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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Caption:

“We came, we saw, he died.”

olesparkie on January 4, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Caption

“Will you get to the point, I’m tired and I want to go to bed”

gophergirl on January 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

“Go tell somebody that gives a sh*t”

winston on January 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

“Joe, I’m putting you in charge of the cover up.”

WordsMatter on January 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Sir, I have some bad news about “operation Long Legged Mack Daddy!”

50sGuy on January 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

“You made me leave Vegas for this?”

Gatsu on January 4, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Joe Biden – Libya, that’s in South America, right?

Oil Can on January 4, 2013 at 8:05 AM

There’s honesty in that picture I’ve never seen within a hundred miles of Barack Obama or Joe Biden, Biden’s perma-stupid expression notwithstanding. It almost looks like grown up men talking about something important.

Someone show it to Boehner.

Axe on January 4, 2013 at 8:07 AM

“Will you get to the point, I’m tired and I want to go to bed”

gophergirl on January 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

“Oh I can do it, Mr. President. I can wiggle my ears and these glasses will slip right down onto my nose.”

Axe on January 4, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Even when Biden is trying to look attentive he comes off a a cloudy dullard.

NY Conservative on January 4, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Joe Biden (to himself): Libya is a country? I thought it was some chick we rescued in North Africa.

BigGator5 on January 4, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Caption-

Obama: Who is this Ben Gotzee guy you keep talking about?

DaBird on January 4, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Dude on the left….”Mr. President we have……”

what Biden actually hears “ssssshshhshshsshhhshssssshhshs….*ice cream truck bells*….ssshhshshhshshshhshshhshhshhshshshhssshshssss”

NY Conservative on January 4, 2013 at 8:11 AM

“How can we pin this on the Republicans?”

austinconservative on January 4, 2013 at 8:11 AM

“Why are you telling me this?”

NeighborhoodCatLady on January 4, 2013 at 8:12 AM

“It’s September 12 somewhere, right? Guess this means this counts as my post-Benghazi daily security briefing.”

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Obama – People died? I fell really bad for my re-election campaign.

Oil Can on January 4, 2013 at 8:13 AM

If He doesn’t have His feet on our furniture, He’s playing pocket pool.

Dingbat63 on January 4, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Those photos should be labeled similarly to the way hotels used to label their toilets (with a little banner that):

SANITIZED FOR HIS PROTECTION!’

easyt65 on January 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Good thing there was a WH photographer there to capture the moment.

TFG: “Let’s wait for Romney to say something… then we’ll pounce.”

SAMinVA on January 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM

“How can we spin this so it’s all Mitt Romney’s fault?”

AZCoyote on January 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM

If He doesn’t have His feet on our furniture, He’s playing pocket pool.

Dingbat63 on January 4, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Screwball in the side pocket.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2013 at 8:19 AM

I still can’t believe what’s happened to this country that they would reelect this man.

The Count on January 4, 2013 at 8:21 AM

We have to protect our phoney balogney jobs gentlemen.

docflash on January 4, 2013 at 8:23 AM

You mean to tell me they attacked us with the guns we were giving them?

EliTheBean on January 4, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Good thing there was a WH photographer there to capture the moment.

SAMinVA on January 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Must be a photographer with him 24/7. Or as Herman Cain says, they think we are stupid.

White House releases pic of moment 0bama heard about Sandy Hook

No, this is not a joke.

Brat on January 4, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Obamasite – “Is that all? Hey there, will you help Joe out with his grocery list?”

Everyone of them morons.

rsherwd65 on January 4, 2013 at 8:26 AM

“I care about this, why?”

dogsoldier on January 4, 2013 at 8:31 AM

“But, did the arms get to Syria alright?”

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 8:33 AM

I find it interesting that Hilary isn’t there, quite honestly. As for Obama, he merely looks his usual self–bored and disinterested, and a bit irked that he is even being bothered with this situation.

His Poor Pitiful Pearl look.

Meh!

herm2416 on January 4, 2013 at 8:33 AM

“…now the fifth hole is a par 4, with a sharp dogleg to the right. You’ll want a three wood off the tee…”

SacredFire on January 4, 2013 at 8:33 AM

We have to protect our phoney balogney jobs gentlemen.

docflash on January 4, 2013 at 8:23 AM

I didn’t get a harrumph outta that guy.

