White House finally releases 1st briefing photo of Obama on night of Benghazi attack; Update: 3 months old?

posted at 8:01 am on January 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The White House in any modern administration has an official photographer whose duty is to take pictures all day long of official and unofficial activities of the President.  Sometimes those events are obviously momentous, while others only become so in retrospect.  The White House releases some into the public domain on its Flickr site, but only those that please the administration.  Others — like the photos of Barack Obama being briefed on the unfolding attack on our consulate in Benghazi on September 11th — require a little more effort to have released.  In this case, it took public criticism (and perhaps the threat of a lawsuit) from several media outlets to get this picture released (via Fox and The Blaze):

Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor, left, updates the President and Vice President on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Chief of Staff Jack Lew are at right.

It took that much effort to release this? Both Fox and The Blaze note that this is only the first picture released and that more are expected to come, but I’m not sure why the White House bothered to withhold this.  We knew these men were at the White House that evening.  Jason Howerton argues that it at least corroborates what has been established earlier:

While the photo doesn’t provide a lot of information, the picture does seem to confirm that Obama was briefed on the night of the Benghazi attack — and by whom. What was said — well, that’s another story.

Actually, that will be the story.  In this case, at least, a picture isn’t worth one of the actual words spoken.  I doubt we’ll learn much from any of the photos taken that night, but the White House certainly makes it seem like we might with their strange cat-and-mouse strategy on releasing what should be public records.

Anyway, this will at least make for an interesting caption contest.  Have at it in the comments!

Update: A non-story just got a little more … non. The White House may be coy on releasing all of the photos taken that night, but not this one.  Jeryl Bier did a little cache digging and discovered that this got uploaded in October, about a month after it was taken — and even got used by Bag News in one of its posts a couple of days later.  Check out the screen shots in Jeryl’s posts.  Maybe Fox and The Blaze need to revisit this story a bit.


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Comment pages: 1 2

What do we do? Rock-Paper-Scissors…

right2bright on January 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Is he wearing the same suit in the Benghazi pic and the Sandy Hook pic?

You have to be kidding. Let’s see the metadata on both.

MarkT on January 4, 2013 at 10:34 AM
—–

IS HE??

OH IS HE!!!????

THE SAME SUIT???

NOOOOO!!!!!

QUICK!

LOOK AT THE PHOTOS

LOOK

LOOK

LOOK

OMG NO!

THE TIES ARE DIFFERENT

BUT THE SUIT MIGHT BE THE SAME

NICE TRY OBAMA

YOU CHANGED TIES FOR THE PHOTO YOU LIAR

QUICK MARKT SEND YOUR GROUND BREAKING HOT TIP TO FIX NEWS

QUICK

QUICK

QUICK

THEN SHOVE YOUR HEAD BACK UP WHERE IT WAS WHEN YOU WOKE UP THIE MORNING

Dave Rywall on January 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM

This is my insouciant sneer. Looks good, doesn’t it? You gettin’ that Mr. Photographer?

ironked on January 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM

“Mr. President, there are three reasons why things went badly so fast. Number one…you’re a dope.”

“I don’t wanna hear the other two.”

H/T Abbott and Costello.

DrAllecon on January 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM

“You’re right, Mr. President. After discussing we are all in agreement that your drop at the water hazard on 13 should not have constituted a two-stroke penalty.”

hungrymongo on January 4, 2013 at 10:46 AM

And this is the picture they CHOSE to release? Whether it was actually taken that day ( which I doubt very much) or it was staged yesterday, it’s still amazing that they would release a picture with obozo looking bored and disgusted at the very idea that he was pulled away from his computer before he could get tickets to the Thunder Down Under.

Xyz22 on January 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM

So Hotair is whining that a useless photo of Obama wasn’t released fast enough?
Or is it whining that the photo is faked?
Or that the photo was released to prove something?
Or hide something?

The next 4 years are going to be really rough on you little crybabies.

Dave Rywall on January 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM

No, Dave. We are making fun of this administration’s ability to keep its eye on the ball. When the world is in turmoil and the economy is broken, with diligence and determination it can always make time to focus on what’s really important to all Americans: releasing a bullsh!t photo of fearless leader looking “presidential”.

ROCnPhilly on January 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Maybe Fox and The Blaze need to revisit this story a bit.

oopsie-doopsie!

sesquipedalian on January 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

“Can’t you see I’m busy playing pocket pool here and no this is not a half a roll of dimes I have both hands on,” says the dumbest guy in whatever room he happens to be in!

ConcealedKerry on January 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Joe, to himself, “If I hold this paper, everyone will think I am doing something important.”

