As the Rhodes memo makes clear, the president sent his U.N. ambassador to the Sunday shows to lie. Susan Rice was "to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." Rice did as she was told. The election was less than two months away. A foreign policy failure would not be politically convenient, so it would be made to go away. It's one of the minor injustices of this sorry story that Rice has received more condemnations than the president or secretary of state, who pulled the strings.
Clinton began to peddle the "Internet video" story from the first moments after the guns went silent in Benghazi. When the Libyan ambassador to the U.S. apologized to her on Sept. 13, 2012, for the "terror attack," she ignored this and burbled on about "the innocence of Muslims."
The president, vice president and Clinton welcomed the bodies of Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Sept. 14. According to Woods' father, the vice president used remarkably offensive locker room talk about the deceased Navy SEAL, but Clinton stayed on message. She greeted the man whose son had bravely attempted to fight off far more numerous and better-armed terrorists on the roof of the CIA annex and who gave his life. Did she praise the courage and self-sacrifice of the decorated Navy SEAL? Did she express regret that he had been left nearly alone to fight off the Islamist terrorists? No. Not even the flag-draped coffins spread before Clinton could shake her iron determination to stick with the script. She told Woods they would catch the guy who made the Internet film and make sure he was punished.
Most politicians are capable of stretching the truth on occasion. But this question, this setting and this egregious a lie suggest that Clinton's conscience -- if she ever had one -- is growing flaccid from disuse.