Obama’s Benghazi Propagandist

Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


National Security Council speechwriter BA young White House speechwriter may be responsible for concocting the official lies about last September’s deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

The Obama administration’s rapidly unravelling narrative about what happened at the U.S. consulate in Libya’s second-largest city may have been cooked up by creative writer Ben Rhodes, the president’s 30-something Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting.

The origin of the administration’s desperate election-season fabrications may come up today as a congressional committee hears from three government whistleblowers who are expected to contradict the administration’s version of the events of Sept. 11, 2012.

There is little doubt now that the Obama White House twisted the facts for partisan political advantage.

Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard reports that the CIA’s talking points about what happened in Benghazi were manipulated by senior Obama administration officials as they “knowingly misled the country” in the days following the attacks.

That fog of misinformation was apparently calculated to deflect blame away from the Obama administration last September and October long enough to get an embattled president with an embarrassing national security record reelected.

Hayes published a timeline produced by the office of Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper that showed significant alterations were made to the talking points a month and a half before last year’s presidential election.

Even while the consulate in Benghazi was still under assault, intelligence officials knew that al-Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved, but senior Obama administration officials “sought to obscure the emerging picture and downplay the significance of attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans,” Hayes writes.

The strategy, barely questioned by the mainstream media which was working feverishly to reelect Obama, succeeded. The Obama administration sent word out that the organized, military-style assault on the Benghazi mission had nothing to do with al-Qaeda or Islamic terrorism.

Officials told anyone willing to listen that a spontaneous demonstration sparked by Muslim anger over an obscure anti-Islam video had magically materialized in a city blanketed by al-Qaeda flags and that within hours this supposedly organic melee had claimed the lives of four Americans.

According to Hayes, the “frantic process” of editing and re-editing the changes to the official line took place over a 24-hour period a day before Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, hit all major Sunday TV talk shows on the same day. “The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House,” he writes.

Hayes mentions Ben Rhodes by name, describing him as a “top adviser to President Obama on national security and foreign policy.” He explains that Rhodes advised those involved in the process that “the issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.”

Rhodes doesn’t have an obviously radical left-wing background but he is extraordinarily well-connected. His brother, David Rhodes, used to work for Fox News but is now president of CBS News. His wife, Ann Norris, is senior foreign policy and defense advisor to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

Prior to joining the 2008 Obama presidential campaign as senior speechwriter, Rhodes worked as special assistant to former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton, whom he assisted in writing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. He co-wrote the book, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission. Rhodes also worked as a speechwriter for Mark Warner (D), now a U.S. senator, when he was governor of Virginia.

A native New Yorker, Rhodes earned a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A. from New York University. While earning his master’s degree, he taught writing at NYU and John Jay College.

Rhodes has President Obama’s ear. He urged Obama to reverse three decades of U.S. support for now-deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and to lead an intervention in Libya ostensibly designed to prevent then-dictator Muammar Qaddafi from committing atrocities against civilians. He coined the phrase, “kinetic military action,” the administration’s hideous euphemism for war.

“He became, first in the speechwriting process, and later, in the heat of the Arab Spring, a central figure,” U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael A. McFaul, who worked with Rhodes at Obama’s National Security Council, told the New York Times.

Israel-hater Samantha Power, who also worked with Rhodes at the National Security Council, adores him. “He has a very high batting average in terms of prognostication. I don’t understand where Ben gets his ‘old man’ wisdom.”

Rhodes has a powerful imagination.

He is credited with writing Obama’s June 2009 Cairo speech, a piece of public relations outreach intended to flatter Muslims. In it, Obama declared that government ought to “reflect the will of the people,” a phrase that foreshadowed the administration’s later treatment of Mubarak and Qaddafi.

This breathtaking work of fiction whitewashes the blood-drenched, irredentist history of Islam and falsely attributes accomplishments such as printing, navigation, and medicine to the Islamic world.

