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Judicial Watch: Benghazi Email Trail Leads to White House

Judicial Watch: Benghazi Email Trail Leads to White House

Confirmed: WH pushes video story to protect the president and his failed policies

Last week, I wrote about the emails uncovered by Judicial Watch related to Hillary’s clear knowledge, the night of the Benghazi attack, that it was a terror attack unrelated to the video she publicly blamed for starting a protest.

Emails involving the false video story lead directly to the White House and were a coordinated attempt to focus blame on the video rather than on Obama’s failed policies.

Judicial Watch reported in 2014:

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” and a possible kidnap attempt.

The documents were released Friday as result of a June 21, 2013, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the Department of State (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00951)) to gain access to documents about the controversial talking points used by then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice for a series of appearances on television Sunday news programs on September 16, 2012.  Judicial Watch had been seeking these documents since October 18, 2012.

At the time that Susan Rice was making the Sunday talk show rounds espousing the absurd claim that a video had prompted the coordinated attack on the Benghazi compound, many people wondered why it was she, UN ambassador at the time, and not Hillary Clinton, then-Secretary of State and therefore brutally murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens’ boss.  Rice claimed that Hillary was “too tired” to make the talk show rounds.

Politico previously posited that Hillary had refused to do the Sunday talk show circuit to push the false video story for two reasons: one, she hates doing them even under the best of circumstances, and two, to protect her own political future. The latter seems a likely factor.  After all, it’s easier to explain away her statements about the video when she was standing next to her boss, Obama, as he made the same false statements than to explain away the lies Rice repeatedly told on five different talk shows (and that cost Rice the position of Secretary of State).

Judicial Watch has more about the White House’s role in the Benghazi video lie:

The Rhodes email was sent on sent on Friday, September 14, 2012, at 8:09 p.m. with the subject line:  “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”  The documents show that the “prep” was for Amb. Rice’s Sunday news show appearances to discuss the Benghazi attack.

The document lists as a “Goal”: “To underscore that these protests are rooted in and Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

Rhodes returns to the “Internet video” scenario later in the email, the first point in a section labeled “Top-lines”:

[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.

Among the top administration PR personnel who received the Rhodes memo were White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.

It is inconceivable that all of these people knew of the Susan Rice “prep” and the blatantly false talking points she was being spoon fed yet Obama himself was not informed.

The Rhodes communications strategy email also instructs recipients to portray Obama as “steady and statesmanlike” throughout the crisis. Another of the “Goals” of the PR offensive, Rhodes says, is “[T]o reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.” He later includes as a PR “Top-line” talking point:

I think that people have come to trust that President Obama provides leadership that is steady and statesmanlike. There are always going to be challenges that emerge around the world, and time and again, he has shown that we can meet them.

The truth behind the deaths of four Americans at the hands of Islamic terrorists was not of concern to the White House; their primary interest in the wake of the Benghazi terror attack was ensuring that Obama appeared “steady and statesmanlike.”

As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton notes, “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.”

Watch the report:

Note: We have modified the language of the post to make clear this Judicial Watch report was from 2014 not currently.


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MattMusson | May 1, 2016 at 2:41 pm

And no one will be held accountable.

I just hope that after the revolution – Rhodes is held accountable.

We could have video of Hillary and Obama laughing while dropping puppies into wood chippers and the MSM and Democratic Party wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

(Oh, we do have audio and video of Hillary laughing about helping a rapist go free, and of Obama laughing about the shovel ready jobs that didn’t exist. Crickets then, too.)

    TX-rifraph in reply to windbag. | May 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    “…MSM and Democratic Party wouldn’t bat an eyelid.”

    I think that is because the MSM is an integral part of the Democrat Party. The job of the MSM is to push the false narratives of the Democrats. Truth is anathema to a Democrat/leftist.

The JW report is two years old. Why is this news now?

    57nomad in reply to MTED. | May 1, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    “This week we learn, again from Judicial Watch, that emails involving the false video story lead directly to the White House and were a coordinated attempt to focus blame on the video rather than on Obama’s failed policies.”

    The story says one week.

