Wanted: Recording of Prep Call Before Susan Rice’s Post-Benghazi TV Interviews

by Deroy Murdock

I like the way Jim Guirard thinks. The former Democratic U.S. Senate aide is a conservative who sees things not just “out of the box,” but “out of the District.” The long-time chief of staff to the late U.S. senator Russell Long (D., La.) offers imaginative suggestions for unraveling various scandals and controversies in the national debate. His intriguing ideas and writings are gathered at TrueSpeak.org.

Guirard now is focused on a detail in the previously obstructed Benghazi e-mail that finally emerged from beneath Obama’s rug, thanks to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and the documents it has dislodged. These include many records that Team Obama had concealed from Congress.

Front and center, the subject of White House national-security aide Benjamin J. Rhodes’s September 14, 2012, e-mail reads “PREP CALL with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 PM ET.”

Most journalists and lawmakers have zeroed in on one of the e-mail’s goals: “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” This sentence confirms that Obama wanted desperately to shift the blame for the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack from al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists to an imaginary group of spontaneous demonstrators — enraged over Innocence of Muslims, a stunningly amateur anti-Islamic YouTube clip — whose meet-up supposedly went fatally awry. The latter, perhaps forgivably, would have been impossible to predict and difficult to combat. The former, however, should have been foreseen by intelligence agencies and should have triggered a presidential order for a rescue mission or other military response.

Also, the presence of well-organized, homicidal al-Qaeda franchisees wielding rocket launchers rather than picket signs annihilated Obama’s chief foreign-policy campaign theme. As he claimed at the Democratic National Convention on September 6, 2012: “Al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat; and Osama bin Laden is dead.”

Just five days later — on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack — terrorists assaulted America’s diplomatic post at Benghazi and slaughtered U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods

Through the headlines of the last few days, Guirard has kept his eyes locked on Ben Rhodes’s subject line.

Rhodes’s e-mail was not just background for then–U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s Sunday chat-show interviews, five of which she granted on September 16, 2012. The e-mail helped to organize a conference call, to be conducted on the Saturday afternoon before those TV appearances.

Thus, Guirard asks several fascinating and highly pertinent questions in his own e-mail to his journalistic contacts:

The actual “rest of the story” in the unending Benghazi scandal may be in the Saturday evening telephone briefing of Susan Rice by the WH team of scam artists . . . a last-minute teleconference set up by Ben Rhodes’ e-mail to Ambassador Rice on the preceding (Friday) evening.

Question #1 — Who were all of the parties to that 11th- hour “marching orders” conversation with Susan Rice — both at the WH and at the UN?

Question #2 — What other parties were present or listening and advising — but not speaking aloud — at each end of that WH-UN conversation?

Question #3 — Did any federal agency (WH, UN, CIA, DoD, State, NSA) record or videotape all or parts of that conversation or produce a transcript thereof?

Question # 4 — Which of these recordings or videos, if any, are still available, and under whose orders might some or all of them have been destroyed?

Question # 5 — Were there any email or telephone follow-ups to or from Amb. Rice between the end of that conversation and the Sunday morning TV shows — including any contacts with State Department, CIA, or other officials who were not parties to the conversation but whose influence might be in play?

There may be nothing new in these proceedings, but there may be much more to be discovered than in the Rhodes-to-Rice e-mail itself. 

Guirard’s very relevant questions deserve thorough answers — and soon. The U.S. House’s new special committee on Benghazi, to be chaired by the tenacious former prosecutor Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), should use Jim Guirard’s interrogatories as a backhoe to excavate the truth on this key aspect of this rapidly burgeoning outrage.