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It turns out that bunch of recently released Benghazi-related White House emails were doctored! And just when you thought the GOP had maxed out their bull shit card. Apparently these emails were a big ABC News scoop. From

According to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Rhodes weighed in after State Department’s Victoria Nuland, who expressed concerns about the way the talking points tk in “my building.” ABC quotes Rhodes saying:

We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.

The email obtained by Tapper is very different.

Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.

There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed. Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don’t compromise intel or the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression.

We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.

I guess they had to try to implicate the State Department because this relaunch of the faux Benghazi scandal was designed to hurt Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State during the attack on the consulate.

The GOP: All BS, all the time.


According to Talking Points Memo, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded today to these most recent revelations:

Carney on Tuesday accused Republicans of editing the emails in order to to serve a political agenda.

"I think the entire e-mail, the report I read showed the entire e-mail, and what it showed is Republicans who were leaking these press, these e-mails that had been shared with Congress didn't just do that, they decided to fabricate portions of an e-mail and make up portions of an e-mail in order to fit a political narrative," he said at a White House press conference

(My bold)

Well, the Goposaurs may at long last have gotten that "larger than Watergate" scandal they had been wishing for!


Big h/t to AnnetteK for some background info on Stephen Hayes, whose article in The Weekly Standard about the surfacing of these incriminating emails ran almost concurrently with Jonathan Karl's piece for ABC:

Stephen F. Hayes (born 1974) is a columnist for The Weekly Standard, a prominent American conservative magazine. Hayes has been selected as the official biographer for Vice President Richard Cheney.[1]

Here is the Weekly Standard article Hayes wrote that discusses the phony quote as fact:

Mister Cheney, who just yesterday (or today?), coincidentally said Benghazi was the "worst disaster in his lifetime", maybe has some 'splainin' to do.


Talking Points Memo reports on the response from ABC News:

...A short time ago, ABC responded and said basically, what’s the problem? “Assuming the email cited by Jake Tapper is accurate, it is consistent with the summary quoted by Jon Karl,” an ABC spokesperson told Erik Wemple of the Washington Post.

So how did this happen?

It seems highly unlikely that ABC’s Jon Karl would have distorted the meaning in this way. So a much more likely explanation is that the source of the leak - quite likely congressional staffers who were allowed to review the emails but not make copies - took notes which were misleading, either willfully or through wishful thinking. Needless to say, reviewing notes taken by an interested party (and I don’t know for certain these were notes from a House Republican staffer but it’s awfully likely) is an inherently dicey business. Especially if you’re not entirely clear with your readers what documents you’re referring to. And on that count, Karl fell a little short.

Near the top of his original piece, Karl writes “White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department.” That’s pretty clear. And in the article itself he uses quotes for what were purportedly the text of the emails. At other points in the original article, Karl seems to allude to the fact that there were notes as well. Read the piece to make your own judgment on that count. (Late Update - 6:16 PM: On air he seems to have been even more clear that he’d reviewed the actual emails.)
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