New documents refresh Benghazi cover-up questions

By Neal McNamara | May 1, 2014
Benghazi Attack

New documents and a tense exchange between the White House and a news reporter have refreshed the Benghazi controversy this week, as the House Oversight Committee today holds a hearing on reaction to the attack on our consulate in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.

On Wednesday, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl confronted White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about a new email – forced from the Obama administration’s hands under a court order by the group Judicial Watch – that shows how carefully the administration sculpted talking points about Benghazi to appear blameless.

The email shows that Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes crafted talking points to literally deflect blame from the administration. The talking points were issued to former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice in advance of her appearance on Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 16, 2012.

The goal of talking points should be, “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy,” the Rhodes talking point states.

When Karl asked Carney about the email, the press secretary bristled, claiming that the administration crafted talking points for everyone – from White House officials to Congressional Republicans – based on the best information the administration had from the CIA.

But why, Karl persisted, did the administration choose a story about an anti-Muslim film rather than the truth – why did the Rhodes email indicate that officials should have a goal of making the administration look good?

“We were saying what we simply thought was right,” Carney responded. “It was based on what we knew at the time.

“Why was [the Rhodes email] not turned over to the Congress?” Karl asked, since the administration claimed it had turned over all Benghazi-related documents already.

“[The Rhodes email] was not about Benghazi,” Carney said, adding that it was in general, about the entire situation in northern Africa and the Middle East.

“The lies are just so thick with this crew; they are so thick with this crew,” commented KTTH host Ben Shapiro.

Shapiro talked to former ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration, John Bolton, to discuss the newest Benghazi bombshell.

“This is either willfully ideological blindness to the threat terrorism poses or continues to pose, or it’s a cover-up,” Bolton told Shapiro. “I’m more afraid that it’s ideological blindness the president has to the threat of international terrorism. It’s been 18 months and now we get this email?”

LISTEN: THE FULL CARNEY-KARL EXCHANGE AND SHAPIRO’S COMMENTARY

Host Michael Medved highlighted that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has called the Rhodes email the “smoking gun” in the Benghazi affair. Unfortunately, Medved said in response to a caller question, the Rhodes email likely won’t get Obama impeached.

“What’s striking to me,” Medved said, “Is that this was reported in the USA Today – that’s not some kind of conservative outlet.”

Stunningly, the USA Today reported that Obama did not call the Benghazi attack “terrorism” until three days after the attack – and that means that that famous moment during the debate between Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney where CNN anchor Candy Crowley corrected Romney was based on a lie.

“It means the entire election was based on a lie,” Medved said.

Host David Boze was so shocked by the Carney-Karl exchange that he played it several times on his Thursday morning show.

“This administration has been saying forever, ‘what difference does it make?’” Boze said. “Now there’s finally that email where it says, basically, let’s kind of avoid the truth here, let’s try and steer things, let’s make sure the Sunday news shows focus not on any problem with the president’s policies – you’ve finally got some media saying there’s some meat to this after all.”

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