Former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell is disputing Republican claims about the attack in Benghazi in his new book set to be released next week, The New York Times reports
In the book, "The Great War of Our Time,"
Morell says Republicans distorted the agency's analysis in their effort to criticize the White House's response to the attack and the role played by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Morell also said that the White House embellished the CIA report and argues in the book the agency should stop providing talking points that can be used for political purposes.
The agency's original analysis tied the attacks to protests against an anti-Islamic video produced in the United States, and then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows repeating that line. Further analysis showed that to be false.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the attack.
Morell believes the attacks occurred "with little or no advance planning" and "was not well organized." He also said the attackers "did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm. They appeared intent on looting and conducting some vandalism."
Morell also says in the book that the Obama administration repeatedly blocked him from sending an internal study of the CIA's conclusions to Congress.
"I finally did so without asking," he writes.
Morell disputes Republican claims that CIA officers were ordered to stand down and not aide their comrades who were under attack.
He also says there is "no evidence" of "a conspiracy between CIA and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton."
Also in the book, Morell talks about his findings as part of a panel looking into the National Security Agency leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden. He was surprised at the agency's vulnerability, but also at how advanced it had become at collecting information – even when it shouldn't have been doing so.
"The NSA had largely been collecting information because it could, not necessarily in all cases because it should," Morell wrote.
Morell is largely complimentary to the administrations of George W. Bush and Obama, the Times reports, though he says former Vice President Dick Cheney claimed a link between al-Qaida and Iraq that didn't actually exist.
He defended the Bush White House against claims it manufactured claims that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which led the United States into war with that country.
"The view that hard-liners in the Bush administration forced the intelligence community into its position on WMD is just flat wrong," he says. "No one pushed. The analysts were already there and they had been there for years, long before Bush came to office."
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