All that spin from Obama apologists, gone in an instant. All those questions about the original of the false “video protest” narrative pushed by the White House to save Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, answered at a stroke. Yes, it was all a lie, and the White House knew it. They ordered it, for blatantly political purposes, and kept the proof secret until Judicial Watch finally managed to uncover some long-suppressed correspondence with a Freedom of Information Act request. Remember when our gigantic, well-funded mainstream media organizations used to conduct that kind of investigation, instead of just obediently passing along the President’s talking points?
None of these documents are exactly “shocking,” because they buttress exactly what critics of the Administration have been saying all along. It’s another great example of Obama’s strategy for political survival by “winning,” or at least enduring, one news cycle at a time. Bombshell revelations lose their explosive force over time. Emails that would have ended the 2012 presidential campaign are now a historical footnote. The Obama-friendly mainstream press is unlikely to bring the story they’ve been trying to bury for the past two years back to the front pages, just to inform their readers that all of spin they previously delivered was invalid. Critics of President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were 100 percent right all along… but as the latter so memorably put it, “what difference, at this point, does it make?”
From the Judicial Watch press release:
Judicial Watch announced today that on April 18, 2014, it obtained 41 new Benghazi-related State Department documents. They include a newly declassified email showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to ???reinforce??? President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being ???rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.??? Other documents show that State Department officials initially described the incident as an ???attack,??? a possible kidnap attempt.
Precisely as we always expected. The Administration had to deceive us about what happened in Benghazi, because to admit the truth would have burned Obama’s national security credibility away to ashes, right in the middle of his re-election campaign. He didn’t want stories about how al-Qaeda was alive and kicking, how the State Department unbelievably dropped the ball on security in a terrorist hot zone… or for that matter, the simple fact that parts of Libya are terrorist hot zones. The American people, and the families of the Benghazi dead, were lied to, for the most crass political reasons imaginable.
We also got to enjoy a tortured discussions about how the American commitment to freedom of speech might have to be curtailed, to avoid further “spontaneous video protests” – including an address from President Obama to the United Nations – for no good reason at all. We went through all that because Obama’s political operation couldn’t admit one of our ambassadors was killed in a planned terrorist strike.
The star document obtained by Judicial Watch is an email from White House spinmeister Ben Rhodes to numerous Administration communications officials, listing one of its crucial goals as “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” They make a big deal about the importance of shoring up the Spontaneous Video Protest narrative and denouncing the scapegoat video in the strongest possible terms: “[W]e???ve made our views on this video crystal clear. The United States government had nothing to do with it. We reject its message and its contents. We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence. And we are working to make sure that people around the globe hear that message.”
There’s a lot of garbage about the importance of convincing the American people that Obama “provides leadership that is steady and statesmanlike.” The actual truth, which these people knew, was a severe impediment to that goal.
And yes, then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was very much in on the deception. She wasn’t some hapless dupe. The emails obtained by Judicial Watch make it clear she was told that the consulate in Benghazi was hit by a coordinated attack – she was told that during the attack – but she marched onto every single Sunday talk show to claim it was a “spontaneous” protest inspired by protests against the hated video in Cairo.
Imagine these emails had been revealed during the 2012 election – say, right after “moderator” Candy Crowley saved Obama’s bacon during the second presidential debate. Imagine the American people knew then what we know now.
Imagine these emails had been handed over to congressional investigators during their Benghazi hearings, back when the White House was bragging about its full cooperation and transparency. The Administration and its shills invested a great deal of effort during those hearings to deny exactly what these emails demonstrate. Apparently that wasn’t a news cycle they thought they could afford to “lose,” either.
Or, if you like, compare the disaster Obama’s foreign policy has made of the entire world since the 2012 election to the email conversation between his media operatives in the days after September 11, 2012. There’s a certain consistency running from Susan Rice’s talking points, through Obama’s “red line” embarrassment in Syria, to the Administration’s belief that a Twitter hashtag might shame the Russians into leaving Ukraine alone. They keep trying to reshape the world with media manipulation, but that doesn’t work outside of the media environment provided to them by domestic “journalists.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton summed up his organizations’ new findings: “Now we know the Obama White House???s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good. And these documents undermine the Obama administration???s narrative that it thought the Benghazi attack had something to do with protests or an Internet video. Given the explosive material in these documents, it is no surprise that we had to go to federal court to pry them loose from the Obama State Department.”
Not to detract from your achievement in any way, Mr. Fitton, but I find myself wondering why you had to go to federal court to get these documents from the Obama State Department.
Update: Here’s White House Spokesman Jay Carney claiming, in May 2013, that the White House only made one change to the Benghazi talking points. Carney was on the distribution list of the emails Judicial Watch just uncovered.
Update: Roger L. Simon at PJ Media thinks these new emails have “made a full investigation with an impeachment trial necessary for the protection of our Republic.”
“The levels of criminality involved in this are mind-boggling,” adds Simon. “Everyone from Ben Rhodes to Hillary Clinton to Jay Carney to Susan Rice to Mike Morell to Barack Obama and on and on must explain themselves minute-by-minute. American ‘liberals’ and their media consorts should search their souls. People died here.”
I suspect the White House spin shop would prove to be Barack Obama’s last line of defense against impeachment – he’ll claim he only repeated what they told him, and he didn’t personally supervise what his media people were doing. A few of them would probably have to fall on their swords to protect him. Is this level of deception a criminal offense? That would depend on how many statements made under oath by Obama’s team could now be prosecuted as perjury. Jay Carney’s lying into a camera in the clip above, but he’s not under oath. I suspect various committees will soon be reviewing their transcripts to see how the statements of people on Ben Rhodes’ distribution list line up with their testimony.
Update: And then there’s this angle to consider:
Just to recap: Ben Rhodes, Obama admin official and brother of CBS News president, was involved in crafting the bogus #Benghazi talking pts
??? RB (@RBPundit) April 29, 2014
THEN, Ben Rhodes’ brother, the CBS news President, undermined @SharylAttkisson‘s coverage of Benghazi at CBS.
??? RB (@RBPundit) April 29, 2014