Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lies, Damned Lies, And GOP Slurs Against Obama — UPDATED

Sarah Jones at Politicus USA has a few words on the subject of White House emails provided by GOP sources to ABC and CNN regarding what really happened within the Obama administration concerning Benghazi... provided, as it turns out, after significant editing by those GOP sources, editing which substantially misrepresents the original content. Here's Jones:

In an exclusive for CNN, [Jake] Tapper reveals that CNN has the original email sent by a top Obama aide, regarding the administration’s reaction to the Benghazi attacks. Tapper reported, “The actual email differs from how sources characterized it to two different media organizations.”

“The actual email from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever (sic) leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House primarily concerned with the State Department’s desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department,” Tapper concludes (my [i.e., Jones's] bold).

GOP Lie-brary
In the same article, Jones notes that Tapper reveals how ABC and the Weekly Standard, both major conservative (or at least Republican) news outlets, "paraphrased" the emails, quoted them "inaccurately" and twisted the original meaning so as to make it appear that then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes was involved in a CYA operation benefitting the Obama administration State Department after the fact.

I suppose all's fair in love, war and GOP politicking, but a democracy cannot function with a continuing misrepresentation of the facts regarding significant events by the opposition party, however politically advantageous such misrepresentations... face it, lies... may prove to be.

Jones concludes that this is only one incident in an ongoing pattern engaged in by the GOP:
This is why we do not run with these stories when they first come out. Consistently over Obama’s first term, we found that when the facts come out later (as I pointed out in the new shiny ball IRS scandal story), it has turned out that the stories were being planted in the press. The information was wrong. There was an agenda afloat.

What is even worse for Republicans is that the real email expresses dismay at the uninformed spreading bullcrap. The only people screaming bullcrap about Benghazi were Republicans who sought to use it to win an election.

Another day, another conspiracy debunked. Now, when will the press stop falling for this crap? Note to the media, the next time a “Republican congressional aide” or unnamed source has a smoking gun OMG!!11!!! Nixon Bush scandal, you might want to find a back up source, and get the original documents before being Breitbarted by edited emails/videos/etc.
And so I paraphrase Disraeli or Twain (take your pick) in the post title. Lies, damned lies, and... not statistics... but GOP fabrications of news stories that actually do have a legitimate backstory, but not one that is to the GOP's advantage. There is plenty wrong with Obama and his administration, but the GOP is unwilling to settle for less than his total destruction, even if it means the country's destruction as well. For our nation to have survived over 200 years of legitimately fierce political infighting, only to be brought low by a party willing to claim anything, and a news media willing to serve as that party's stenographers, would be a damned shame.

UPDATE 5/19 via Josh Marshall of TPM: according to Major Garrett on CBS Evening News, Republicans leaking the emails inserted text referring to the State Department, text that simply wasn't there in the original. Example from an email from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes:

  • Original: “We need to resolve this in a way that respects all the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.”
  • Republican leaked version: “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.”
You know, if I were permitted to revise anything my opponent says, I believe I could win every argument. Apparently that's what GOPers have decided to do.

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