Mr. D on January 4, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Repeat it more slowly so Joe can understand it

Strike Twice on January 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM

“It’s a good thing we have the media in our pocket or we would never be able to keep this out of the news until after the election”

Rio Linda Refugee on January 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM

The attack began mid afternoon (around 3pm) eastern time. Why is it dark outside when they are having their initial briefings?

Bensonofben on January 4, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Must be a photographer with him 24/7. Or as Herman Cain says, they think we are stupid.

White House releases pic of moment 0bama heard about Sandy Hook

No, this is not a joke.

Brat on January 4, 2013 at 8:25 AM

The worst day of his presidency? Really?
Really?

€%|$& moron, it is all about him. I’m certain it couldn’t have the worst day, the most unimaginable day for those families.

Could it?

herm2416 on January 4, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Stand down! Stand down!

BigOil on January 4, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Find the golf club in the picture!

Blake on January 4, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Must be a photographer with him 24/7. Or as Herman Cain says, they think we are stupid.

White House releases pic of moment 0bama heard about Sandy Hook

No, this is not a joke.

Brat on January 4, 2013 at 8:25 AM

They weren’t trying to hide the Sandy Hook tragedy.

scalleywag on January 4, 2013 at 8:47 AM

…you white guys are lying!

KOOLAID2 on January 4, 2013 at 8:47 AM

I had to put on my jacket and tie for this!?

Cleombrotus on January 4, 2013 at 8:48 AM

No Mr. President, not Ben Gazzara. This is a city someplace in North Africa. We think. Langley is checking.

2ndMAW68 on January 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM

too bothered to even read a file or take notes?

cpcod on January 4, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Caption contest?

“This is not optimal, Mr President.”

“Hey, that’s a good line. I’ll use that.”

itsnotaboutme on January 4, 2013 at 8:54 AM

“And your choices tonight will be chicken in a light oregeno sauce, or prime rib, with a side of twice baked potato.”

Wander on January 4, 2013 at 8:54 AM

“So, what your telling me is that the attack went exactly as planned, and Stevens is no longer a problem? Good job guys.”

Pork-Chop on January 4, 2013 at 8:55 AM

(fix)

“So, what you’re telling me is that the attack went exactly as planned, and Stevens is no longer a problem? Good job guys.”

Pork-Chop on January 4, 2013 at 8:56 AM

caption contest?”

Okay, call Chicago, get Rahm on this right away…and Hillary’s going to have to take the fall for this….er…literally.

Don L on January 4, 2013 at 8:56 AM

“caption contest?”

Whose in charge of community organizing this Benghazi hood?

Don L on January 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Sir, the unicorn is missing

Aggie95 on January 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Guy on left with reading glasses,

“Let me boil this down for you Mr. President, so you can get on with the more important things such as your trip to Las Vegas. Here are the most important points,

“One, we screwed up,
Two, we really screwed up, and
Three, we are really screwed on this deal.”

Obama,

“But what I really need to know, is this going to hurt my reelection?”

Biden,

“No way Mr. President, I told that Stevens guy to gird his loins, not our fault he didn’t.

kam582 on January 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Whose in charge of community organizing this Benghazi hood?

Don L on January 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Good one!

kam582 on January 4, 2013 at 9:03 AM

“So, what you’re telling me is that the attack went exactly as planned, and Stevens is no longer a problem? Good job guys.”

Pork-Chop on January 4, 2013 at 8:56 AM

If we were voting on captions you’d have my vote.

HotAirian on January 4, 2013 at 9:06 AM

“Go tell somebody that gives a sh*t”
winston on January 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

The really scary thing is that, even after all this time, this is the MOST interested and concerned they could possibly make Obama look.

It’s not even in a conference room. Did Obama “call” a meeting; or did these guys have to lie in wait and catch him on his way back from the bathroom?

logis on January 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

“Mr President, I hate to be the one to tell ya, but the deli was all out of egg salad, I had to get you tuna……………”

And a collective gasp is heard throughout the room, while Biden exclaims, “That’s a BIG EFFIN’ DEAL!!”

waterytart on January 4, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Hands stuffed in his pockets. Scowl on his face. Clearly irritated that they are interfering with the rat-eared wonder’s “me time.”

