Last week, we wrote about the Obama State Department's shameful string of lies pertaining to the doctoring of the official record, wherein a government official deleted a bad-optics portion of a press briefing on the Iran deal negotiations. Having initially lied about the existence of such talks in early 2013, Fox News' James Rosen revisited the issue months later when the discussions were confirmed, asking if it's the policy of the administration to lie to reporters in furtherance of a policy goal. Then-State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (now at the White House) basically responded that yes, sometimes discussions need to remain private, and the public needs to be misled about them. When Rosen went back to retrieve footage that exchange in the wake of the tempest over Ben Rhodes' public bragging about having created a dishonest echo chamber to sell the nuclear accord, it was missing. The State Department blamed this development on a technical "glitch," only to be shamed into admitting the censorship had, in fact, been deliberate. I discussed the latest developments in this controversy with Rosen's Fox News colleague Leland Vittert:
During the segment, I posed two questions: (1) How many other furtive video deletions have taken place over the course of the last seven-plus years? They happened to get caught in this case because a sharp reporter happened to recall a years-old Q&A session that was suddenly relevant again, in light of new developments. Has the administration airbrushed history elsewhere? (2) Who ordered the deletion? It is risible and insulting that State's internal "investigation" was declared over almost immediately. Their explanation amounts to, well, we've asked some questions, and this happened a few years back, so we're just going to drop it at this point -- but don't worry, it won't happen again. As CNN's Jake Tapper said in his unsparing fact-check on this matter, that's just not good enough. House Republicans agree, Politico reports:
House Republicans are launching an investigation into who at the State Department is responsible for editing out an exchange between its top spokeswoman and a journalist who was pressing for details on the administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, demanding documents that could shed light into who ordered the deletion of the Iran discussion..."This admission proves once again that the White House intentionally misled the American people about the Iran deal,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said this week. “If they truly care about transparency, the administration should investigate who requested this selective editing and why.”
Perhaps we'll finally get some semblance of the full truth several years from now. A few refreshers, in context: The unpopular Iran deal entailed major concessions, allowing the anti-American regime to maintain a vast and advancing nuclear infrastructure until western-imposed restrictions automatically expire in the next decade-and-a-half. The international inspections regime contains several large loopholes, and Tehran insists that inspectors will not be granted unfettered access to military sites. Iran has recently test-fired three banned long-range missiles (which can act as delivery systems for nuclear warheads), and was just re-affirmed as the top state sponsor of terrorism in the world. President Obama has admitted that the regime is not living up to "the spirit" of the deal, and his previous prediction that some unfrozen sanctions relief funds would be used to finance terror has been proven correct. The president has also effectively conceded that as this agreement expires, Iran could almost immediately become a threshold nuclear-armed state. Smart power.