The Patriot Post® · Benghazi: The Cover-up of the Cover-up
“It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition.” –Thomas Jefferson (1785)
One year ago, The Patriot Post published an investigative piece identifying the key players who altered the Benghazi talking points. It was a brazen charade to provide Barack Hussein Obama political cover just ahead of the 2012 presidential election.
A foundational pillar of Obama’s re-election campaign was promoting the myth that he was a great statesman, having killed Osama bin Laden and having made the nation and world safe from Islamic terror groups like al-Qa'ida.
However, on September 11, 2012, just eight weeks before the presidential election, a highly organized terrorist attack claimed the lives of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans: Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. This brazen attack threatened to derail Obama’s muscular foreign policy façade, so his White House spin machine – funded by taxpayers and not campaign donations – set about to alter the Benghazi talking points. In doing so, they hoped to provide Obama with vital political cover, thereby ensuring that the debacle didn’t tip the balance in a very tight presidential race.
We wrote then, “State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland warned that the original CIA talking points ‘could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that?’ We believe that Nuland and Ben Rhodes, who is Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, were the key conspirators in the talking point alterations, though the Rhodes alterations were certainly signed off by someone much further up the White House chain of command. If sufficient evidence is ever uncovered to implicate Rhodes and Nuland, they will likely become Obama’s ‘cutouts,’ who will be encouraged to ‘fall on their swords’ in order to provide Obama plausible deniability.”
We also wrote, “The primary CIA architect of the politically motivated alteration of the Benghazi narrative was undoubtedly then-CIA Deputy Director, Michael J. Morell, who has deep ties to former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and is vying for a key post in her administration if she is victorious in 2016. Morell claims that the talking points were sent to the White House for informational purposes only, and nothing was ‘produced with any political agenda in mind.’ But it is clear from our sources, that Morell, Nuland and Rhodes all had a hand in altering the talking points with the specific objective of providing political cover for Obama and Clinton.”
This week, the assertions in our analysis last year have been vindicated.
On Tuesday, as a result of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, Obama White House staff released a briefing email, which exposes the conspiracy to alter the Benghazi talking points ahead of scheduled media appearances by Obama’s UN Ambassador Susan Rice, during which she asserted that “protests over an Internet video” resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and his security personnel – that it was not a highly organized act of Islamist terrorism.
On September 14, 2012, three days after the Benghazi attack (despite the fact that CIA operatives on the ground said the attack had nothing to do with an Internet video, a claim that was clear to all concerned), Ben Rhodes drafted and sent a key talking points memo on Benghazi to top White House officials including 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 Davie Plouffe.
That email was entitled “PREP CALL with Susan,” as in Susan Rice.
The memo noted the “Goal” was to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy,” and instructs the recipients to portray Obama as “steady and statesmanlike” and to “reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
Though she clearly knew this was not the truth, Rice repeated this assertion in five TV news interviews in one day: “What happened this week in Benghazi was a result, a direct result, of a heinous and offensive video….”
There are two key questions this White House fabrication raises.
First, who provided and signed off on Ben Rhodes’ Benghazi talking point lies to protect Obama’s re-election campaign?
Second, who authorized the cover-up of Rhodes’ cover-up by redacting the emails sent to congressional investigators in order to conceal the fact that the Benghazi lies originated in the White House?
In retrospect, for more context of the gravity of this cover-up, let’s review what has been said to advance the Obama administration cover-up.
Three days after the attack, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood in front of the flag-draped caskets of four dead Americans and asserted, “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that, because it is senseless and totally unacceptable.” Clinton shamelessly assured Charles Woods, the father of slain former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, “We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.”
Two weeks after the Benghazi attack, Obama himself told the UN General Assembly, “That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”
In November 2012, just before the election, and seven weeks after receiving Rhodes’ talking points, Jay Carney declared, “It has been repeatedly said by some of the critics on this issue that the White House provided talking points and that has been categorically refuted not just by us but by the intelligence community and yet it is still periodically said on the air, um, and it’s just wrong. The White House involvement and any changes made to the so-called talking points was extremely minimal and non-substantive.”
