Catherine Herridge: Morell's Testimony on Benghazi 'Is a Body Blow' to Intel Operatives
Fox News' Chief Intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge has followed the Benghazi story since it happened, providing exclusive reports on what happened on the ground and what occurred within the Obama administration in the aftermath.
Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell has faced accusations that he downplayed, or even dismissed, the reporting of U.S. personnel on the ground in Libya, including the CIA chief of station. According to a Senate Intelligence Committee report, the station chief wrote to Morell and other CIA leadership on Sept. 15, 2012, emphasizing in an email that the attacks were "not an escalation of protests."
A day later then-U.N. Amb. Susan Rice went on national television and said the opposite.
Morell told lawmakers today that the statements by Rice were based on the "totality" of what the CIA's analysts had concluded.
"The judgment that the attacks evolved from a protest was fully consistent with the intelligence community's classified analysis at the time," said Morell, adding that the talking points underwent many changes within the CIA.
He also maintained that the White House had no part in editing the talking points.
Herridge called it "stunning" for Morell to side with the views of analysts in Washington over CIA operatives on the ground in Libya.
"For people who work in the intelligence community, Michael Morell's statement is a body blow to the officers who put their necks on the line in the field. Because the chief of station [is] considered the top job in many respects at the CIA because their word is gospel. Their job is to provide what they call in intelligence circles 'ground truth,'" she explained, adding that Morell's defense is "an extraordinary statement to make because this is not the way the CIA has operated in the past."
Watch Catherine's complete analysis above.