House intel chair: No proof of coverup

Nov. 18, 2012 at 4:47 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A top congressional Republican said the White House "narrative was wrong and the intelligence was right" following the attack on a U.S. Consulate in Libya.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" the political controversy surrounding the Obama administration's characterization of the attack in Benghazi resulted in part from an administration decision not to mention the likelihood the Sept. 11 raid was a terrorist attack.

"The intelligence community had it right and they had it right early," he said. "What happened was it worked its way up through the system of the so-called talking points, which everyone refers to and then it went up to what's called a deputy's committee."

Rogers said the narrative of what happened in Benghazi changed at the deputy's committee, "populated by appointees from the administration."

Asked whether he thought anyone in the government deliberately misled the public for political reasons, Rogers said: "I know the narrative was wrong and the intelligence was right. Now, getting between there and there I think you have to be careful about making those accusations. I think you should have to prove it."

"This isn't just about parsing words and who was right," he said. "There was some policy decisions made based on the narrative that was not consistent with the intelligence that we had. That's my concern."

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she was concerned about "the politicization of a public statement that was put out by the entire intelligence committee," which she said U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used as the basis for public comments five days after the attack.

"She was within the context of that statement," Feinstein said. "And for this, she has been pilloried for two months. I don't understand it.

"It has to stop."

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