April 29, 2014
A top Obama Administration official strongly urged Susan Rice, National Security Advisor at the time of the Benghazi, Lybia terror attack on Sept. 11, 2012, to go before the press and blame the strike on grass-roots Islamist backlash against “The Innocence of Muslims,” a satirical YouTube video.
According to a White House email obtained by Judicial Watch, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes specifically fingered the video on Sept. 14, 2012 as a talking point Rice should focus on when making the obligatory TV news junket following the attack. Oh, and the email unswervingly calls what happened “protests,” not a terror attack, or even, simply an “attack.”
Under the ‘Goals’ outline in the State Department email – an email specifically created to dictate talking points for media to consume – the video stands alone as a named culprit. The purpose of Rhodes’ memo was to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy…”
That email was sent out on a Friday. By Sunday, Rice was in songbird mode.
One of the talking points (Rhodes calls them “Top-lines”) that Rice was instructed to play up was to focus on the video as the villain simply by denouncing it.
Only twice does Rhodes advise using speech that would denounce the attack at all, and then only in flyover language that puts the blame back on that dastardly video. “[W]e’ve encouraged leaders around the globe to speak out against the violence, and you’ve seen very important statements in the Muslim world by people like Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, President Morsi of Egypt, and others who have condemned the violence and called for a peaceful response,” Rhodes wrote.
The State Department’s real outrage is focused on the bad guys who would foment unrest in Islamists who can’t help themselves by making such hurtful and offensive video clips:
[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 on and on.
Well, there’s confirmation that the Obama Administration was behind the whole “blame the video” narrative.
But the question remains: why in the hell was the State Department even talking about a video?
Read the entire bevy of emails Judicial Watch obtained here – the Rhodes memo is on page 14. Elsewhere, expect a lot of white boxes where the words are supposed to go.