’s the video. Obama went on Letterman: It’s the video. Obama went on The View: It’s the video. Obama at every fundraiser event that he had: It’s the video. And there were countless other times where this video story was spread. So Petraeus had lots and lots and lots of chances to stop this story and correct it, and he didn’t. And so why? Well, I know what you’re yelling at the radio, “Rush, he’s the CIA director. Works for the regime. You can’t go out and undercut the regime.” He did today. “Yeah, but he’s not with the regime now, Rush.” The election’s over. There’s all kinds of reasons.
RUSH: Again, timeline. Bill Kristol earlier this week said, quote, “Somebody told me that General Petraeus,” on the Hill that day, September the 14th, “Director Petraeus,” I should say, “said privately to one of the members of Congress, ‘This is what happened in Benghazi. Do you want the official line or do you want the real truth?'” So on September 14th, according to Kristol, Petraeus said to a member of Congress, “You want the official line, or do you want the truth?” If Petraeus had told congressman on September 14th the truth, everybody would have run to the microphones and said the CIA just said that it was a terror attack.
You don’t think they would have? Of course they would have. We’re in the middle of a campaign. If Petraeus had told them — and he didn’t. He followed the official line. He told them that it was a video. At the time the video was first mentioned as an excuse, it had 200 views on YouTube, back in June sometime. Now, why didn’t Petraeus object to Al-Qaeda being left out of the talking points? Because there’s another bombshell that’s happened here, and it comes from Peter King. Here it is this morning in Washington, King spoke to reporters about the closed door hearing in which Petraeus testified.
KING: He said it went for a long process involving many agencies, including the Department of Justice, including the State Department, and no one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points, other than to say the original talking points prepared by the CIA were different from the ones that were finally put out.
RUSH: Now, let me translate this for you. Peter King comes out of this hearing. He says that Petraeus told them that the CIA talking points meant for Susan Rice September 16th TV appearances originally contained the information that there was evidence Al-Qaeda elements were involved in the attack. These talking points were then altered through an interagency process and they were removed. The Al-Qaeda element of the talking points — when you hear “talking points,” that’s the stuff given to Rice and every other regime spokesman — the original talking points that were prepared for Rice — this is key. She never got ’em. The talking points that were prepared for her said it was Al-Qaeda, said it was a terrorist attack. Sometime between September 14th and September 16th, somebody took the Al-Qaida element out and put the video in.
This is why Greta is scratching her head, because Petraeus is saying, “I said it was terrorism from the get-go.” Well, if you did, then why did Susan Rice go out two days later and say it was the video? It’s why we need a select committee on this. ‘Cause this is now all over the ballpark. I mean, this is a bombshell, folks, that the original talking points for Susan Rice to take out there — look, this goes back to Obama. He admitted the other day in his press conference. He said the White House sent her out, sent her out with the best intel we had at the time.
No, it wasn’t the best intel. The best intel we had at the time was that it was Al-Qaeda, but that was removed. That element was removed. The original talking points were much more specific about Al-Qaeda involvement, and yet the final talking points just said indications of extremists. It said “indicate” even though there was clearly evidence at the CIA that there was Al-Qaeda involvement. And we know that because that’s what Petraeus said today. David Petraeus, publicly September 14th, said it was spontaneous combustion protests brought about by a video. Today David Petraeus said that that was part of the original talking points that Susan Rice was gonna take to television.
Sometime between September 14th and 16th they took the Al-Qaeda stuff out, and from September 14th on, it was the video. All the while, Petraeus knew it wasn’t, but he didn’t say anything. He knew that the talking points had been altered. That’s what the bombshell today is. And what we still don’t know is, who came up with the idea to use this video, who found that video, who took that idea to either Obama or the CIA or the FBI? Somebody said we’re gonna cover this up and I’ve got the perfect vehicle, this video. I could be redundant. I could repeat this timeline. I feel like I should ’cause I’m not sure people get this. I’m not sure people get anything anymore, to tell you the truth, but this is bombshell stuff.
