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Uncloaking the layers of the Benghazi tragedy

Written By | May 2, 2014

LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2014 — While Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi continued to try to dismiss the Benghazi investigation as a Republican “diversion”, another layer has been uncovered from the tragic September 11, 2012 Embassy attack that killed four Americans, including Security Officer Sean Smith, former Navy Seal Tyrone Woods, and U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Two emails have emerged in the past 48 hours that give strong credence to the fact that the Obama administration knew immediately that Ansar al-Shariah, a radical Islamic faction was responsible for the attack on the Benghazi embassy. But President Barack Obama, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and other officials pushed the story that the attack was spontaneous, and directly the result of an anti-Islamic YouTube video.

This tome strained credulity two years ago, yet the media, elected officials, and much of the American public swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

During the past two years, the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed documents and called witnesses, including Secy. Clinton, who did what she has done all of her political career: obfuscate and feign outrage — not necessarily in that order. Despite damning testimony from Diplomatic Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, and Foreign Service Officer Gregory Hicks, the Oversight Committee did nothing more than play political Yahtzee, while failing to make any inroads into who was accountable for four American deaths, and who was responsible for no one coming to their aid.

Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, and Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith have cried out for truth and answers from the beginning. Instead, they had Democrat representatives walk out on their testimony before the Oversight Committee on September 19, 2013. Those directly intertwined in the cover up: State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, and others got promoted. We all know that former Secy. of State Clinton is on a speaking tour to promote her upcoming memoir, while flirting with running for President in 2016.

The State Department and the Obama administration managed to successfully conceal both documents from the public; until now. Finally truth has its pants on.

Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department on June 21, 2013. Through this lawsuit, the organization was able to obtain 41 new Benghazi-related State Department documents; among these documents was one smoking gun email reflecting that White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other administration PR officials attempted to orchestrate a campaign to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy,” along with crafted Q&A coaching for then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to run with on her September 16, 2012 Sunday-shows tour a week after the attack.

According to Judicial Watch, “The Rhodes email was sent on Friday, September 14, 2012, at 8:09 p.m. with the subject line: ‘RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.’ The documents show that the ‘prep’ was for Amb. Rice’s Sunday news show appearances to discuss the Benghazi attack.

The document lists as a ‘Goal’: “To underscore that these protests are rooted in and Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

The email also shows the top administration officials who received the Rhodes memo, among them: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men knew about the web of deception. No plausible deniability here.

Oversight Committee member and Utah Rep. Jason Chafetz released the second email on Thursday. Sharyl Attkisson, former CBS investigative reporter who has been one of the few who has questioned the administration’s narrative and has rallied for a true investigation into the attack wrote:

“The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks.

“They often maintained that an anti-Islamic YouTube video inspired a spontaneous demonstration that escalated into violence.
“The email is entitled ‘Libya update from Beth Jones.’ Jones was then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton. According to the email, Jones spoke to Libya’s Ambassador at 9:45am on Sept. 12, 2012 following the attacks.

“’When [the Libyan Ambassador] said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him the group that conducted the attacks—Ansar Al Sharia—is affiliated with Islamic extremists,’ Jones reports in the email.”

When asked about these new emails, Pelosi faux-whined to the reporter, “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi… Why aren’t we talking about something else?”

After two years of outright lies, stonewalling, and attempts to ignore the calls for a special investigation, we move to a new attempt at cover up: Let’s talk about something else, anything else, but the failure of an administration that based its re-election strategy and denigrated its opponents with the supposed stellar foreign policy gains of President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

All throughout the 2012 campaign President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden all but crowed that Al Qaeda was on the run. The Libyan embassy going up in flames on Sept. 11, 2012 laid waste to this, but with the willing assistance of the news media, the administration lied and deflected attention to a video that had barely been seen prior to the attack. The video’s maker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula spent a year in jail on a supposed parole violation—very few have said a word about the violation of Nakoula’s free speech rights.

What most anyone with a moderate level of intelligence and observation knew, is now clearly evident from the emails: the Obama administration knew the attack was terror, but still coached U.N. Ambassador (now U.N. National Security Adviser—what a crock) Susan Rice to lie and push an anti-Islamic video narrative in order to maintain the illusion that Obama had vanquished terrorism in the Middle East. So delusional.

The Washington Examiner reports that House Speaker John Boehner is “furious” about the Obama administration withholding this information, and is calling a vote to mount a select committee to investigate Benghazi. Gee, Mr. Speaker, only took you two years to find your outrage! What exactly did Speaker Boehner expect? One would think he would know by now that he is dealing with a smoke-and-mirrors presidency that thrives on subterfuge and deceit, and will always attempt to place themselves in the best political light at the exclusion of all else—even Americans dying.

However, here’s the proof that Boehner is actually serious: South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy has reportedly been named to chair the select committee. Rep. Gowdy is the real deal. An effective and successful prosecutor in his life before the House, he has been a vocal and consistent critic of the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi’s aftermath, and its subsequent investigation. His tenacity, and his innate skill at plowing through the weeds to get to the wheat is what is needed to finally uncover the full truth about Benghazi.

Jeff Goldstein at the Protein Wisdom blog hammers the nail:

“It took two years for the leadership to empanel a single committee of seasoned investigators to look into what we’ve all known from the outset was a lie and a fraud being perpetuated on the American public. We knew a cover-up was being launched before our eyes, and we stood by in amazement as a man was imprisoned and both the President and the next would-be Democrat nominee spoke over the flag-draped caskets of the fallen about a video they knew had nothing to do with the attacks.

“All as part of a re-election strategy.”

Not only is it a tragedy that four Americans died needlessly, it is an even greater tragedy that it happened because of purely political motivations. Layer on top of that the tragedy that the families of the fallen, along with attentive Americans, have been crying for justice, but the administration and both Houses have dithered and dismissed it, while a complacent and sycophant media worked to ignore it and cover it up.

Let this be the end of these tragedies, and the beginning of truth. It is long overdue.

Jennifer Oliver OConnell

Jennifer Oliver OConnell offers witty, insightful, and direct opinion, analysis and musings on local and national politics and popular culture, with occasional detours into reinvention, food, and Yoga. Jennifer also teaches Yoga, and coaches clients on careers and reinvention. You can keep up with what's in Jennifer's orbit through her As the Girl Turns website.