Via Noah Rothman:
On Tuesday, an email obtained by the government watchdog Judicial Watch revealed that a senior American advisor informed then National Security Advisor Susan Rice to emphasize that the deadly 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya was the result of a spontaneous protest arising from an inflammatory YouTube video. Transcripts later revealed that senior defense officials had informed the administration on the night of the assault that the event was a “terrorist attack.”
Fox’s intel correspondent Catherine Herridge reported that a September 14 emails links White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes advised Rice to focus on the YouTube video during her appearances on a variety of Sunday morning news programs:
Among the goals Rhodes outlined for Rice was for her “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”
Update: Double down.
(Politico) – The Obama administration Wednesday said recently released emails on the 2012 Benghazi attacks reflected what officials “understood to be the facts at the time.”
“In the email Ben Rhodes makes clear that our primary goals included making sure our people in the field were protected and bringing those responsible for the attacks to justice,” Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement. “The content reflects what the administration was saying at the time and what we understood to be the facts at the time.”
“Unlike those who insist on politicizing the events in Benghazi, our focus remains on ensuring that a tragedy like this isn’t repeated in Libya or anywhere else in the world,” the statement continued. “In our view, these documents only serve to reinforce what we have long been saying: that in the days after September 11, 2012, we were concerned by unrest occurring across the region and that we provided our best assessment of what was happening at the time.”
Meehan’s statement also noted that the email stated that Rice was not on the Sunday shows “to talk politics.”
Update II: Carney does realize earlier today they admitted it was about Benghazi, right?
(The Hill) – Press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that a newly-revealed email showing a White House official preparing then-U.S. ambassador Susan Rice for television interviews was not explicitly in reference to the terror attack in Benghazi.
“The email and the talking points were not about Benghazi,” Carney said. “They were about the general situation in the Muslim world.”
A set of documents obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request included an email from deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes to other senior White House and administration officials outlining “goals” for Rice’s Sunday talk show appearances following the attack.
In the email, Rhodes said Rice should “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”