Happy Nomad on January 4, 2013 at 9:08 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

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

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

Somebody has to keep these bastards honest and it certainly isn’t going to be you Canadians. Speaking of useless.

Happy Nomad on January 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM

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

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

:D

itsnotaboutme on January 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

There’s honesty in that picture I’ve never seen within a hundred miles of Barack Obama or Joe Biden, Biden’s perma-stupid expression notwithstanding. It almost looks like grown up men talking about something important.

Someone show it to Boehner.

Axe on January 4, 2013 at 8:07 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

Axe on January 4, 2013 at 9:14 AM

“But the good news is, Mr. President, we found a shmoe filmmaker to pin this on.”

redmama on January 4, 2013 at 9:16 AM

“Mr. President, to confirm. The order is to stand down, correct?”

Caper29 on January 4, 2013 at 9:18 AM

“What should I do?”

Looks like early evening in this photo. On that day the sun set in D.C. at 19:23.

“What could I do?”

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 9:18 AM

President Obama: “You heard me. Tell the CIA and other rescuers to Stand Down.”

I hope everyone in that room burns in Hell.

RobertE on January 4, 2013 at 9:19 AM

McDonough – Sir, the female staffers have been complaining about Uncle Joe.

Joe – Huh?

yongoro on January 4, 2013 at 9:21 AM

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

Wrong. This photo could have been taken yesterday. All this photo proves is that Obama, Biden, and 3 other guys were standing in the oval office after sunset.

But, since when does the current POTUS were a suit and tie in the White House? After dark? Is there a party going on somewhere?

Caption:

“Mr. President…the rabbit died. We all know how you feel about being punished…..”

BobMbx on January 4, 2013 at 9:27 AM

White House releases pic of moment 0bama heard about Sandy Hook

No, this is not a joke.

Brat on January 4, 2013 at 8:25 AM

More ghoulish opportunism: Gabby Giffords is visiting Newtown.

Why isn’t she visiting mental health facilities in order to keep weapons away from the disturbed? Why isn’t she visiting her own shooter?

Newtown and CT have very restrictive gun laws. The problem was not the weapon; it was the shooter.

onlineanalyst on January 4, 2013 at 9:27 AM

“It’s a good thing we have the media in our pocket or we would never be able to keep this out of the news until after the election”

Rio Linda Refugee on January 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM

The media must be what Obysmal is fondling in that “concerned” photo.

onlineanalyst on January 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM

McDonaugh: “Sir, no one is protesting the anti-Mohammed film.”

O: “So it’s the anti-Mohammed film then. I knew it.”

LetsBfrank on January 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM

“Mr. President, to confirm. The order is to stand down What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, correct?”

Caper29 on January 4, 2013 at 9:18 AM

FIFY ;0

Seriously, this picture is being advertised as a “briefing” but it looks more to me like a discussion at the end of some other meeting. We know for a fact that no matter what was said, the rat-eared wonder went to bed even though he knew he had a missing ambassador. We know that he lied his ass off the next morning that what happened at Benghazi. Then he got on a plane and went to Vegas for a party. In short, it really doesn’t matter what he was told the night of the 11th because it is clear he didn’t give a rodent’s behind about it and was pissed off that somebody was standing between him and bed or dinner or whatever.

Happy Nomad on January 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Caption: “I don’t care what you think. I said stand down.”

petefrt on January 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

“Oh guys, one more little thing before you leave”

Strike Twice on January 4, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Caption: “Hurry with this, I need my sleep for early flight to Vegas, baby!”

Static21 on January 4, 2013 at 9:38 AM

This picture could have been taken anywhere at any time.

rollthedice on January 4, 2013 at 9:38 AM

The Ultimate in Concern Trolls.

BigWyo on January 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Biden: “Damn. This guy’s got enough real hair to keep his glasses on top of his head.”

Galtian on January 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Caption “if sheriff Joe says it’s a YouTube video protest and not terrorism, then it’s the YouTube video protest story that we will use”

shanimal on January 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM

All the metadata has been scrubbed from this photo. This has to be done intentionally. Why?

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Again, it’s rock…paper…scissors – ‘hands in pockets’ ain’t an option.

