At some point in the process — [David] Petraeus told lawmakers he was not sure where — objections were raised to naming the groups, and the less specific word “extremists” was substituted.Including Mr. Petraeus, who had the motivation of trying to keep his job, which he was deprived of immediately after the election. Now, he has the motivation of trying to regain his honor.
“The fact is, the reference to Al Qaeda was taken out somewhere along the line by someone outside the intelligence community,” Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican, said after the House hearing. “We need to find out who did it and why.”...
Democrats said Mr. Petraeus made it clear the change had not been done for political reasons to aid Mr. Obama. “The general was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California.
Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, said that Mr. Petraeus explained to lawmakers that the final document was put in front of all the senior agency leaders, including Mr. Petraeus, and everyone signed off on it.
Ms. Feinstein, read the final unclassified talking points to reporters:
“The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.
“This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.
“The investigation is ongoing, and the U.S. government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of U.S. citizens.”