Judicial Watch has received via FOIA critical emails that reveal a PR “prep” talk for Susan Rice before she hit the airwaves days after the Benghazi attack.
An email from Benjamin Rhodes, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, sent to a dozen of the president’s closest advisors, outlined the “goals” of Rice’s appearances, which included:
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.
Besides the sickening egotistical nature of those words—forget the four dead Americans and focus on how awesome the president is—they also reveal that Rice’s comments about the video were not unintentional, but clearly part of a government plan. And they suggest that the White House was deeply involved, not just Susan Rice.
This is relevant because, as Fox News reported, then-CIA director Michael Morrell testified earlier this month that Rice was the one who came up with the video-attack connection, not the CIA analysis of the facts.
In other words, the chatter about the video was an intentional, uncomfortably heartless cover-up to show the president’s strength—all while ignoring the failures of the administration that resulted in the death of four Americans.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wrote:
Now we know the Obama White House’s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good. 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.
The prep notes also included the following:
I think that people have come to trust that President Obama provides leadership that is steady and statesmenlike.
Perhaps Rhodes bought this lie, but few others would ever attribute “steadiness” to our president. Regardless, why was his character even a subject of these talking points? The main goal of Rice’s appearances should have been to inform citizens of what really happened, not to disguise the administration’s failures.
Even more concerning are the pages after pages of redacted or blacked-out text that accompanied Judicial Watch’s FOIA. This only leaves us wondering, “What are they still hiding?”
Eventually, the truth must come out. These emails are certainly a step in the right direction.