2nd observation – my grandad always used to chastise me for keeping my hands in my pockets, said that if your hands were in your pockets, you were clearly not getting anything done. For whatever that’s worth.

samuelrylander on January 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Biden has a paper, briefer has a folder, two other briefers have folders and PresNitWit Petey has his dick in his hands!
Great, we really and truly are scroomed.

ConcealedKerry on January 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

QUICK MARKT SEND YOUR GROUND BREAKING HOT TIP TO FIX NEWS

QUICK

QUICK

QUICK

THEN SHOVE YOUR HEAD BACK UP WHERE IT WAS WHEN YOU WOKE UP THIE MORNING

Dave Rywall on January 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Dave Rywall:

I did,and they fought for there lives for over 8 hours!

Dave,would it be more comforting to ya,if the Canadian Government
cut you loose,and you had to fend for yourself!!?

************************ ALERT ****************************

THERESISTANCE ‏@PROVIDENCE1791

White House Releases First Photo of President Obama on Night of Benghazi Attack http://www.theblaze.com/stories/white-house-releases-first-photo-of-president-obama-on-night-of-benghazi-attack/ … via @theblaze
========================

White House Releases First Photo of President Obama on Night of Benghazi Attack

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 10:14pm by
********************************************

he very first photo of President Barack Obama being briefed on Sept. 11, 2012, following the Benghazi terrorist attack was posted on the White House’s Flickr site on Thursday.

The White House has previously withheld photos of the president taken the night of the attack.

“Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor, left, updates the President and Vice President on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Chief of Staff Jack Lew are at right,” the photo’s description reads. The White House’s Flickr site claims the photo was taken on Sept. 11, 2012 and uploaded on Thursday.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/white-house-releases-first-photo-of-president-obama-on-night-of-benghazi-attack/

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 11:58 PM

canopfor on January 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Obama~ Who is Ben Gazi, tell me again?

Biden~ I can see that from Sarah’s front porch!

tinkerthinker on January 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Mr. President your not understanding what I am saying, when that red phone rings you are supposed to answer it.

tommer74 on January 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM

IS HE??

OH IS HE!!!????

THE SAME SUIT???

NOOOOO!!!!!

QUICK!

LOOK AT THE PHOTOS

LOOK

LOOK

LOOK

OMG NO!

THE TIES ARE DIFFERENT

BUT THE SUIT MIGHT BE THE SAME

NICE TRY OBAMA

YOU CHANGED TIES FOR THE PHOTO YOU LIAR

QUICK MARKT SEND YOUR GROUND BREAKING HOT TIP TO FIX NEWS

QUICK

QUICK

QUICK

THEN SHOVE YOUR HEAD BACK UP WHERE IT WAS WHEN YOU WOKE UP THIE MORNING

Dave Rywall on January 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Update: A non-story just got a little more … non. The White House may be coy on releasing all of the photos taken that night, but not this one. Jeryl Bier did a little cache digging and discovered that this got uploaded in October, about a month after it was taken — and even got used by Bag News in one of its posts a couple of days later. Check out the screen shots in Jeryl’s posts. Maybe Fox and The Blaze need to revisit this story a bit.

lol – c’mon; that’s funny. :)

Axe on January 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM

So Hotair is whining that a useless photo of Obama wasn’t released fast enough?

Actually, I was kind of making fun of the notion that this was a story at all. The photos aren’t going to prove or disprove anything that happened that night, so I’m not sure why the media outlets have their panties in a bunch about it in the first place. But it makes for a fun caption contest nonetheless.

Ed Morrissey on January 4, 2013 at 11:28 AM

where’s the women at?

Wagthatdog on January 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Biden and Obama always look stupid.

Hillary has proven to be just as stupid as they are at 3:00a.m. when the phone rings.

Schadenfreude on January 4, 2013 at 11:57 AM

He was briefed, got on a plane to campaign, and then attacked Mitt Romney for pointing out the truth. In fact the entire MSM media ravaged Romney for a week, based on the mantra, “Romney jumped the gun” it was a video, not a terrorist attack.

Fleuries on January 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

It’s up on Drudge…

Seven Percent Solution on January 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Denis McDonough: Mr. President, I’ll go over our lunch choices one more time. Smashburger or Kennedy Fried Chicken. What say you?

Obama: Hmm, tough choice.

Biden: There’s a new KFC around here? Sweet!

smfic on January 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

It’s photoshopped. The real picture has him on the golf course taking a phone call about Benghazi.

