ABC’s Jonathan Karl is reporting that according to a State Department email, one of the first responses from the White House to the Benghazi attack in real time was to contact YouTube to discuss the “ramifications” of allowing the posting of an anti-Islamic video, according to Rep. Darrell Issa who added that the document is still classified.
In other words while the CIA, the military, and the State Department staff in Libya were telling the President and Secretary of State that the U.S. Consulate was in the throes of a terrorist attack, the White House staff was already concocting its cock-and-bull CYA story about a video and spontaneous mob reaction.
The subject line of the e-mail, which was sent at 9:11 p.m. Eastern Time on the night of the attack, is “Update on Response to actions – Libya.” The e-mail was written hours before the attack was over.
Issa has asked the White House to declassify and release the document. In the meantime he has inserted a sentence from the e-mail in the Congressional Record.
“White House is reaching out to U-Tube [sic] to advice [sic] ramification of the posting of the Pastor Jon video,” the e-mail reads, according to Issa.
Asked about the document, a senior White House official told ABC News it demonstrates that the White House genuinely believed the video sparked the attack all along, a belief that turned out to be incorrect.
“We actually think this proves what we’ve said. We were concerned about the video, given all the protests in region,” the official said. And the intelligence community “was also concerned about the video.”
Well, that is one possible explanation. Of course, another possibility is that before the attack was over the White House was working on a story that would allow the president to continue his campaign-trail false narrative that al Qaeda is on the run. Either way the document contradicts the official story that it was the CIA who first blamed the attack on protests in response to the anti-Islamic video.
“The e-mail shows the White House had hurried to settle on a false narrative — one at odds with the conclusions reached by those on the ground — before Americans were even out of harm’s way or the intelligence community had made an impartial examination of available evidence,” Issa said.
Issa is calling on the White House to release an unclassified version of the document.
“While the information I have cited from this e-mail is clearly unclassified, the State Department has attempted to obstruct its disclosure by not providing Congress with an unclassified copy of this document,” Issa said.
Perhaps that committee the Democrats keep calling bogus because there is nothing left to find out about Benghazi will get to the bottom of this.
Cross-posted at The Lid