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Ex-CIA Official: Republicans Politicized Benghazi

  • Associated Press

FILE - Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responds to criticism from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (not in photo) on the September attack on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington January 23, 2013.

FILE - Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responds to criticism from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (not in photo) on the September attack on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington January 23, 2013.

A former CIA deputy director has written in a new book that Republicans rapeatedly distorted the agency's analysis of the Benghazi attack in 2012, it has been reported.

Michael Morell said the events were distorted about the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya, according to a report in The New York Times.

Morell in his book dismissed the notion that CIA officers and the military “were ordered to stand down” and not come to the aid of their comrades in Benghazi. And he said there is no evidence the Central Intelligence Agency had conspired with the White House to spin the Benghazi story to protect then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But he also wrote that the White House embellished some of the talking points provided by the CIA about the Benghazi attack, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in September 2012.

Morell's book, The Great War of Our Time, provides details of his thinking about the Benghazi attack and its aftermath that are the subject of congressional hearings that some in the Republican Party will likely use to criticize Clinton as the likely Democratic nominee runs for president.

Also on Sunday, The Washington Post published a story that focused on the failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to recognize that the al-Qaida terrorist network would rapidly retain strength in the Mideast amid the political turmoil across the region. The CIA told policymakers that the Arab Spring movement would “damage al-Qaida by undermining the group's narrative,” Morell wrote.

Morell was a career analyst who rose through the ranks before ending up in the position of deputy director. He served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

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