Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Benghazi Emails Show White House Effort to Protect Obama (pg.24: Benghazi select committee chair could be named Monday)

Posted by on Apr. 29, 2014 at 2:45 PM
  • 316 Replies



Benghazi Emails Show White House Effort to Protect Obama

Staff attempted to insulate president’s policies from criticism ahead of election

Susan Rice

Susan Rice / AP

BY:   

Previously unreleased internal Obama administration emails show that a coordinated effort was made in the days following the Benghazi terror attacks to portray the incident as “rooted in [an] Internet video, and not [in] a broader failure or policy.”

Emails sent by senior White House adviser Ben Rhodes to other top administration officials reveal an effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the attacks that killed four Americans.

Rhodes sent this email to top White House officials such as David Plouffe and Jay Carney just a day before National Security Adviser Susan Rice made her infamous Sunday news show appearances to discuss the attack.

The “goal,” according to these emails, was “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

Rice came under fierce criticism following her appearances on television after she adhered to these talking points and blamed the attack on a little-watched Internet video.

The newly released internal White House e-mails show that Rice’s orders came from top Obama administration communications officials.

“[W]e’ve made our views on this video crystal clear. The United States government had nothing to do with it,” Rhodes wrote in the email, which was released on Tuesday by the advocacy group Judicial Watch.

“We reject its message and its contents,” he wrote. “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.”

Rhodes also suggested that Rice tout Obama’s reputation as “steady and statesmanlike.”

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

Also contained in the 41 pages of documents obtained by Judicial Watch is a Sep. 12, 2012 email from Payton Knopf, the former deputy spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

In this communication, Knopf informs Rice that senior officials had already dubbed the Benghazi attack as “complex” and planned in advance. Despite this information, Rice still insisted that attacks were “spontaneous.”

The newly released cache of emails also appear to confirm that the CIA altered its original talking points on the attacks in the following days.

Then-CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell is identified as the person who heavily edited the critical fact sheet.

“The first draft apparently seemed unsuitable … because they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack on our embassy,” states one email. “Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy hand to editing them. He noted that he would be happy to work with [then deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton] Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to develop appropriate talking points.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that the emails show the White House was most concerned with insulating Obama.

“Now we know the Obama White House’s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good,” Fitton said in a statement. “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,” Fitton said.


"Hang on, let me send a PM to Jesus so he can join this name calling ignorance ...he's into that these days ...at least according to his peeps."
- sak

by on Apr. 29, 2014 at 2:45 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
VooDooB
by weird cheese on Apr. 29, 2014 at 2:46 PM

If this isn’t a smoking gun on Benghazi, at least on the controversy over the talking points that blamed a YouTube video rather than the terrorists who plotted and then conducted the attack, then it’s not clear what would qualify. Judicial Watche forced the release of additional White House e-mails relating to the evolution of the talking points and finds a rather bald-faced admission of Obama administration interests in Susan Rice’s television appearances the following Sunday. The YouTube story was designed to distract from “policy failures,” according to Barack Obama’s aide Ben Rhodes:

rhoades-email

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.

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.

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 Davie Plouffe.

That’s a rather extensive distribution list, and that prompts another question:

Didn’t the White House insist that they’d offered complete transparency to Congress and the public on the talking points? It was just eleven months ago that the White House claimed to have released their whole archive on the development of those talking points and accused the GOP of “doctoring” them to make their critical response look political. The Washington Post gave White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer three Pinocchios for that claim. Hopefully, Glenn Kessler has a few more Pinocchios in reserve, now that this bombshell has hit.

It’s possible to read this as an extension of a sincere belief that the video caused a riot which led to the attack. By the time this e-mail was written, there was plenty of evidence — even in the e-mail chain itself — to show that wasn’t the case, but let’s say for argument’s sake that Rhodes actually thought this argument was valid. The flip side of it is that, since it wasn’t an ad-hoc demonstration that turned into a riot, the takeaway should be that this was the result of “a broader failure or policy” from the Obama administration. Right?