Knott Buyinit on January 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Guy on Left: “It wasn’t the video.
Biden: “It wasn’t the video?”
Obama: “It was the video.”

albill on January 4, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Joe Biden: “Seriously?? There’s REALLY a country called Libya??!! Huh, for decades I thought that was just a fancy name for ‘Lady Parts.’”

heddly_lamar on January 4, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Obama: “Benghazi?? Stick to the subject at hand. What are the picks I should make for the Sweet Sixteen this March. Come on people we only have a few months before my ESPN appearance.”

mechkiller_k on January 4, 2013 at 9:54 AM

“So they’re attacking an Embassy, is that really that big a deal?”

DeathtotheSwiss on January 4, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Obama’s body language indicates less concern about humans and more “You have got to be kidding me!” reaction. He thinks of what it does to him, not the horror of what is happening to them. Notice the disgusted look.

Biden’s is classic- “What? I didn’t do it! Just make that clear, I didn’t do it! I’m VP, I won? Who are you? Who am I? You’re saying we have people in Benghazi? Where the hell is Benghazi? Libya? Where the hell is Libya? What? Am I supposed to know everything, I was a Senator for the love of God, we’re stupid by nature and profession! Jeezz, Alzheimers is tough…but convenient too at times. “

archer52 on January 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Shame there will be no justice for the individual who were killed while this President did not a damn thing. Probably to busy on the phone with The View and setting up a tee time! America wake the hell up!

karlinsync on January 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM

“Have all steps been taken to protect the attackers?”

tommyboy on January 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM

There’s honesty in that picture I’ve never seen within a hundred miles of Barack Obama or Joe Biden, Biden’s perma-stupid expression notwithstanding. It almost looks like grown up men talking about something important.Someone show it to Boehner.

Axe on January 4, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Grown-up men talking to an adult child with his hands in his pockets and a look on his face that he could not care less?

DeathtotheSwiss on January 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Obama “OK, we’ve got our 5 for a pick-up game on the court.”

Biden “But what about Benghazi?”

Obama “Let them get their own team.”

Sabercat2 on January 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Grown-up men talking to an adult child with his hands in his pockets and a look on his face that he could not care less?

DeathtotheSwiss on January 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM

He doesn’t look that way to to me, but I understand he looks differently to you (and some others, up a bit so far). I won’t argue with your adult child characterization; that seems pretty apropos.

Axe on January 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Sir… We have been caught with this in our ASS

07stang on January 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM

There’s no way to prove to me that photo wasn’t taken earlier this week.

sadatoni on January 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM

“Just declare Benghazi a gun-free zone!”

Archivarix on January 4, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Caption:

“Okay. I just want to make sure I have this right. First, you want me to requisition 50 U.S. Air Force jets and train their engines on the fairways in order for you to have a ‘more comfortable golf experience’, then…”

ROCnPhilly on January 4, 2013 at 10:30 AM

There’s no way to prove to me that photo wasn’t taken earlier this week.

sadatoni on January 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM
——

ha ha ha 4 more years of moronic diaper filling like this

Dave Rywall on January 4, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Caption:

“How about that Sugar Bowl last night? Didn’t think Louisville had it in them.”

bigjmantx on January 4, 2013 at 10:34 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

No, no, no, and no. Keep guessing. Even clueless people can stumble on the right answer if they guess enough times.

The Obama administration lied about Benghazi and people like you don’t care because he’s a Democrat. Meanwhile the media would have gone crazy about it if an R had been in office.

You know this is true so you’re trying to criticize the criticism.

blink on January 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM
——

I would like to thank you in advance for the next 4 years of your hilarious comments.

Dave Rywall on January 4, 2013 at 10:35 AM

FADE IN

INT. OVAL OFFICE — DUSK

MCDONOUGH
Sir. We, uh… It looks like we’ve
REALLY stepped in it this time.

BIDEN
Man you’ve got some crazy ear-hair!

OBAMA
I was never here. We never had this
conversation. You feelin’ me, Dog?

DONILON
(gushingly)
He’s just dreamy, isn’t he?

LEW
Sure is. Just LOOK at that crease!

SMASH CUT TO RUNNING DOG MEDIA, blindly following the White House narrative.

FADE OUT

CaptFlood on January 4, 2013 at 10:35 AM

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