BBC Editor Mark Mardell on Friday admitted that he had all but dismissed allegations of a Benghazi cover-up before ABC’s bombshell report on the Benghazi talking points, which were deliberately edited to remove references to terror.
“This is now very serious, and I suspect heads will roll,” Mardell writes. “The White House will be on the defensive for a while.”
The BBC editor said ABC’s report on the talking points provide the “first hard evidence that the State Department did ask for changes to the CIA’s original assessment.” He predicted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will inevitably have to explain why her department made the significant edits.
“In the interests of full disclosure I have to say I have not in the past been persuaded that allegations of a cover-up were a big deal. It seemed to me a partisan attack based on very little,” Mardell admitted, later adding that the “evidence is there in black and white.”
He goes on: “Mr Obama’s critics are often not very clear what is behind their allegations. I presume they think that the White House wanted to avoid claims the murders were the result of terrorism because this would undermine his claim that al-Qaeda was seriously ‘degraded.’ There’s also a vague sense he’s ‘soft on terror.’”
Mardell also points out that the motive for changing the talking points is still unknown, but either way it is now clear that the State Department and apparently the White House did get the CIA to change its story.”
“This is now very serious, and I suspect heads will roll,” he concluded.
To read Mardell’s entire column, click here.
(H/T: Noah Rothman, Mediaite)