The State Department really was the perfect place for Hillary Clinton. It shares her values, things like hiding the truth, modified limited hangouts and making up cover stories. And of course, claiming it’s no big deal when you get caught in a lie about your previous lie. Fox News reports:
The State Department, in a stunning admission, acknowledged Wednesday that officials intentionally deleted several minutes of video footage from a 2013 press briefing, where a top spokeswoman seemed to acknowledge misleading the press over the Iran nuclear deal.
“There was a deliberate request, this was not a glitch,” State Department official John Kirby acknowledged on Wednesday, adding they don’t know who made the request.
Kirby had a whole long statement on this in which he said, “a specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing.” He added, “We do not know who made the request to edit the video or why it was made.”
So three weeks ago the Department said the missing video was a glitch. Today they say it was deliberate but don’t know who requested it. It should go without saying that this is also, almost certainly, a lie. They may not have a signed document asking for the deletion, but someone knows who it was. Probably only a handful of people could ask for and get something like that done. They just don’t want to say who did it because that could result in real consequences, something the State Department tries to avoid.
In case you’ve forgotten the details of this story here’s the short version (longer version is here). Back in December 2013 State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki admitted her predecessor had misled (i.e. lied to) a reporter who asked about the administration’s involvement in direct negotiations with Iran. So there was a lie and then later an admission from Psaki. The admission was made during the regular press briefing, video of which winds up on You Tube and on the State Department’s own website. That admission from Psaki is what mysteriously disappeared.
When Fox News noticed the missing video a few weeks ago the Department claimed it was a computer glitch. And today we learn that was also not true. It wasn’t a mistake. Anyone looking at the edit could tell it wasn’t a glitch right away. They lied again.
Why would they bother? Because this was a much bigger story a few weeks ago. In the infamous NY Times profile of Ben Rhodes, one controversy was the White House’s claim that negotiations were based on the election of a moderate president in Iran. In fact, negotiations had been going on for a year already, it’s just that, early on, the negotiations were done in secret. In his written defense, Ben Rhodes even claimed the White House had admitted the earlier negotiations with Iran. What Rhodes did not say is that they first lied about it for months.
So the administration lied about the negotiations, which Ben Rhodes worked in to his Iran deal narrative. Then the administration admitted they had lied but intentionally deleted video of the admission. Then when someone noticed it was missing they lied and blamed a glitch. And finally today they admit it wasn’t a glitch and then lied again saying they don’t know who ordered it or why.
Forget the nuclear fuel cascade in Iran. The Obama administration has perfected the cascade of lies. Each grudging admission is followed by a fresh lie designed to create more breathing room before the next admission. Maybe in a few more weeks, late on a Friday, someone will leak the name of the person who requested the edit. At that point it will be old news and most people won’t even remember why it mattered. The cascade of lies will have done its work. If you like your State Department briefing video, you can keep it.
Video was posted by America Rising.
Update: It wasn’t me, says Jen Psaki:
I had no knowledge of nor would I have approved of any form of editing or cutting my briefing transcript on any subject while @StateDept
— Jen Psaki (@Psaki44) June 1, 2016