May 1, 2014
Benghazigate enters new phase
There are a few conclusions to draw from Jay Carney’s performance yesterday before the White House press corps when responding to questions from ABC News’s Jonathan Karl on the Ben Rhodes email released by court order following a Judicial Watch lawsuit.
The White House is desperate.
Carney resorted to an easily provable lie that the email was about the Middle East situation in general, not about Benghazi. The email was released in response to a FOIA request on Benghazi, and discusses Benghazi specifically. As John Hinderaker writes:
Carney’s answer is ridiculous. Of course the email bears more broadly on conditions across the Middle East, but it relates most specifically to Benghazi. Why was Susan Rice appearing on every Sunday morning talk show? Because four Americans were killed in Benghazi. Why was the administration’s top political team gathering to prepare her for those appearances? Because four Americans were killed in Benghazi. Why does the email begin with the stated goal of conveying that the Obama administration is doing everything it can to protect its people abroad? Because four Americans were killed in Benghazi. Why is the group talking about “bringing people who harm Americans to justice”? The only place where Americans were harmed was Benghazi. Obviously, the email relates to Benghazi. And equally obviously, its reference to “underscor[ing] that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy” was intended to deflect blame for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.
Appearing on Fox News, Sen. Graham denounced this contention as an “insult to intelligence.” And he is not the only one to see through this.
Bald faced lies to the press corps are always a bad idea. Even if editors want to stay away from the subject in order to protect the Obama legacy (and Hillary’s presumed 2016 candidacy), the beat reporters at the White House hate being lied to. Generally speaking, they are high ranking people in their own organizations, and will ask questions no matter what their editors decide to do with the copy or video that follows.
Carney obviously went through a lot of preparation before meeting the press in the White House Briefing Room. If the lie that the Benghazi-titled memo was not about Benghazi was the best they have to offer, then they’ve nothing, and their only hope is that their media pals will once again lower the curtain of silence.
The story is no longer a “Fox News Story”.
The Obama media have attempted to dismiss the story as “over” and merely an obsession of Fox News, that demon which must be ignored. However, even the New York Times was forced to take note of Carney’s performance, albeit in a deracinated, detached and incurious fashion. This is evidence that the editors there realize that failing to note the story could be used against them if this breaks wide open.
The public does not trust the Obama administration’s or Hillary Clinton’s stories.
Even before the latest revelations, in February:
“Sixty-six percent of voters want Congress to keep investigating the White House’s handling of Benghazi. That includes 50 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 83 percent of Republicans.
“About a third opposes lawmakers continuing to investigate the attack (31 percent).”
And a slim majority do not believe Hillary Clinton’s story that she never saw requests for extra security for the Benghazi facility.
If Speaker Boehner choose to appoint a select committee, this could blow wide open.
For reasons unknown, so far Speaker Boehner has declined the obvious step of appointing a select committee that would not encounter the jurisdictional problems faced by the multiple committees so far investigating, and that would have the trained staff and budget for a professional investigation. We now can see the desperation at work, and there is obviously worse information yet to eb uncovered, owing to redaction and classification strategies used for the purposes of cover-up.
Even is Boehner declines, there will be a new Congress in 2015.
Even is Boehner is re-elected Speaker (which is not a certainty), the atmosphere following an expected disaster for the Democrats will be very different. Obama will have cost a lot of Democrats their seats. The survivors, at least some of them, will want to save their own sorry butts. Obama is taking America down, economically, diplomatically, and strategically. There will be a blowback.
So fasten your seatbelts. This is going to be a bumpy ride.