Judicial Watch president responds to Carney’s claim that damning emails were ‘not about Benghazi’

On Tuesday, Judicial Watch released emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show then-White House deputy strategic communications adviser Ben Rhodes collaborated with other senior White House officials to shield President Obama from criticism following the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In the emails, Rhodes explained the “goal” is “to underscore that these protests are rooted in [an] Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

As TheBlaze reported, several top White House staffers, including political strategist David Plouffe and press secretary Jay Carney, were involved in these emails, some of which were circulated just a day before then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on television to blame the attacks on a YouTube video.

See the documents obtained by Judicial Watch HERE.

Carney was asked about the damning emails during a Wednesday press briefing at the White House, and he concocted a bizarre excuse for the documents.

“The emails and the talking points were not about Benghazi,” Carney told reporters Wednesday. “They were about the general situation in the Muslim world where you saw, as you might recall, it was explicitly not about Benghazi, it was about the overall situation in the region, the Muslim world, where we saw protests outside of embassy facilities across the region.”

The press secretary went on to tell ABC News’ Jon Karl that while “the connection between the attack and the video turned out not to be the case,” the White House was operating “based on the best information that we had.”

“The overall issue of unrest in the Muslim world and the dangers posed by these protests to our embassies was very much a topic in the news,” Carney said. “The implication is that we were somehow holding back information when it fact we were simply saying what we thought was right. And when elements of that turned out not to be true, we were the first people to say so. It was based on what we knew at the time.”

On last night’s Glenn Beck Program, Dana Loesch filled in for Glenn and was joined by Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who responded to Carney’s claims and to discuss the the 18 month long process his organization went through to obtain these emails.

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“These documents, first of all, weren’t voluntarily disclosed. We had to go to court to get access to the information. We’ve been sitting around since October of 2012 waiting for it,” Fitton said. “We sued for documents about talking points given to [former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice] related to Benghazi. This document was produced to us in response to our lawsuit.”

When you consider Carney is explicitly tied to these emails, his laughable answer at Wednesday’s press conference begins to make a little more sense.

“Look, you know, Jay Carney is tied into this document. He is one of the e-mail recipients of this prep call document where the emphasis was on protecting the President rather than telling the truth,” Fitton explained. “And so it should have been turned over to Congress. There’s obstruction questions… Withholding information from Congress can be a crime.”

As Fitton explained, when Congress asks for documents like the ones released by Judicial Watch on Tuesday, it must go through a “political process.” Judicial Watch, on the other hand, was able to go to court and sue the Obama Administration.

“The gamesmanship didn’t work here,” Fitton said. “And that’s why we got the document.”

Ultimately, these newly released documents prove the now infamous talking points spewed by Rice on the Sunday morning shows originated from the White House.

“This brings it right into the White House, and it shows that the idea that the CIA created the talking points that Susan Rice was using is a big fat lie,” Fitton concluded. “And there was a press operation in the White House that was pushing this line [to]emphasize the video… and protect the President.”

  • joshua

    So let me get this straight… In order to cover-up the failed policies; the Obama and his administration lied to the public (again), let people die , and put an innocent creator of a controversial youtube video (still protected by free speech) into prison so that Obama could win the election….. Glenn, I plead for you to lead the forefront on impeaching Obama. You have the ears of the public, create a petition on this page so we can start signing:)

  • tootietot

    What about when Obama and Hilary went to the funeral funeral and looked at the mom in the face at her sons funeral and told her it was because of the you tube video that this has happened? They flat out lied to that poor woman!

  • Deckard426

    Dana Loesch is doing a wonderful job in Beck’s absence. She is intelligent, professional, and gorgeous. Take your time getting back, Glenn.

  • Anonymous

    The creator of the youtube is still reported jailed. For how long was he sentenced?

  • Anonymous

    Obama and Hillary Clinton were trying to save their political careers while 4 Americans were being butchered

  • D Smith

    Obama and Valerie Jarrett along with a few others in the White (Commie) House are all with Bill Ayers connections. They planned their election based on Saul Alinsky ( A commie writer of the book Rules For Radicals. Visit commieblaster.com

  • Anonymous

    The 2012 election was more important than American lives. Add in the IRS targeting conservatives plus an inordinate amount of votes for Obama in certain districts, it is no small wonder Obama won so easily.