VooDooB
by weird cheese on Apr. 29, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Benghazi emails suggest White House aide involved in prepping Rice for ‘video’ explanation

Sept. 13, 2012: A Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate after the attack that killed four Americans.AP

Newly released emails on the Benghazi terror attack suggest a senior White House aide played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her controversial Sunday show appearances -- where she wrongly blamed protests over an Internet video.

More than 100 pages of documents were released to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Among them was a Sept. 14, 2012, email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

The Rhodes email, with the subject line: "RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET," was sent to a dozen members of the administration's inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Press Secretary Jay Carney.  

In the email, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the anti-Islam Internet video, without distinguishing whether the Benghazi attack was different from protests elsewhere.

The email lists the following two goals, among others:  

"To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy."

"To reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges." 

The email goes on to state that the U.S. government rejected the message of the Internet video. "We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence," the email stated. 

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents read like a PR strategy, not an effort to provide the best available intelligence to the American people.

"The goal of the White House was to do one thing primarily, which was to make the president look good. Blame it on the video and not [the] president's policies," he said.

The Rhodes email was not part of the 100 pages of emails released by the administration last May -- after Republicans refused to move forward with the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director until the so-called "talking points" emails were made public.

The email is also significant because in congressional testimony in early April, former deputy CIA director Michael Morell told lawmakers it was Rice, in her Sunday show appearances, who linked the video to the Benghazi attack. Morell said the video was not part of the CIA analysis.

"My reaction was two-fold," Morell told members of the House Intelligence Committee, regarding her appearances. "One was that what she said about the attacks evolving spontaneously from a protest was exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed. When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that's not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to."

Incidentally, three leading Republicans on Monday night sent letters to the House and Senate foreign affairs committees asking them to compel the administration to explain who briefed Rice in advance of the Sunday talk shows and whether State Department or White House personnel were involved.

"How could former Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, during the five Sunday talk shows on September 16, 2012, claim that the attacks on our compounds were caused by a hateful video when Mr. Morell testified that the CIA never mentioned the video as a causal factor," said the letter, from Sens. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire; and John McCain, of Arizona.

The Sept. 14 Rhodes email does not indicate whether there was a "prep call" for Rice, as it suggests. If the call went ahead, it does not indicate who briefed her. Fox News has asked the White House if Rhodes prepped Rice for the Sunday shows, and, if he didn't, who did -- as well as what intelligence Rhodes relied upon. 

The newly released emails also show that on Sept. 27, 2012 a Fox News report -- titled "US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm" -- was circulated at the most senior levels of the administration. This included going to then-deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough; then-White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan; Morell; and Rhodes, among others, but the comments were redacted, citing "personal privacy information."

VooDooB
by weird cheese on Apr. 29, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Judicial Watch: Email ensuring ‘Obama looked good’ was post-Benghazi priority

Key communication chiefs at the White House waged an all-out strategy to rally behind President Obama and help him push the mantra that the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. facility in Benghazi were due to an Internet video — and not policy failure, a watchdog just revealed.

Key to the messaging: Making sure the president appeared strong in the face of adversity, the nonprofit Judicial Watch found, in a recently received FOIA request.

Judicial Watch found — after sifting through documents that were requested from the Department of State on June 21, 2013 — an email from Ben Rhodes, then-White House deputy strategic communications adviser, that showed he joined with others to devise a public relations campaign to “reinforce” Mr. Obama’s statements that an anti-Islam video spurred the attacks.

The main point of the White House team’s strategy was to paint the terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video and not a failure of policy,” Judicial Watch said in an emailed release. Meanwhile, the State Department — at the same time that message was being shaped — initially considered the incident simply an “attack,” and perhaps even a kidnap try, the watchdog said.

The email from Mr. Rhodes, dated Sept. 14, 2012, read in part: “Goal: … To underscore that these protests are rooted in [an] Internet video and not a broader failure or policy.”

Mr. Rhodes also went on, Judicial Watch reported: “[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.”

In the email, Mr. Rhodes also advises key White House and administration officials to make sure they presented Mr. Obama as “steady and statesmanlike” whenever speaking of the crisis. Another “goal,” he said, in his email, was to “reinforce the president and administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges,” Judicial Watch reported.

