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CBS NEWS is reporting that the Office of the DNI edited out “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” references in the talking points Ambassador Rice utilized on the Sunday shows on September 16th. So it’s important to ask just how dense is Senator McCain on how these things work even after decades in the Senate parading around as the Republican Party’s go to guy on national security?

CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan’s source won’t say who exactly made the final edits, which were approved and signed off on by all intelligence agencies. From CBS:

“The points were not, as has been insinuated by some, edited to minimize the role of extremists, diminish terrorist affiliations, or play down that this was an attack,” the official tells CBS News, adding that there were “legitimate intelligence and legal issues to consider, as is almost always the case when explaining classified assessments publicly.”

“Most people understand that saying ‘extremists’ were involved in a direct assault on the mission isn’t shying away from the idea of terrorist involvement,” added the official. “Because of the various elements involved in the attack, the term extremist was meant to capture the range of participants.”

The slap at anyone not understanding the full import of Rice’s declassified talking points, which includes McCain, Graham, 97 Republicans members of the House, along with Megyn Kelly, Jennifer Griffin, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly on Fox News Channel, as well as many others, was made clear later in the CBS report.

Another source, a senior U.S. official familiar with the drafting of the talking points, tells CBS News the “controversy this word choice has caused came as a surprise.”

“The points were not, as has been insinuated by some, edited to minimize the role of extremists, diminish terrorist affiliations, or play down that this was an attack,” the official tells CBS News, adding that there were “legitimate intelligence and legal issues to consider, as is almost always the case when explaining classified assessments publicly.”

“Most people understand that saying ‘extremists’ were involved in a direct assault on the mission isn’t shying away from the idea of terrorist involvement,” added the official. “Because of the various elements involved in the attack, the term extremist was meant to capture the range of participants.”

The Maddow video above highlights some classic Republican foreign policy fumbling, though as usual Ms. Maddow takes a long time to get to the point, which starts at around 7 minutes, though she “cuts to the chase” on John McCain after that.

McCain has behaved abominably by ginning up a controversy over Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments, getting very personal while doing it, when the subject should be why the Benghazi consulate was allowed to remain without adequate security in the first place, after it was made clear that the danger point was rising to a critical level.

In the furor surrounding Sen. John McCain’s temper tantrum and Sen. Lindsay Graham’s high pitched squeals, this is what’s gone missing.

It’s fitting that the one at the end who loses the most is John McCain. What a sad, vindictive old man he’s become.