  • Anonymous

    Impeach.

  • Bill Tilghman

    I think that Carney needs to be in a locked room with Chuck Norris for five minutes. I would wager that Chuck would have him begging to confess the truth after the first minute. The rest of the time would just be amusement.

  • Bill Tilghman

    Criminal enterprise = Obama administration and everyone in it.

  • Bill Tilghman

    Here is what I suspect is the truth:

    Ambassador Stevens made it known that he didn’t want any part of arming Al Qaeda aligned groups in Syria, and when things started heating up the President and his cohorts decided to hang the ambassador out to dry. They withheld all support in the areas of security, had no assets available to protect or evacuate him and his party of men, and they prevented any military response by making themselves unavailable during the event. When the military commanders requested permission to attempt rescue or even bring firepower to bear upon the facility under attack, those requests were denied either by stand down orders or by non responsive actions from the President and the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State.

    This event was not only contradictory to the President’s claims of victory over terrorists, but it was a convenient way for him to dispose of a troublesome situation regarding his plans to arm the Syrian rebels, many of which he knew were our enemies in the region. He could blame the loss of the ambassador on the terrorists, and they would allow him to continue funneling arms to the enemy over and above official objections. He merely turned away from our people there, and failed to provide for their safety by not having a ship nearby as well as aircraft to use in evacuating them when the inevitable attack occurred. Then he could use the lack of resources for a response as an excuse, as well as the convenient explanation of ignorance – despite the fact that two probing attacks had occurred in the months before the final assault at this same facility in Benghazi. I firmly believe that they knew this was coming and that the act of turning away in the hour of need was a conscious decision. The response since then has been to lie and cover up the crime. Now, their story is unraveling, so we have Carney making ridiculous claims that simply will not pass the smell test. He has been consistently supporting the administration in the effort to duck responsibility for this tragedy, which is made all the more tragic by their efforts to minimize it.

    In my thinking Carney is as much a part of this as anyone who has been on the inside of the deal – he should be prosecuted along with the rest of the higher echelon of this administration. None of them have been forthcoming nor have they complied with any of the multiple requests and inquiries that have resulted from this debacle.

    It is time for them to face the consequences of dereliction of duty, lying to investigators, covering up the facts, resisting the efforts to get at the facts, and knowingly leaving these four men to die.

  • ValueSet

    Wish people would understand that IMPEACHMENT DOES NOT MEAN REMOVAL from office. Bill “Slick Willy” Clinton WAS IMPEACHED, but remained in office.

  • ValueSet

    Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton WAS IMPEACHED and REMAINED IN OFFICE. IMPEACHMENT DOES NOT MEAN REMOVAL FROM OFFICE.

  • suzyshopper

    Yes I believe he remained in office,because there were not enough votes in the senate for removal, because the dems controlled the senate at that time, if the repubs had had control at that time, maybe things would have turned out differently. The difference this time is we have more rhinos in congress, and a spineless speaker of the house, who’s in cahoots with the opposition party.

  • noisyparker

    It’s amazes me how poorly they are lying… Carney’s responses to Karl amounted to little more than repeating the old talking points which the emails have disproved, along with the one addition of claiming these emails weren’t about the attack. Even his obsession with trying to use the ABC promo to prove the attack wasn’t a primary focus of the show is bizarre, given that it says right at the start, “After four Americans were killed Tuesday, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, in an assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, questions remain about what sparked the violence – a controversial anti-Islamic film, or a planned attack by Al Qaeda militants?”

    His repeated vague references to Michael Morell’s testimony as a defense seemed weak, too, given that Karl is already referencing how Morell’s testimony indicates that the video was not part of the CIA’s contribution to the talking points. As a side note on Morell, am I the only one concerned that he may have been willing to get his hands a bit dirty to help politically? He had implied to Senators in the past that the FBI was responsible for editing the talking points, but had to later walk that back. These emails (page 21 of the docs) refer to Morell taking “a heavy editing hand” to CIA unclassified talking points, because “they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack on our embassy.”