Incredibly, as Mary Grabar noted in her analysis of the address, “A New Beginning,” Or A Revised Past, the oration even gave Islam credit for the Enlightenment and religious tolerance. Islam “carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for European Renaissance and Enlightenment,” and “has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality,” Obama said in the speech.

Grabar counters that in fact “the intellectual Renaissance began when Byzantine scholars, mostly Greek, fled the advancing Turks in the 14th century and settled in Italy. The Enlightenment was openly anti-theistic and would have been anathema to most practicing Muslims.”

Moreover, she adds, “Muslims wiped out Zoroastrianism, they battled Hinduism and Buddhism for centuries, and they levied a special tax on Christians and Jews in their domains.”

Today at a high-profile congressional hearing, lawmakers will deal with the falsehoods about Benghazi that Rhodes may have invented.

Three State Department officials who describe themselves as Benghazi “whistle-blowers” will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Fox News reports. They are: Gregory N. Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya during the attacks; former Marine Mark I. Thompson, deputy coordinator for operations in the Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, senior security official in Libya before the attacks.

U.S. officials who were on the ground in Benghazi last Sept. 11, the 11th anniversary of the original 9/11 attacks, deny that there was an angry protest outside the consulate that day.

Hicks, a 22-year career diplomat, reportedly told congressional investigators, “I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.”

But from the beginning the Obama administration denied Islamic militants were to blame. The Obama administration formalized its cover-up of the affair when it named former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, an Islamist-friendly dupe with ties to Iran, to head a State Department “Accountability Review Board.”

The review board was tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

Those who have been following the scandal haven’t forgotten the grotesque spectacle of Stevens’s dead body being dragged around Benghazi by Islamist savages. Stevens may have been tortured and sodomized by his assassins in a ritual of humiliation popular among Islamic terrorists. We won’t know for sure unless the Obama administration comes clean about happened last September.

Not surprisingly, the findings of Pickering’s panel were less than definitive.

The review board blamed only “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels” without pointing fingers at specific officials. Its report has come under heavy fire because it turns out that eyewitnesses such as Hicks, Thompson, and Nordstrom were willing to testify about what they saw in Benghazi during the attack but weren’t even interviewed.

Democratic lawmakers will be using the opportunity Wednesday to defend Hillary Clinton at all costs. Clinton was secretary of state on Sept. 11, 2012, when the terrorist assault took place and is already the early frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Despite her disastrous tenure at Foggy Bottom which saw Islamist movements gain ground in the Middle East, she left the nation’s top diplomatic post earlier this year with a 69 percent approval rating among the public, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

Aware of the political damage that Benghazi could do to President Obama and Clinton, the Left is already downplaying the significance of the whistleblowers’ yet-to-be-delivered testimony.

For example, Salon reporter Alex Seitz-Wald is preemptively blaming Obama’s critics for somehow sabotaging the congressional inquiry before it even begins.

“The charges seem potentially damaging and the accusers credible, but those trying to fan flames of scandal have so embarrassed and discredited themselves by pushing bogus story lines on Benghazi that it may be hard for the media and American people to take any new allegations seriously.”

Of course, none of these alleged “bogus story lines” to which Seitz-Wald refers have gained public traction, so it’s unlikely Americans will accuse Obama’s detractors of crying wolf and tune out.

But cheered on by White House staffers like Ben Rhodes, Seitz-Wald and other members of the journalistic Left will continue going all-out to defend Obama no matter how damning the evidence that surfaces this week may be.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Obama Inc. will stick to its lying script, unless alternative media keep their feet to the fire. As such, it bears repeating, again and again – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/05/07/benghazigate-
    http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/05/08/american-warr

    Keeping up the pressure….backbreaking but worth it!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Who brought out the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in Islamist Cities, who was it
      in the Obama regeme that sought and received the aid of false demonstrations to help
      in the coverup? If that can be shown with some evidence of the wider scope of the
      falsehood, Obama goes down……………………..William

  • Sailsman

    The "journalistic-left" are all a bunch of smarmy young Jewish elites. So, I give up: this former Jew (me) accepts Jesus Christ as lord and savior. Todays Jews are lost and are dragging everyone down with them, including Israel. Truly smart Jews with some moral fiber will circle their wagons around the Cross.