The original talking points for Susan Rice, she was gonna be sent out there to say it was Al-Qaeda, and somebody stopped it, changed it, took that out, sent her out there with the story of the video. Petraeus knew it was never a video from the first day. He admits that today. I know a lot of people say, “Well, my gosh, Rush, if we can’t count on Petraeus, who can we count on?” Exactly. When asked by a reporter if Petraeus knew why the talking points were changed, King said, “They just said it goes through a process, an interagency process, and when they came back, it had been taken out.” So what we’re to believe is the original talking points, the explanation of what happened, Al-Qaeda terror attack, Benghazi.
Then they send that stuff to all the different agencies, Department of Justice, Department of State, hell, they probably sent to FEMA, for all we know. And it comes back, and Al-Qaeda’s taken out when it gets back. So somewhere in this circuitous route where all these agents sign off on it, it gets taken out. By the time she hits the TV on September 16th, it’s the video. Now, ladies and gentlemen, we now know in their final format the talking points in question focused exclusively on the false idea that the 9/11 anniversary attack was motivated by a video. That is a false claim, and that was the final format of the talking points. Here’s more from King, his remarks after the Petraeus testimony this morning.
KING: His testimony today was that from the start he had told us this was a terrorist attack, that there were terrorists involved from the start. I told him my questions had a very different recollection of that. The clear impression we were given was that the overwhelming amount of evidence was that it arose out of a spontaneous demonstration and was not a terrorist attack.
RUSH: So he’s saying Petraeus said all along it was a terror attack. No, he didn’t all along say it was a terror attack. All along Petraeus is saying it’s the video. Petraeus testified today behind closed doors that all along he said it’s terrorism. Here’s more King. Here he says that there were many streams of intel but that Petraeus now maintains terrorism all along.
KING: No, no, no. He was saying that there were many streams of intelligence, but he also stated that he thought all along he made it clear that there was significant terrorist involvement. And that is not my recollection of what he told us on September 14th.
RUSH: Boy, he’s really soft-pedaling this. This is something to be shouting and pounding the podium. “But he stated that he told us all along that it was terrorism, and that’s not my recollection of what he told us on September 14th.” It’s because he didn’t tell you that on September 14th. On September 14th he was telling you what the regime wanted out there, that it was a video. We all know that they were saying it was a video. That’s the whole point here, when they knew it wasn’t. That’s the whole point. Everybody describing this as a spontaneous attack was lying about it. They were covering something up. And the truth be told, we still don’t know what. We don’t know what is being covered up here. Here’s Saxby Chambliss, Republican senator from Georgia. This is last night, Fox News special report, Chris Wallace. “What can you tell us about what you learned about Benghazi?”
CHAMBLISS: It was very clear, Chris, from day one, this was a terrorist attack. I mean, it’s just so obvious to be so obvious to any inexperienced individual that this was purely a terrorist attack. Secondly, I think what we learned is that it’s not very likely that the intelligence community is gonna put out any unclassified talking points anytime in the near future.
RUSH: Well, so what. Again, and then Wallace said, “After what you heard today, Senator, do you come away thinking that what Susan Rice told the American people that Sunday was in good faith based on CIA talking points which may have been mistaken, but were, as I say in good faith? Or do you think that politics may have played a role in this?” In other words, do you think she was lying, or do you think she went out there not knowing the truth and was telling people what she really thought happened?
CHAMBLISS: What I heard today hasn’t changed my mind about what Susan Rice said. What Susan Rice said was exactly what President Obama told her to say. That’s what he said yesterday. He’s taking a shot at Senator McCain and Senator Graham was simply uncalled for. And if he says come after me, then, by golly, is he gonna shoulder the responsibility? Because it looks like they were about ready to throw her under the bus. So it hasn’t changed anything from my perspective as to what she said. She was saying exactly what the political shop at the White House told her to say.
RUSH: Exactly. And they’re not gonna throw her under the bus. They were trying to build her up and make her the secretary of state.
