ABC News has obtained every version of the government talking points that were distributed after the attack on the Benghazi consulate in Libya, along with evidence that the White House and State Department were more involved in the editing they want to admit. Reporter Jonathan Karl writes that the notes underwent 12 different revisions in the span of about 24 hours, with CIA and State Department officials going back and forth about the details, ultimately choosing to omit several direct references to terrorism.
We have put together a tool for comparing the different changes that were made in each draft. The Weekly Standard has also published an investigation of the email discussions that led to the various edits.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used those talking points to prepare for appearances on Sunday morning talk shows five days after the attack on the consultate that killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya. Her assertion that Sunday that the attacks were "spontaneous" demonstrations led to heavy criticism from Congressional Republicans that eventually scuttled her chance to become the next Secretary of State.
The very first version of the memo says that "currently available information" points to "spontaneously inspired" protests that "evolved" into an assault, but also mentions reports that Islamic extremists "with ties to al-Qa'ida" participated in the attack. It even refers to one prominent group, Ansar al-Sharia, by name and mentions pervious attacks and threats against the consulate.