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Jay Carney: We knew instantaneously about those Benghazi emails — everybody did

By Doug Powers  •  October 25, 2012 12:02 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Jay Carney held a press gaggle Wednesday and addressed emails that were sent just a couple hours after Benghazi alerting the White House and others that an Al Qaeda affiliated group had claimed responsibility for the attack on the 9/11 anniversary. Carney’s reaction? Everybody knew about that:

Carney acknowledged today not only that the White House knew, but that it knew “instantaneously”:

“The email you’re referring to was an open-source, unclassified email referring to an assertion made on a social media site that everyone in this room had access to and knew about instantaneously.”

Instantaneously. Yet the Obama administration claimed for weeks that they were giving Americans the best available information.

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said all the fuss over those emails is “cherrypicking a story” — something that is only proper if anger over a video is the culprit with absolutely no evidence to back it up:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton downplayed State Department emails that show the White House was alerted that a militant group had claimed responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on the day of that attack.

“The Independent Accountability Review Board is already hard at work looking at everything, not cherrypicking one story here or one document there,” Clinton said at the Wednesday press conference. “But looking at everything, which I highly recommend as the appropriate approach to something as complex as an attack like this.”

If they were waiting to gather all the information before saying publicly who was responsible for the attack and what the motive was, why the immediate focus on the video? The attack took place on the anniversary of 9/11, but the administration’s initial reaction was to downplay what should have been at the top of a painfully obvious list of possibilities. Instead they decided to run with the video story. Here’s Hillary the day after the attack:

There is no higher priority than protecting our men and women wherever they serve. We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear – there is no justification for this, none. Violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith. And as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace.

On the surface it would appear that Hillary broke her “no cherrypicking” rule on day one after the attack, but in fairness to her she didn’t set that standard until, uh, yesterday.

And forget that Joe Biden was still claiming last week that all available intelligence at the time pointed to spontaneous anger over a video being the cause of the attack.

So far there’s been no explanation why information in emails from State Department officials on the ground in a country where a US consulate was under siege don’t qualify as “available intelligence” while rumors originating from who-knows-where saying the attack was caused by a YouTube video do.

More at Twitchy.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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