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 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.DONATE
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