    • AnOrdinaryMan

      Why do "truly smart Jews" (whatever that means) need Jesus Christ?

    • slickdemetrius

      Looks like Stormfront got an internet connection today.

  • Chezwick

    What really gets me is to hear conservative politicians and pundits attribute the cover-up to "[the fact that Benghazi negated the Admin. narrative that the war on terror was over and that Al Qaeda was decimated.]"

    The cover-up occurred because of the Administration's negligence, both before and during the attack….and the fear that such negligence could have effected the outcome of the impending election.

    • NAHALKIDES

      I think it's both – the Obama administration incompetent in both areas, foreign policy and compound security. Thus they needed to cover up this incompetence by pretending that Islamic terrorists were not involved (having been vanquished by Obama the Great) and by downplaying the fact that requested additional security had been denied.

      • Chezwick

        I understand your point. What I'm suggesting is that the Obama Admin. could never have believed that there would be NO MORE terror attacks on its watch…..and that if one came and was handled appropriately, there would never have been a need for a cover-up. It was the operational developments on the ground in Benghazi that were the cause for the cover-up, specifically, the unwillingness to beef up embassy security despite repeated warnings in the days and weeks BEFORE the attack, and most tellingly, the decision to stand-down militarily DURING the attack.

    • Drakken

      Perhaps I may shed a little light on the area of security at US compounds, this admin is trying to undo Bush's build up of embassy and consulate offices in the ME, N Africa and the far east, in their kumbaya singing little minds, they think less security will make the muslims love us and feel less threaten by US presence. They are so wrong headed in their approach that it borders on insane. Less security only invites the savages to attack us and since there has been zero payback for the attack at Bengazi, they are now thinking that they can attack with complete impunity, this is only going to get worse, and God help anyone who points out the the admin incompitance where this is concerned.

  • Michael Copeland

    The obscure video is of low quality, but it is not “anti-Islam”. It is biographical, accurately and faithfully depicting episodes in the life of Mohammed AS RECORDED BY ISLAM’S OWN TEXTS. Usama Dakdok explains (Revealing the Truth Behind the Mohammed Movie Part 1 – YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lclYpsz0Iwo).

    For a muslim to describe it as “offensive” or “insulting” is blasphemy (bringing the death penalty), because that means that Mohammed himself was offensive and insulting.
    This restriction does not apply to non-muslims.

  • STEVE CHAVEZ

    THEY DON'T CARE!!!!! They're laughing!!!!!

    ANN COULTER'S column last week was about a word "DISCREDITED" that the Left uses to end discussion on an issue about them. All they will do in this case, just like they did with Fast and Furious, is put out "political witch-hunt" narrative. Democrats on the committee for F and F, and later on Benghazi, turned it into a roast for Holder and Hillary. They didn't ask any questions about the issue at hand but complained that the Republicans were out to get the accused. Holder even said they were out to get him because he was Black!

    THIS HEARING WILL ALSO BE A FARCE! "So what! It's over! What can we do now? More Americans would have been killed if we sent them in not knowing the battle on the ground. Maybe it was an ambush to get more Americans there. Hundreds could have died so OBAMA SAVED HUNDREDS FROM CERTAIN DEATH! OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA!"

  • Sotar

    The events and aftermath of Benghazi are only symptoms of the real problem. While Washington plays politics and the media protects the left Americans have been fooled into turning a blind eye to the evils of Islam. Islam and how we deal with it are the real problem.

  • http://twitter.com/stanthedog @stanthedog

    Would not be suprised to find Valarie Jarrett's fingerprints on this subject. It is my understanding her input is requested on everything Obama does.

    • Drakken

      Never mind the idiot on the throne, always watch who is behind it.