The Rogue Tomato on January 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Now let me be clear! What I’ve said, is what I’ve already said, make no mistake and let’s be real clear, while Benghazi was burning the Republicans were sipping slurpees trying to keep us in the ditch. The responsibility is mine and on this very important issue, I voted present.”

demigogue on January 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

oba-mao left them behind…. commander in chief, my aching a**. NOT OPTIMAL!!!!

ultracon on January 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM

No, Dave. We are making fun of this administration’s ability to keep its eye on the ball. When the world is in turmoil and the economy is broken, with diligence and determination it can always make time to focus on what’s really important to all Americans: releasing a bullsh!t photo of fearless leader looking “presidential”.

ROCnPhilly on January 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM

They release photos to the flickr feed all the time.

You’re not so stupid that you think Obama or anybody within 100 people of him manages the flickr feed, are you?

Yawn.

Dave Rywall on January 4, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/04/egypt-says-it-seized-us-made-missiles-near-gaza/?test=latestnews

Now, what on earth would US made missles be doing in Libya?

Tenwheeler on January 4, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Dave Rywall on January 4, 2013 at 1:32 PM

The White House releases some into the public domain on its Flickr site, but only those that please the administration. Others — like the photos of Barack Obama being briefed on the unfolding attack on our consulate in Benghazi on September 11th — require a little more effort to have released. In this case, it took public criticism (and perhaps the threat of a lawsuit) from several media outlets to get this picture released

Clearly, you are so stupid that you will make such a lame attempt at criticism without actually reading the article. But you’ve worked hard to repeatedly and conclusively prove that ad nausea um.

Too easy.
(yawn)

ROCnPhilly on January 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM

So they did this one and the Sandy Hook one back to back right?

Wagthatdog on January 4, 2013 at 2:26 PM

I do find the photo helpful, but not without further investigation, for this reason:

To ask the question: Given the situation on the ground, what would we expect Denis McDonough, Tom Donilon and (perhaps) Jack Lew to know at the time this photo was taken?

The White House has attempted to remain as insulated from events in Benghazi as possible, suggesting (by such distance and silence) that this was a State Department matter and not something that was “handled” at the Presidential level.

Is it likely that McDonough and Donilon were out of the loop? They are part of the loop.

They could be asked what they knew and when. They can’t be asked what they told the President (a form of attorney-client privilege). But, we can interpolate.

Anyway, we won’t know what happened on a real time line and who knew what for a very long time, or until someone has a reason to want us to know. At the moment, there are a lot of people with reason (so it appears) to not wants us to know. Such information follows motivation; it does not flow freely. Sometimes, even under oath. At least in this administration (and probably others).

IndieDogg on January 4, 2013 at 2:42 PM

The original located here has all its metadata.

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Artist: Pete Souza
Copyright: This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
Date Time: 2012:10:09 12:19:00
Image Description: President Barack Obama talks with Vice President Joe Biden, Chief of Staff Jack Lew, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in the Oval Office, Sept. 11, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
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Date Time Digitized: 2012:09:11 19:26:28
Date Time Original: 2012:09:11 19:26:28
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Exposure Bias Value: 0
Exposure Mode: Manual exposure
Exposure Program: Manual
Exposure Time: 1 / 160
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
FNumber: 3.2
Focal Length: 50
Focal Plane Resolution Unit: 4
Focal Plane X Resolution: 160
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ISO Speed Ratings: 640
Max Aperture Value: 0.625
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Scene Capture Type: Standard
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Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Date Time: 2012:10:09 12:19:00

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Date Time Digitized: 2012:09:11 19:26:28
Date Time Original: 2012:09:11 19:26:28

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Dep NSA: First problem is the blame is going to stick to you like white on rice.

BO: Rice?

chickasaw42 on January 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Pathetic! This sorry excuse for a human being has no feelings and doesn’t even do a very good job at faking it.

jqc1970 on January 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM

where’s the women at?

We must be authentic and true to our cultural classics. I believe the correct line was:

Hey, where are the white women at?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGQ-ISsDm8M

Shaughnessy on January 4, 2013 at 6:09 PM

where’s the women at?

We must be authentic and true to our cultural classics. I believe the correct line was:

Hey, where are the white women at?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGQ-ISsDm8M

Shaughnessy on January 4, 2013 at 6:09 PM

That’s not the question the Black Caucus is asking!!!!!!!

chickasaw42 on January 4, 2013 at 7:14 PM

It looks like, if you go to the original Flickr feed and download the “full-size” image, you have a fair chance of reading Plugs’ notes on the meeting between Netanyahu and Barry (Plugs titled the notes as “Pres & BB”). Surprisingly neat penmanship for a crazy man…

Another Sean on January 4, 2013 at 11:30 PM

CAPTION ENTRY:

“We’re done moving FORWARD here, right, right. OK, next “TAX FREE” ha ha, donation Lobby.

MSGTAS on January 5, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Comment pages: 1 2