Some additional information came out this week about Benghazi. What we thought we knew, there is now evidence to show, with some more who and why questions still unanswered.
The new piece of information was a memo, received through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch. The memo shows talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice for five days after the Benghazi attack. And we now know the White House was the source for the suggestion that she emphasize that the attack was in response to a specific anti-Muslim video.
This is from the memo (emphasis mine):
To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad.
To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not in a broader policy failure.
To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice and standing steadfast through these protests.
To reinforce the Presidents and Administration’s strength and steadfastness in dealing with difficult challenges.
We’ve talked about that piece of information, about the video, since right after the event—how puzzling it was, because everyone knew it wasn’t true. It was clearly known in real time, during the attack, that it was a terrorist attack, probably from Al-Qaeda-related sources. Military and Intelligence sources knew it was a terrorist attack, and said so. Nothing in any of their correspondence brought up the possibility of this obscure video being involved at all.
There was no spontaneous uprising to begin with. That had to be made up. And somebody who thought it was necessary to make that up also saw the need for an impetus for such a fictional spontaneous uprising—which was the service this video served.
We know the White House mentioned the video the first time the day before the September 11 attack, when there was a demonstration in Egypt, which had been announced ahead of time, declared as an attempt to get the release of the Blind Sheik. Up to that point, this video had been viewed only 17 times; actors in the video hadn’t all bothered to see it. That video would still be obscure without the White House’s advertisement. Had anyone at that Egyptian protest seen the video? With so few views online up to that point, certainly not enough to cause an uprising.
An additional detail in the timeline to come out this week is that, sometime after a 10:00 PM phonecall between Secretary of State Clinton and the president, Clinton began mentioning the video as a cause—even though the State Department had, again, real time information to the contrary. We don’t know where Hillary was the rest of that night. And we don’t know where the president was the rest of that night—although we do now know for certain he was not in the situation room carefully following events as they unfolded.
The president mentioned the video in his first speech after the attack, the Rose Garden speech. Susan Rice mentioned it the following Sunday, September 16, in no less than five talk shows. Hillary Clinton referred to the video as the reason for the Benghazi protest uprising on September 13 and 14, 2012. Jay Carney made the claim in a press briefing September 14. Some two weeks later, at a memorial service for the Marines who were killed in Benghazi, separately the president, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice “consoled” the parents by saying they were sorry about that video that caused all the trouble, and they were seeing to it that the perpetrator was put to justice.
One might think that, during the 24 hours surrounding the attack, there might be some wild speculation about other possible causes. But by 48 hours after, it stretches credulity to believe anyone involved had any reason to believe the attack was other than the terrorist attack that it was. To repeat the video lie can only be purposeful. But to what purpose?
We know placement of the idea of the video as cause was a lie invented by someone. We now know, as a result of the memo, the source of that someone was a White House source. We don’t know yet the individual—but we do know that one of the White House employees involved in the constructing of the talking points for Susan Rice was Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser. He also happens to be the brother of David Rhodes, President of CBS News, which news source has been notably silent on this rather large piece of news. Coincidence?
Anyway, we don’t know whether Ben Rhodes was the original source of the video lie, but we do know that he knew it was purposely emphasized in the talking points to Susan Rice, and that emphasis came from nowhere but the White House.
Additional questions continue to swirl around the reasons for 1) failure to respond ahead to requests for additional security, 2) failure during the attack to provide rescue, and 3) failure afterward to state clearly what was known—that it was a terrorist attack by Al Qaeda-related sources.
Jay Carney is an interesting piece of work. It’s hard to wrap my head around someone wishing to take on the job of being the official liar for the White House. Carney simply lies in the face of all evidence to the contrary—and he does it with condescension, just like the president would if he were doing it himself. There was an eight-minute exchange the other day, with Carney trying to claim that the reason the memo wasn’t released a year ago, with 140 other pages, was that it didn’t seem relevant, since it was about—not Benghazi—but about general unrest in the Middle East.
|White House Press Spokesperson Jay Carney|
image from here
Guy Benson of Townhall takes relish in dissecting the slimy lies Carney was forced to tell in his briefing, under questioning by ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl. The memo, which came out of a FOIA request specifically for Benghazi related talking points, wasn’t handed over last year, according to Carney, because the memo wasn’t related to Benghazi. It was talking points for Susan Rice to use in response to questions she would be asked five days after the Benghazi attacks, and a portion of the memo was subheaded Benghazi, in bold type. Carney clearly has his job because lying is his preferred form of communication.
We still don’t know who, specifically, invented the video lie. As for the reasons for that lie and others, and the failures to respond, the best source this week was from The Blaze TV news program For the Record, 4-30-2014. It requires subscription, but you can use your free two-week trial to see it. I hope more details come out in the future, but there is evidence (as was speculated that first month in 2012) that it was about arming Al-Qaeda-related rebels, and Ambassador Stevens was used in those negotiations. There’s a name, now, for the operation: “Zero Footprint.”
One more question: what would our country, and the world, look like today if truth had been known prior to the November 2012 election?