As you have perhaps heard, several Republicans have been accusing UN ambassador Susan Rice — and, by extension, the Obama administration — of obscuring details of the September 11 Benghazi attack in the immediate wake of the incident, when Rice appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows and blamed the violence on a spontaneous protest spurred by the Innocence of Muslims trailer on YouTube, as opposed to the planned terrorism that turned out to be the cause. Rice ‘s statements were based on the CIA assessment given to the White House at the time, which was confirmed on Friday, when former CIA director David Petraeus addressed the conspiracy theories during closed-door testimony before Congress. Petraeus testified that while the report had initially referred to Benghazi as a terrorist attack, language labeling it as such had been “removed from the public explanation of what caused the attack so as not to tip off the groups that the U.S. intelligence community was on their trail.” According to lawmakers who attended the meeting, Petraeus was “adamant” that the changes were not politically motivated, nor were they the result of White House interference.
Still, while speaking to reporters Saturday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes did cop to one Obama administration edit. Apparently, the State Department decided to refer to the Benghazi compound as a “diplomatic facility” instead of the original “consulate,” because the building was not technically a consulate: “The only edit made by the White House was the factual edit about how to refer to the facility,” Rhodes said. “Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community. So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made.” So, that settles that — right, John McCain?