“Four Americans lost their lives in Benghazi, and this White House has gone to extraordinary lengths to mislead, obstruct, and obscure what actually took place....” — U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner
“...[I]t is now abundantly clear that senior White House staff were directly involved in coordinating the messaging in response to the Benghazi attacks and were actively working to tie the reason to the infamous Internet video, which they knew from the CIA and others was demonstrably false. In short, the administration, specifically the White House, lied about a matter with direct bearing on U.S. national security in order to influence an electoral outcome." — Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.)
For a moment, however brief it was, even the New York Times had to sound like a Rupert Murdoch rag when it came to describing a memo used for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s prep for her “Benghazi appearances” on the Sunday morning news shows: “WASHINGTON — A newly released email shows that White House officials sought to shape the way Susan E. Rice, then the ambassador to the United Nations, discussed the Middle East chaos that was the context for the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.... ( See “Email Suggests White House Strategy on Benghazi” by Michael D. Shear, 4/30/14, NY Times.com [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/world/email-suggests-white-house-strategy-on-benghazi.html?_r=0] [A version of this article appears in print on May 1, 2014, on page A8 of the New York edition of the Times with the same headline as the nytimes.com post]).
The NY Times article/post cited above, went on to state: “The email dated Sept. 14, 2012, from Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, to Ms. Rice was obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request. The subject of the email was: ‘PREP CALL with Susan.’ *** That email was sent ahead of Ms. Rice’s appearance on several Sunday morning news talk programs three days after the attacks that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including J. Christopher Stevens, the ambassador to Libya.... *** Earlier emails had documented the concern among White House and other administration officials about talking points produced by the Central Intelligence Agency about the Benghazi incident. The email sent by Mr. Rhodes and released on Wednesday had not been part of the previous batch of documents [earlier provided to Congress in connection with their hearings on Benghazi] .”
However, Mr. Shear, the Timesman who wrote the article, also devoted several paragraphs of his article in the Times to the first iteration of the White House’s explanation as to why the Rhodes memo had not been provided earlier: “Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, dismissed the new email as irrelevant, saying that the subject of the advice from Mr. Rhodes in the email was not about Benghazi, but rather about the protests that were taking place across the Middle East at the time. *** ‘This document, as I said, was explicitly not about Benghazi but about the general dynamic in the Arab, or in the Muslim world, at the time,’ Mr. Carney told reporters. ‘This was part of our effort to explain our views, both as a matter of policy and as a matter of what was happening on the ground with regards to the protests that were underway around the region.’ *** Mr. Carney said the email from Mr. Rhodes was not included with the prior batch of documents because it was not directly about the Benghazi attack....”
At least one national observer at the Washington Post has pointed out that “The White House damage control on the latest batch of Benghazi emails is not going well. The White House’s belated release of the documents at the very least show[s] it has been actively evading legitimate congressional requests for relevant information....” (See “The worst excuse ever: The Rhodes memo debacle” by Jennifer Rubin, 5/1/14, Washington Post [http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2014/05/01/the-worst-excuse-ever-the-rhodes-memo-debacle/]). After giving a full report with a detailed time line concerning the actions and statements by the Obama Administration following the 9/11/12 attack on the “U.S. Mission” in Benghazi, resulting in the death of a U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans, Ms. Rubin concludes that — Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes is quite unlikely to be the sole author of a narrative like this. As deputy national security adviser, he certainly would have either gotten the word top-down from higher White House authority; or at very least, he would have conferred with his superiors before using the memo to prep the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, so that she would go out on five national news broadcasts to sell the bogus explanation for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.
Clearly, congressional inquiries into the White House’s involvement in all things Benghazi aren’t going to end with the turnover of the Rhodes memo — in fact, the release of the un-redacted Rhodes memo is just the beginning of a new series of inquiries into the who, what, where and why involving the White House staff during the Benghazi attacks as they were occurring; and the early and later statements, and releases of information by the Administration about the attacks and related matters.