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May 01, 2014

Bizarre: CBS Employee Confesses That Ben Rhodes Email Proves It Was the White House That Inserted the Fiction About the Internet Video Into the Benghazi Narrative, and Yet Claims There's Nothing to See Here

As I was just saying: The script gets flipped from "You're stupid to accuse Obama of something he could never, ever do" to "You're stupid to make a big deal out of something Obama obviously would always do."

John Dickerson goes into Ben Smith/Dave Weigel mode to Voxsplain to you why something he later concedes is a smoking gun isn't a smoking gun at all.

Here's his conclusion. The part before this excerpt concerned Carney's amazing claim as to why this email wasn't released when Congress subpoenaed all emails on Benghazi -- that this email wasn't about Benghazi.

The White House should not rely on super-literal word games. Although this explanation may be a defense against not releasing Rhodes’ email, it dooms the administration when it comes to the question of who inserted the “video” into the Benghazi conversation. The word video doesn’t show up in any of the emails from the CIA or State Department that were used to prepare Rice. Former CIA Director Michael Morell testified that he doesn’t know where the discussion of the video came from. So if you want to be hyperliteral, it’s obvious that Rice and the White House were the ones who emphasized the video, and that’s the end of that. Condemnation all around.

Note the way he says that so off-handedly, as if this is a trivial thing. "Condemnation all around." Yes, the White House lied, so now we in the press will finally admit it; condemnation all around, and now let's MoveOn.org.

Proof of a hot political dispute has been discovered, and John Dickerson's claim is There is no news here.

Indeed, that's how he begins his piece:

Has the Benghazi “smoking gun” been found? Some White House critics believe that new documents wrestled from the White House by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, prove that the Obama administration concocted a cover-up: Political advisers pushed a false story that the murder of four Americans grew out of a protest against an anti-Islamic video in order to hide a policy failure that might hurt the president in an election year. The documents clearly show that the White House pushed the video story, but there’s also proof that the White House believed the story they were pushing.

And that's his argument, that this is No Big Deal because, as George Costanza observed, "It's not a lie if you believe it."

He claims that the White House believed that the Youtube Video really cause the spontaneous highly-coordinated attack. He concedes that belief is false, of course, but that the White House convinced itself of a self-pleasing deception, and Serious You Guys, who doesn't do that?

Condemnation all around.

However, Dickerson de-emphasizes the actual story here in order to offer his Fake but Honestly Believed defense.

The story here is that the White House has been always been culpable for cooking up this Internet Video excuse and foisting this lie on the public.

He is conflating two entirely different falsehoods:

1. That the YouTube Video caused a highly-coordinated attack to "spontaneously evolve." The White House could, possibly, deceive itself into thinking this.

2. That it was other agencies and not the White House which inserted the false narrative about the YouTube into the Talking Points. The White House could not conceivably deceive themselves into thinking this is true, as people generally know the things they themselves did.

But Dickerson deliberately conflates the two, and suggests that because the White House might have stupidly, childishly told itself a fairy-tale about how Benghazi happened, then maybe their deception as to who foisted this fairy-tale on the public can also be excused as an innocent (albeit infantile) self deception.

No.

Just, no.

The White House lied about its role here for eighteen months, always claiming it was other agencies who made these changes, and that the White House only requested the changing of a single word.

They hid emails that would contradict that narrative.

This is now proven.

So does John Dickerson's "They believed it" defense also apply to these lies? When they repeatedly lied to the public about who had inserted the Youtube Video narrative into the talking points, did they believe that?

Dickerson deliberately conflates two false claims: That the Youtube Video was responsible for spontaneous protests that evolved into an attack, and that the White House had nothing to do with inserting this false narrative into the national consequence.

These are two separate misrepresentations -- and the White House could only have plausibly deceived itself into believing one of them.

And, by the way, I doubt that too, and I also would say that, even if it were true in this case, an administration's capacity for believing things which are in its interest to believe but which are also obviously not true is not the sterling defense Dickerson imagines it to be. I happen to think this administration tells itself a lot of stupid lies -- about its competency, about its integrity, about the effects of its policies on America.

The only thing the Obama Administration is more committed to than leftist ideology is its extremely high self-regard. That too should be a major story; or should we just say of it, "Condemnation all around"?

It is not plausible they also deceived themselves into thinking it was the FBI or CIA which inserted the Youtube Video narrative into the talking points when they themselves did it.

That's a straight-up lie, and a conscious, deliberate one. It's not a case of innocent "self-deception" as Dickerson avers.

How could Dickerson confuse two such obviously different matters such that a defense that can only plausibly attach to one is instead used for both?

Well how about this possibility: Maybe Dickerson is also guilty of allowing a little political and career self-interest lead him into some understandable self-deception:

The “smoking gun,” according to Sen. Lindsey Graham and others, is an email from deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. (Rhodes is the brother to CBS News President David Rhodes; I also work for CBS.)

As Dickerson is assuring me that "self-deception" convincing oneself of a self-interested narrative is very common and completely excusable, I hope he won't be too offended when I suggest that perhaps this very common, completely excusable defect might be affecting him as well.

The administration lied to the public for 18 months, and the media, almost to a man, covered up and amplified their lies for them.

And now that proof of this is obtained, the media can only say: Condemnation all around.

Boys will be boys, you know? Such rascals.

Why the darling little rogues are guilty of little more than a bit of juvenile high-spiritedness.

That is a telling thing. Because people say that sort of thing about their own precious children.

About other people's children's misbehaviors, they take far greater umbrage.

But of their own beloved rapscallions' misadventures, they just shrug and say, "Boys will be boys."

I think the media is pretty much screaming at this point that they consider the Obama Kidz to be Mommy's Little Angels.

Unlike those horrible misbehaved neighbor-kids, the Republicans. The little monsters.

And Now a Guest Commentary CBS News' Chief Political Analyst, Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman:

You can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!

From a commenter, but he just used a sock so I can't credit him.

Oh, And I'm Sure This Is Just a Coincidence: CBS entirely embargoes major story about emails sent by the brother of the president of CBS News.

Oh, and, by the way, Mike Morell, who did the preparatory work on all this by rejecting testimony from first-hand witnesses that there was no protest, is now an "analyst" with CBS News.

It's all in the family.

They're rather like a gang, aren't they?


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posted by Ace at 02:26 PM

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