      MTED in reply to 57nomad. | May 1, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      I know, but the linked JW report was published on their site in 2014. It’s not clear (at least to me) what additional information has been revealed in the interim.

        gulfbreeze in reply to MTED. | May 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        Apparently, in the author’s own words, they’re saying “we” learned about the 2 year old JW story. Even the links they provide shows that everyone that read the Daily Mail in late 2012 or Politico in early 2013 knew about the backstory then.

        You can file it under LI’s “In case you’ve been asleep the last 4 years…” section.

Ragspierre | May 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm

There was never the slightest doubt. Romney was right all along, and he should have pressed this.

First reaction was that it was about the election.

Nothing has caused that to change.

It has been plain since the notorious Sunday talk shows by patsy Susan Rice that this was never more that a ruse to cover up the fact that Obama’s insistence that al Qaeda had been defeated and no longer was a threat was nothing more than talk. al Qaeda was alive and well and killing Americans on 9/11. But the election was in less than two months, so they did what comes naturally for them, they lied.

But there’s more. Besides lying through their teeth to the American people, Hillary Clinton lied to the parents of the slaughtered heroes. When the parents objected to being lied to, Hillary then CALLED THE PARENTS LIARS!!

A more depraved act by an American politician is impossible to recall. Hillary Clinton is beneath human contempt and has no place in public life whatsoever let alone as president of the great American people.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

I confess to being presumptuous in this regard, but, I called “BS” on the Administration’s proffered explanation for the Benghazi fiasco in 2012, as soon as the rationale was being put forth that the attack had been a response to an obscure video. I thought it was fairly obvious to anyone with a modicum of objectivity that Obozo and his lackeys were desperate to spin this unmitigated foreign policy disaster, which threatened Obozo’s re-election bid and contradicted his self-congratulatory campaign tour in which he all but brandished bin Laden’s scalp as a trophy, while claiming to have effectively dismantled al Qaeda.

That Obozo and his Administration — who have always sought to deflect blame for their substantial and numerous policy failures — would not hesitate to engage in unabashed mendacity and deceit for the sake of political self-preservation should surprise no one.

Obama looks baked in that photo. He looks baked a lot these days.

The protest in Cairo had been planned for months, although they did use the Egyptian National TV (at the time controlled by Obama’s pal Morsi, who had also released one of the leaders of the Benghazi attack from prison weeks earlier) broadcast of the video the night before to boost turnout at our Embassy. But only the few Libyan households that got Egypt TV would have seen it.

Besides, “spontaneous” demonstrators neither carry mortars nor possess the skill to target them in minutes at night. There was no demonstration, the attackers didn’t even pretend to be demonstrators.

What is amazing is that it isn’t that they lie and do so with such frequency, rather that they lie so poorly. Even more amazing is, despite how blatant and transparent these lies are, so many in the public believe them. Most astonishing of all is that there will be no consequences for Obama and the Democrats will do all they can to defend Hillary from these lies. We are truly earning the horrific government we have elected and are about to elect.

What are the odds that Obama was desperately looking for an excuse to release the Gitmo Five? What Obama was unable to get from Benghazi he was able to get from Bergdoll.

Bitterlyclinging | May 2, 2016 at 9:22 am

“Let’s just push the video, win the election, then let Ben’s brother and our other friends clean up the mess afterwards if needed. What’s the big deal?”
The Democratic Party of today is a wholly owned and operated CAIR subsidiary.
No other person in history has ever been better prepared by birth, bloodline, and upbringing to topple the Republic and shred the Constitution than Buraq Hussein Obama.

2nd Ammendment Mother | May 2, 2016 at 4:34 pm

I’ll always believe it was a “wag the dog” plan to have the Ambassador “kidnapped” and swapped for the Blind Sheikh allowing Obama to show off his smart diplomacy with terrorists and give Morsi what he’d been asking for for several months.

My tin hat is so pretty….

Shrillary Shroooooooooo’s blaming the riots in Libya and Egypt on an obscure video that very few people had even seen was a cynical test to see if it just might work to suggest that freedom of speech and expression is way too dangerous to be left to the hoi polloi.