    Anyway, the fact that the administrations position is based on lies is especially obvious if you just go back to Carney’s previous answers about the talking points over the past months. In November he was saying that the talking points came from the intel community and “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.” So, yeah, as Carney likes to say, he’s already answered that. Get with the ‘time zone’ (whatever that is supposed to mean).

    Lying is wrong in itself and, yes, that is what we get from the administration all the time. What amazes me is how little respect news organizations have for themselves and their role in society.

    For the administration to lie so obviously, and to put so little effort into it, they have to be assuming that news organizations will grab that disgusting baton and finish the race toward a presentable lie for them. As the inherent contradictions in the lies get more and more embarrassingly obvious, will there come a point where news organizations will recoil from that role? Whatever happened to that business of “the Fourth Estate” that is taught in political science courses, where they are styled as a check on abuses to the political process? Sure, that’s the ideal, but are they really okay with how far from that ideal they are currently… with how corrupted they have become?

    I guess we’ll see if there is any self-respect left in that business. It does seem like individuals, like John Karl, may be getting insulted by how shabbily they are being treated, but will that translate into something more widespread? My personal magic 8-ball says, ‘signs point to no’, but I will be very happy if I end up being proven wrong on that one.

  • Matt D.

    Additional tendencies imported by Stuart Chase included deficit spending, abandoning gold, and centralized control of energy resources.

  • Bill Tilghman

    Impeachment is essential, then comes removal after trial and conviction. We all know it.

  • treebird

    Operation American Spring and Overpasses for America are going to Dc May 16th to make congress act on the articles of Impeachment delivered to them on April 22nd.

  • treebird

    Articles of impeachment have been delivered to Congress by the American people! Congress just has to act on them! Call your senators and tell them to impeach!

  • treebird

    Benghazi

    There has finally come to fruition enough circumstances to cause our House majority leader to create a select committee on Benghazi. There are some who say “why bother”, or why do the Republicans keep pushing the issue. Well, the reason is that to any observant and intelligent individual, there has been a concerted effort on the part of this administration and Democrats generally, to hide information and distort the information given out that it has become glaringly clear there is a cover up. The question is what are they covering up?

    It has caused all kinds of conspiracy theories to run amok on social media, so truth needs to be revealed to settle down the fears and wild imaginings of the people. It may be something as simple as Obama didn’t want his narrative dis-proven so that he could get reelected; or it could be any number of supposed ideas that come to peoples minds in the absence of the truth. I have heard everything from gun running to silencing a gay lover of the president. Obviously all of these things cannot be true, and the American imagination will keep running amok until some truth comes out. So in the interest of silencing the insane ideas people propagate we need to know the truth. Of course, this is not to be regarded as more important than revealing the truth for the peace of mind of the families of the loved ones of those lost, but this piece is intended to address the subject from the perspective of the population as a whole.

    If the people involved did not commit any crimes then it would behoove them to reveal the truth as to settle down the assumptions and theories of the public at large. Truth can calm a great many wild accusations and this situation, for many reasons, needs resolution. If the people involved did nothing wrong, then why the great efforts to hide the facts?

    Another thing to consider is that the claims that the attack was propagated by a video (since proven false) was the cause of much discord. If you remember back to the events around that time, think about how everytime the administration pushed the idea of the video, there was a new out break of protests and violence. Their efforts to push their false narrative caused more violence. How many Muslims worldwide would have never even known of the existance of the video had our President and Secretary of state not told the world it existed. Have you seen the video? Did you know it existed before September 11th?

    To read the rest of this article go to: http://www.trevashouseofblog.com and click on the page titled “Thought of the Day”

  • Populist democrat

    The word Rhodes used was “protests,” not attacks. He wanted it clear that the protests were not a result of the President’s overall regional policies. It was not about Benghazi, but an advisor was trying to protect the President. When that’s a big deal, then presidential team loyalty is meaningless.

    In other words, grow up #Benghazists. The Republicans were pushing and got the cuts in spending on State Dept. security, so there’s blame to go around. It was a tragedy, and it’s horrific to fund-raise off it as Issa is doing. THAT’s un-American.