Carney also insisted, “The unrest around the region has been in response to this video. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”
In January 2013, responding to Senate Foreign Relations Committee questions about the altered talking points, Clinton rebutted in anger, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
The difference, of course, is that we know she and Obama were lying.
In May 2013, Obama said, “The whole issue of this, uh, of talking points frankly throughout this process has been a sideshow.”
That month, Carney insisted again, “The only edits made here at the White House were stylistic and non-substantive. They corrected the description of the building, or the facility in Benghazi, from consulate to diplomatic facility and the like.”
Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State, John Kerry, who as you recall launched Obama into the national limelight by featuring him as the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democrat Convention, lamented, “I hate to see it turned into a pure, prolonged, political process that really doesn’t tell us anything new about the facts.”
Clearly it is Obama who fabricated this lie and turned it “into a pure, prolonged, political process.”
As late as February of this year, Susan Rice insisted, “that information, uh, turned out in some respects not to be 100% correct, but the notion that somehow I, or anyone else in the administration, misled the American people, is patently false and I think that’s been amply demonstrated.”
Clearly it was not “100% correct” but, rather, 100% fabricated.
Let me now pose a third question about this White House fabrication: Does anyone believe that Barack Obama was not fully aware of the first cover-up, and then the cover-up of that cover-up?
Obama mastered the “Art of the BIG Lie” long before he had presidential aspirations, but the Benghazi cover-up, and the subsequent cover-up of that cover-up, is a terrible affront to the memory of four dead Americans and a grievous insult to their friends and families.
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.”
According to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rhodes’ email is “a smoking gun proving beyond any doubt that the story told by the administration about Benghazi was politically motivated and fabricated.” That assessment is now echoed by other Republicans.
So, is there enough journalistic integrity remaining in the Leftmedia to call Obama out on this conspiracy and follow the chain of command to the top? Probably not – I suspect they will just yawn and move on. The MSM has substituted style for substance, and most of their consumers have swallowed the bait.
For the record, in 1972, Richard Nixon did not know about the politically-motivated plan to break into DNC headquarters at the Watergate. However, once the burglary plan pointed toward White House staff, Nixon DID know about White House staff efforts to fabricate political cover so it would not undermine Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign. Notably, that political cover did not involve the murder of a U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans. The question now, as Sen. Howard Baker famously asked during the Senate Watergate investigation two years after the break-in: “What did the President know and when did he know it?” When that question was answered, Nixon had the decency to resign rather than put the nation through an impeachment trial.
Investigative journalists with The Washington Post played a key role in exposing that White House cover-up to protect Nixon in advance of his re-election campaign. Where are they today?
And finally, a couple of footnotes.
First, The Washington Post, in a profile on Ben Rhodes, described him as a “straight shooter.”
In that profile, Rhodes told the Post, “I very much wanted to be a fiction writer.”
Apparently, he became just that.
Rhodes is the author of Obama’s opening apology tour speeches in Berlin and to the Muslim world in Cairo. He also wrote Obama’s Afghanistan retreat speech and his acceptance speech for that utterly unearned Nobel Peace Prize.
And second, a month before the 2012 election and amid the presidential candidate debates, we sent our “Grassroots Memo to Mitt Romney” to his campaign communications director in order to provide critical grassroots perspective on the issues WE needed Romney to address.
Key among the issues we insisted he should address in the last debate, we wrote, “Some of the 24-hour news recyclers are asking question about the Benghazi, Libya attack, but have yet to ask the right questions. … Obama and his key administrators insisted that protests over a web video led to attack in Libya, knowing full well that it was actually a well-executed terrorist assault. This obfuscation clearly was, and remains, a political calculation in advance of his re-election, to sustain the façade that Obama is a ‘statesman’ and wise Commander in Chief.”
We know Romney’s communications director received our memo, and she and her staff summarily ignored it – and the rest, as they say, is history.
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