What is the provenance of the Muhammad video in the Benghazi talking points? Our inability to answer the question is in itself a clue. Steve Hayes follows the paper trail and reconstructs what his reporting has revealed to date in the Weekly Standard article “What about the video?” Steve characterizes the attribution of causal effect to the video a “quadruple bank shot,” but leaves open the question of who was holding the cue. Steve concludes with the questions he started out to answer: “As the top U.S. officials discussed what to include in the talking points that would shape their case to the country on the attacks in Benghazi, the video was absent. Whose idea was it to make it the centerpiece? The Obama administration still has a lot of explaining to do.”
In Steve’s reconstruction, White House national security adviser Ben Rhodes and then-NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor are found in the thick of the relevant deliberations over the talking points emails released last week. On the Panel Plus segment of Fox News Sunday yesterday — found via Brit Hume’s Twitter feed — Karl Rove follows up with his own pointed reading of the talking points emails.