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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Emails on Benghazi show aides’ effort to make Obama look ‘statesmanlike’ -- By Guy Taylor, The Washington Times

** FILE ** In this Sept. 14, 2012, file photo, Libyan military guards check one of the U.S. Consulate's burnt-out buildings during a visit by Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, not shown, to the U.S. Consulate to express sympathy for the death of the American ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens and his colleagues in the deadly attack on the Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)A clutch of newly released White House emails provides the clearest evidence to date that top presidential aides sought to use anti-American protests sweeping across the Middle East in 2012 — as well as the aftermath of the Benghazi terrorist attack — to push an image of President Obama’s foreign policy as “steady and statesmanlike,” just weeks before his re-election.


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The Sept. 15, 2012, late-afternoon email from White House adviser Ben Rhodes, now the No. 2 official on the National Security Council, was released this week under the Freedom of Information Act to a conservative legal organization. It offers what appears to be the first clear evidence that the White House sought a political edge in the confusing aftermath of the worst U.S. diplomatic tragedy in decades.

Under the heading “Goals” for Ms. Rice’s appearance on five Sunday talk shows, Mr. Rhodes wrote to other White House communications officials that a main objective of Ms. Rice’s interviews should be to “reinforce the president and the administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

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