Benghazi emails released; Petraeus disliked talking points
WASHINGTON — Then-CIA-Director David Petraeus objected to the final talking points the Obama administration used after the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, because he wanted to see more details revealed to the public, according to emails released Wednesday by the White House.
Under pressure in the investigation that continues eight months after the attacks, the White House on Wednesday released 99 pages of emails and a single page of hand-written notes made by Petraeus’ deputy, Mike Morell, after a meeting at the White House on Saturday, Sept. 15. On that page, Morell scratched out from the CIA’s early drafts of talking points mentions of al-Qaida, the experience of fighters in Libya, Islamic extremists and a warning to the Cairo embassy on the eve of the attacks of calls for a demonstration and break-in by jihadists.
Petraeus apparently was displeased by the removal of so much of the material his analysts initially had proposed for release. The talking points were sent to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to prepare her for an appearance on news shows on Sunday, Sept. 16, and to members of the House Intelligence Committee.
“No mention of the cable to Cairo, either?” Petraeus wrote after receiving Morell’s edited version. “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this, then.”
Petreaus’ email comes at the end of extensive back-and-forth between officials at the CIA, White House, State Department and other agencies weighing in on a public explanation for the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans
Jurors: Jodi Arias eligible for execution
PHOENIX — The same jury that convicted Jodi Arias of first-degree murder last week took three hours Wednesday to determine she is eligible for the death penalty in the killing of her one-time lover.
The swift verdict sets the stage for the final phase of the trial to determine whether the 32-year-old Arias should be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty for the 2008 murder of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home.
Prosecutors will call Alexander’s family and other witnesses in an effort to convince the panel Arias should face the ultimate punishment. Arias’ defense lawyers will have her family members testify, and likely others who have known her over the years, in an attempt to gain sympathy from jurors to save her life.
Arias showed no emotion Wednesday after the jury returned a decision that was widely expected given the violent nature of the killing. She slashed Alexander’s throat, stabbed him in the heart and shot him in the forehead after a day of sex at his home in June 2008. The victim suffered a total of nearly 30 knife wounds in what prosecutors described as an attack fueled by jealous rage after Alexander wanted to end his affair with Arias.
By wire sources