RUSH: ABC News, just to illustrate here that Petraeus could have a little wiggle room here. On September the 14th, ABC News reported the following: CIA chief says “The attack that killed four Americans in the Libyan consulate began as a spontaneous protest against the film The Innocence of Muslims, but Islamic militants who may have links to Al Qaeda used the opportunity to launch an attack.” That’s what Petraeus told the committee, that it was a spontaneous combustion protest because of the video, but Al-Qaeda saw that and Al-Qaeda said, “Wow, we got an opportunity here.” So he’s covered on both sides. It’s still blaming the protest on the video. But if you go back and look at what ABC’s reporting, Petraeus did mention terrorists but only insofar as (audio glitch) still a lie, it’s still a lie, and they still sent Susan Rice out to lie about the video.
And, by the way, this interagency jazz, the White House coordinates that. The White House determines who gets to see the talking points and vet them. This is all Obama. This all is from the Oval Office. What Susan Rice said on TV, and he admitted as much. There’s not any interagency debate over this: “No, I don’t think that ought to be in there.” There might have been some of that, but Obama is the ultimate decider on what’s in or out.
Now, there’s another Republican, Congressman Ruppersberger. He’s saying Petraeus told him it was a three hour spontaneous protest over the video. That was then, and this again from September 14th, not today, September 14th, Ruppersberger, Republican congressman from California, I think, said that Petraeus told him it was a three hour spontaneous protest over the video that Al-Qaeda then exploited. And that’s why Petraeus, “I always knew it was terrorism.” But he didn’t. This is beneath everybody. They’re playing us for fools and a whole bunch of other things, insulting our intelligence daily. Everybody knows what happened. There’s a big cover-up. The video was not part of this. Everybody’s in a CYA mode now.
By the way, as I mentioned yesterday, a dozen women members of Congress, House of Representatives, have launched a defense of Susan Rice by saying she’s being attacked by a bunch of white guys. And, folks, this is how the Democrats shut this stuff down. McCain, Lindsey Graham, Saxby Chambliss, all these people out now questioning Susan Rice, they’re just a bunch of racist, old white guys. A majority of these women in the House are African-American and lashed out at McCain and Graham — it’s an AP story, by the way — demanding that they retract their criticism of her.
They’re demanding that McCain and Graham and Chambliss, all these, retract their criticism. To batter this woman and to batter Obama is something we, the women, are not gonna stand by and watch. They’re accusing Republicans of simply engaging in racism. Well, that’s how they shut this stuff down, and that’s how they get away with it. It’s how they discredit the criticism. In this case, legitimate, genuine criticism over lying and a cover cover-up. No, there’s none of that going on. This is just typical Republican racism, pure and simple.
RUSH: This is Reggie in Richmond, Virginia. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. Thank you. My question is, do you think that the lack of military response in Benghazi will embolden the terrorists to carry out attacks in the US?
RUSH: No. There aren’t any terrorists. I think what we need to do is to see to it that we get a handle on all these rogue videos that are being made. It’s the videos that have caused these problems, these people attacking innocent Islam. That’s gotta stop. The lack of a military response emboldening terrorists, it would if there were any terrorists, but Al-Qaeda’s on the run now, the president says so.
RUSH: I saw it on TV.
CALLER: Well, you know, I don’t see any response from the government to bring the perpetrators of the Benghazi affair to justice.
RUSH: No, no. You’re right.
CALLER: They’re not doing anything. You know, there’s nothing on the news about what we’re doing to bring justice to the Benghazi attack.
RUSH: No, but the president said he’s going to. I saw it on TV.
CALLER: Right. That’s like, on the Internet it’s true, right?
RUSH: Well, he did. He said just yesterday he’s gonna bring ’em to justice, and the video maker’s in jail. I think mission accomplished.
CALLER: Well, it’s really sad.
RUSH: Yeah, it is. It is. It really is. I’m glad you called. I really appreciate your patience in waiting, too.
RUSH: Okay, folks, the current Democrat talking point is that Susan Rice was reading unclassified talking points approved by the intel community on television, reading unclassified talking points. But isn’t that the problem? Nobody’s going after Rice per se. Everybody wants to know who told her to lie, because she was telling things that weren’t true. This is not an attack on her. It is an attack on who told her to tell these lies.