The most recent bout of #Benghazi Fever has been fueled by a tandem of the latest (actually authentic) email to surface regarding Susan Rice’s Sunday show prep, and a clip of former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell testifying before the House Intelligence Committee that he was shocked, shocked to hear Rice attribute the attack to a video that caused protests in the region. Right before that, though, he says that the CIA did think the attack was spurred by the protests. What the Fox?!?
ABC News Chief #Benghazi Cultist Jon Karl referenced Morell’s testimony in his ostentatious exchange with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney last week. The crux of this iteration of the Benghazi email “scandal” is a single line in a Ben Rhodes email that says one of the goals of then-Ambassador Susan Rice’s Sunday show appearances is “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader policy failure.”
Protests. Plural. As in, the protests that were all over the news, even Fox News, over a YouTube video from the film Innocence of Muslims. In resurrecting his hobby horse (this time with an email that wasn’t fake), Karl connected the new email with Morell’s testimony, but here’s how he quoted him:
Ambassador Rice went one those shows and she said that the attack in Benghazi was rooted in protests over an Internet video. We now know that that was not true; that, in fact, the CIA Director Morell just — former Director Morell just testified last month that ‘when she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something the analysts have attributed this attack to.’ It did not come from the CIA.
That quote from Morell’s testimony has been getting a lot of play from #Benghazi cultists, but here’s a shocker: Karl’s quote was incomplete. In the very same response, Morell had just finished saying that the CIA agreed, at the time, that the attack was inspired by the protests. Asked for his reaction to Amb. Rice’s Sunday show appearances, Morell said “My reaction was two-fold. One was that what she said about the attacks evolving spontaneously from a protest was exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed. When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something that the analysts had attributed this attack to.”
Since Democrats are apparently not allowed to speak at #Benghazi hearings, no one thought to ask Morell what the fuck he was talking about. How can you say you thought the attack was inspired by protests over a video, then say, in the next breath, that you were surprised to hear the video being brought up? Yes, the cookies were the result of baking, but these reports of flour, eggs, and butter? Hogwash.
Morell even goes on to explain that there were “roughly a dozen” intelligence and media reports at the time, suggesting a link between the Benghazi attack and the protests, which were over the video. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) then asks Morell if, after he saw Rice’s comments, he “complain(ed) to the White House at all about what she was saying, or were you comfortable with what she said?”
Morell responded “I did not complain to anybody, sir.”
Under intense media attention, anyone can pull a major self-dick-step, and Karl has earned the expectation that he will do anything to make #Benghazi stick, but what is the excuse for the rest of the media continuing to humor this garbage? Not for nothing, even Fox News has reported that, although there was no “protest” in Benghazi, the best information now, based on exhaustive reporting, suggests that the attack was motivated by the video. That means that even if the #Benghazi cultists prove their case, that the White House, not the CIA or the IC, really wanted to blame the video for the attack, well… the video was to blame for the attack!
Why the fuck are grownups still talking about this?
Update: I asked Jay Carney to take a shot at explaining this at today’s briefing, and to see if anyone at the White House had asked Morell. Carney basically gave me my own standard #Benghazi explainer, and said he hadn’t seen Morell’s testimony.