The recipients of the email included White House press secretary Jay Carney and then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, along with several others, Judicial Watch said.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the latest email only proves that the White House’s main concern in the wake of the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead was image — more than truth.

“Now we know that Obama White House’s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good,” he said in a statement.

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, died in the terror attack.



Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/29/email-ensuring-obama-looked-good-was-post-benghazi/#ixzz30Iouyhmf 
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

VooDooB
by weird cheese on Apr. 29, 2014 at 2:47 PM
1 mom liked this

I used a few different sources just for argument sakes.

"Hang on, let me send a PM to Jesus so he can join this name calling ignorance ...he's into that these days ...at least according to his peeps."
- sak

VooDooB
by weird cheese on Apr. 29, 2014 at 2:59 PM




Naughty naughty!




Fox: Email Reveals Obama Advisor Urged Rice to Blame Video for Benghazi

VIDEO471

On Tuesday, an email obtained by the government watchdog Judicial Watch revealed that a senior American advisor informed then National Security Advisor Susan Rice to emphasize that the deadly 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya was the result of a spontaneous protest arising from an inflammatory YouTube video. Transcripts later revealed that senior defense officials had informed the administration on the night of the assault that the event was a “terrorist attack.” 

Fox’s intel correspondent Catherine Herridge reported that a September 14 emails links White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes advised Rice to focus on the YouTube video during her appearances on a variety of Sunday morning news programs:

Among the goals Rhodes outlined for Rice was for her “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy


Billiejeens
by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2014 at 3:49 PM
2 moms liked this

No one cares.

He is (half) black.

He has immunity from all wrongs.

Probably best to simply move on.

VooDooB
by weird cheese on Apr. 29, 2014 at 3:54 PM
3 moms liked this

No way. Not moving on. This is the "most transparent administration in history" and I want to know why no one cares about this HUGE cover-up. This LIE. Why the lie? Can any Obama supporter answer this?

(being half-black doesn't have anything to do with my post - just to be clear. I don't care what color BO is. I want some truth.)

"Hang on, let me send a PM to Jesus so he can join this name calling ignorance ...he's into that these days ...at least according to his peeps."
- sak

Billiejeens
by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2014 at 4:01 PM

 Maybe not.

But it means everything to them.

Quoting VooDooB:

No way. Not moving on. This is the "most transparent administration in history" and I want to know why no one cares about this HUGE cover-up. This LIE. Why the lie? Can any Obama supporter answer this?

(being half-black doesn't have anything to do with my post - just to be clear. I don't care what color BO is. I want some truth.)

 

VooDooB
by weird cheese on Apr. 29, 2014 at 4:05 PM

So what do you think about the new Benghazi development? What do you think will come of this?

Quoting Billiejeens:

 Maybe not.

But it means everything to them.

Quoting VooDooB:

No way. Not moving on. This is the "most transparent administration in history" and I want to know why no one cares about this HUGE cover-up. This LIE. Why the lie? Can any Obama supporter answer this?

(being half-black doesn't have anything to do with my post - just to be clear. I don't care what color BO is. I want some truth.)



"Hang on, let me send a PM to Jesus so he can join this name calling ignorance ...he's into that these days ...at least according to his peeps."
- sak

Billiejeens
by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2014 at 4:07 PM
2 moms liked this

 Nothing.

He has the shield of Blackability.

(honestly, we just have to wait this out, you could have video of Obama walking out to the White House fence and shooting a kid in the head and his supporters would deny, or justify it.)

Quoting VooDooB:

So what do you think about the new Benghazi development? What do you think will come of this?

Quoting Billiejeens:

 Maybe not.

But it means everything to them.

Quoting VooDooB:

No way. Not moving on. This is the "most transparent administration in history" and I want to know why no one cares about this HUGE cover-up. This LIE. Why the lie? Can any Obama supporter answer this?

(being half-black doesn't have anything to do with my post - just to be clear. I don't care what color BO is. I want some truth.)

 

 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)