What a gift the Republicans were given last week when news broke of an incredible, damning White House email, urging that blame for the murderous attacks in Benghazi, Libya, be placed not on terrorists, but on an obscure anti-Muslim video.
That email, written by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, told then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to talk about the video, not terrorism, when she appeared on five Sunday news programs following the assault on our consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.
Coming less than two months before the November 2012 elections, the murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans made a mockery of Barack Obama’s assertion that his Administration had al-Qaida “on the run.”
The email was obtained by an organization called Judicial Watch, using a Freedom of Information Act request. In it, Rhodes advised Rice “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” He said that she needed “to reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, said that Rhodes’ email is “the smoking document” that proves the administration intentionally covered up the truth about what happened in Benghazi that night. Indeed it does.
In an appearance on “Special Report with Bret Baier” on FOX News, Krauthammer said, “We now have the smoking document, which is the White House saying, ‘We’re pushing the video because we don’t want to blame it on the failure of our policies,’ which is what anybody who looked at this assumed all the way through.”
Krauthammer is too polite to use the word “conspiracy,” but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that that is exactly what has been taking place. More evidence of the plotting behind the scenes is the uncanny resemblance between what Rhodes said in his email and remarks by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton two days earlier. Dick Morris did a line-by-line comparison of what Clinton and Rhodes said. Check out the amazing “coincidences” he discovered:
Clinton: “Let me state very clearly that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video.”
Rhodes: “We’ve made our views on the video crystal clear. The United States government had nothing to do with it.”
Clinton: “We absolutely reject its content and message.”
Rhodes: “We reject its message and its content.”
Clinton: “The film is disgusting and reprehensible.”
Rhodes: “We find it disgusting and reprehensible.”
Clinton: “The film is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence.”
Rhodes: “But there is no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence.”
Remember, Clinton issued her remarks on the morning of Sept. 13. We now know that she was informed more than 24 hours earlier that the assault in Benghazi was a terrorist attack on our consulate there, not some spontaneous demonstration that simply got out of hand. But that was the administration’s explanation, and they were going to stick with it.
There’s no collusion here, folks, just the long arm of coincidence at work. Sure. In fact, Tom Fenton, the president of Judicial Watch, said, “There’s a whole bunch of documents they [the White House] haven’t released to us.” And he added, “We should not be naïve about the ability of the Administration to stonewall.”
He’s got that right. He said his group currently has four additional lawsuits before the courts, asking for more Benghazi-related documents. “We’re just going to keep on keeping on.”
In the aftermath of these latest revelations, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that he would appoint Representative Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican and former Federal prosecutor, to head a special House select committee on Benghazi.
One of the questions the panel is sure to ask is why the Rhodes email wasn’t released before this. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the explanation is simple: Rhodes’ email wasn’t about Benghazi.
How’s that again? Yep, the White House press secretary actually stood in front of a group of reporters and contended that the memo was about “protests in the region” and not just Benghazi. And he repeated the line we’ve heard so many times before this: “The video turned out not to be the case, but it was based on the best information we had.” What a howler.
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Carney had “destroyed his own reputation” by his claim that the memo had nothing to do with Benghazi. “That, to me, is an all-time low for a Presidential spokesperson,” McCain said.
So what happens next? There is disagreement among Democrats about whether they should participate in the special committee. After the Boehner announcement, Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said that Democrats should boycott the hearings, to avoid giving them any credibility. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) instead called for a committee that is “equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.”
Gowdy said that won’t happen. “I can tell you this,” he said. “It is not going to be evenly constituted.” He pointed out that “when she was Speaker Pelosi, she certainly showed no interests in having an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.” And he added, “I just find it interesting that people’s ability to do math changes when they go from being the Speaker to the Minority Leader.”
Regardless of how the committee is composed, one thing seems clear: The Republicans now have two issues that can help decide many of this November’s elections. The first, of course, is the incredible unpopularity of Obamacare. It is clearly the No. 1 domestic issue in the country. Now, the Benghazi cover-up has once again emerged as the top foreign policy issue.
Given these two explosive issues, why would Republicans want to do something as stupid and distracting as bringing up an immigration bill? But just last month, that is exactly what Boehner said he wanted to do later this year.
Republicans would have to be absolute idiots to allow this happen. There is no way on Earth for a bill that doesn’t include amnesty for millions of potential Democratic voters to pass the Senate and get signed by the President. Talk about a lose-lose proposition for Republicans!
There are two issues that will enable the Republicans to keep control of the House and gain control of the Senate in the elections this November: the Obamacare disaster and the Benghazi cover-up. If Republicans don’t keep these two front and center for the next six months, they clearly will deserve their reputation as “the stupid party.”
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest, where his Straight Talk column appears weekly. This article first appeared in PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.