Not News at AP, NYT or Politico: Benghazi Emails Showing WH Orchestration of 'It's the Video's Fault' Meme

This afternoon (late morning Pacific Time), Roger Simon at PJ Media had several reactions to the latest developments in the Benghazi saga, as new evidence surfaced of a White House "effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the attacks that killed four Americans." Simon's press-related assertion: "We will now see if there is even a figment of honesty in our mainstream media ..."

Though it's still early (but just barely), it's not looking good, my friend. Matt Hadro at NewsBusters indicated as much earlier tonight in noting that the TV networks have thus far ignored the news. Later, I'll show that other key online establishment press sources are also ignoring this bombshell story.


Emails Judicial Watch finally pried from the administration's hands show, as highlighted in a JW post which appears, based on comments, to have gone up shortly after noon today, show "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.'" This orchestration occurred even though "Other documents show that State Department officials initially described the incident as an 'attack' and a possible kidnap attempt."

Adam Kredo's early afternoon story at the Washington Free Beacon relayed the news that the establishment press has yet to touch (link is in original; bolds are mine):

Benghazi Emails Show White House Effort to Protect Obama
Staff attempted to insulate president’s policies from criticism ahead of election

SusanRiceHillaryWide

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.

... 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.

The choice of Rice to be the Sunday show spokesperson is also more than a little curious. Why wouldn't then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made those rounds in such a crucial matter? Possible answer: Because she didn't want her electoral viability destroyed when the truth would eventually come out, as it has. (Rice has been rewarded for being the designated "fall guy" with a promotion to National Security Adviser, a position which did not require Senate confirmation.)

Mrs. Clinton's insulation is far from complete.

On September 14, 2012, in "Remarks at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya" at Andrews Air Force Base, Mrs. Clinton said:

This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. 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 it is totally unacceptable.

There are two possible interpretations here. Both are damning.

The first is that Mrs. Clinton deliberately segregated the Benghazi attack from the others tied to the video, in essence saying that Benghazi didn't happen because of it. If that's the case, we would conclude that Susan Rice was knowingly told by higher-ups to lie to the Sunday shows. If Mrs. Clinton's somehow didn't know that was the plan before Rice's appearances, she certain had to after they occurred, and not only said nothing, but continued to perpetuate the lie.

The second possible interpretation is that Mrs. Clinton is lumping Benghazi in with the rest of the "rage and violence" supposedly caused by the Internet video. In that case, she's a willing participant in the false video-blaming meme, which continued uncontested for at least the next several days.

Getting back to today's news, searches on "Benghazi" at the Associated Press's national site, its "Big Story" sitethe Politico, and the New York Times at 10:35 p.m ET returned nothing relating to the Judicial Watch-obtained documents.

As I noted earlier, it's not looking good for that "figment of honesty" in the media Roger Simon hopes still exists.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.