  • HiPlainsDrifter

    Without an outraged 4th estate, a la Watergate, this goes nowhere.
    The corrupters protect Obama at all costs….
    'Cause what's more important than the continuation of his "important goals" of fairness, tolerance, diversity, and inclusion..
    To hell with American competence, exceptionalism, and Founding values…

  • benjabo

    One t hingis for certain, if Obama's lip are moving, you can be damn certain that he's lying

    • Nanis

      That's why he is hiding behind the gates of the white house. After all he is gay….. he is just too scared to come out…..

  • marios

    BHO with his accomplices don't care about this country, about its citizens life but only for keeping Power forever. Corrupted, biased, actually criminal MSM cover whatever this administration doing. MSM Goebbels's propaganda machine make them accomplices of criminals in Power. One word can only describe this WH administration and Dem's party ( by name only as actually it the Shadow party): it is TREASON.
    Those who is in Power now support this country Islamization and promote Islam overseas. ME radicalized thanks to Obama policy. Starting point was his Cairo speech where he said that USA is the biggest Muslim country and that Muslims made great contribution to US prosperity. It would be funny such outrageous LIE and deception but it was sign for MBrothers.

  • Arlie

    Wonderfully researched and written story! I always wondered who crafted the propaganda words put into the teleprompter that comes out of 0's distorted mouth. Ben Rhodes. The list of his involvement in subverting minds is scary….altering the CIA Benghazi report, the Cairo speech, the 911 Commission report… So, if he has such a wild imagination..that can depose heads of state, as in Egypt….he is another dangerous propagandist without honor or truth. A monster tool. Everyone connected to the Progressive/Democrats have sold whatever soul they might have once had and are the biggest legion of evil I've ever seen…and they sure do stick together in their evil stench, where nothing is beneath them.

  • Looking4Sanity

    OFF TOPIC

    This is the only forum I have to plead to FPM to widen its scope of news. All of us ID subscribers are limited to the issues you wish to discuss. We're all here because we support your cause(s), but there is much more to discuss than what is being focused on currently. Would it be so detrimental if we covered some more uniquely American current events? Seriously…if we don't save this country, how much longer do you think this forum will survive?

  • HiPlainsDrifter

    Perhaps David could institute a daily open forum where folks can say what's in their minds, besides radical Islam.

  • slider 96

    How's that Benghazi Boogaloo working out for ya …….so far ?

  • slider 96

    Seems the " star witnesses " are now qualifying their statements [ now that they're UNDER OATH ] with " in my estimation " or "from where I was / my position " ….

    Already the GOP Scrutinizers are being criticized …by the GOP [a.k.a. teabaggers ]

  • Andy Lewis

    Ben Rhodes may have advanced degrees, but he looks like the bouncer in some cheap waterfront dive. I'm sure that's just cosmetics and not a reflection on his character, haw haw haw.

  • slhancock

    We lived in Turkey for 6 years, between 1985-1991. Enlightenment is NOT what I'd describe as the Muslim culture…and before anyone remarks, Turkey was the most western-minded of the Muslim countries then, thanks to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Since Erdogan has come to power, they have quietly and speedily reverted back to pre-Ataturk days. Erdogan was able to accomplish this by jailing or killing over 300, or maybe it is 350 generals and high-ranking military officials. The western world doesn't know, probably, that the military had always stated quite emphatically that they would hold the first line of defense, to prevent Turkey returning to the days of the Caliphate. The military was rendered useless, much like Obama is doing to ours.

    Thanks, David, for all your hard work to expose Obama, his real motives, and I appreciate your insider's view of what the real meaning of all they do…the ultimate goal, which is to turn America to a Marxist state. I wish your books and pamphlets were required reading on all college campuses.

  • fanlad

    Trouble is, this cover up and false narrative ranges from the very top, to the Department of State, to the Department of Defense, to our inteligence communities, to Congressional advocates, to media bias, and academic ideology. The lie is fully embedded. And the low information public could care less. God help us.

  • fanlad

    Ben Rhodes masters degree was a masters in fiction. Facts can be stranger than fiction.