In a post called “On the Iran deal, lies upon lies,” I discussed the deletion by the State Department from an archived video of an exchange in which spokeswoman Jen Psaki effectively admitted that the administration lied about its nuclear negotiations with Iran. Summarizing the situation better than I did in my post, Jake Tapper explains:
There was a first lie told to us about the secret talks between Iran and the Obama administration. We’ll call that lie number one. Now Jen Psaki acknowledged lie number one later that year, 2013. But then someone removed that acknowledgement from the official video. Let’s refer to the scrubbing as lie number two. And then, three weeks ago, we were lied to again, with the whole glitch thing. We’ll call that lie number three.
The Algemeiner reminds of two past instances of record scrubbing — the kind of dishonesty evinced in what Tapper calls “lie number two” — by the Obama administration (it also cites a couple of examples from previous Democratic administrations). In both prior cases, as with the Psaki deletion, the Obama administration tampered with words in order to promote a false narrative on important matters of foreign policy and national security.
Team Obama did this so recently that when I first read about the Psaki deletion, I thought we might already have written about it. Just two months ago, during a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, French president Francois Hollande used the term “Islamist terrorism” when referring to the recent Islamic State terrorist attacks in Europe. As Scott noted here, someone at White House deleted this language from the official White House video.
As it initially did with the Psaki deletion, the White House official claimed there had been a “technical issue” that “led to a brief drop in the audio.” However, he could not explain why the alleged technical problem occurred at the precise moment that the words “Islamist terror” were spoken or how the glitch managed to correct itself in time for Hollande’s next words.
Hollande’s words were inconsistent with the Obama narrative on terrorism, which somehow seeks to deny that the terrorism plaguing the world is “lslamist.” Therefore, the words had to go.
Two years earlier, the White House famously edited the Benghazi talking points. Among other edits, someone changed the characterization of the violence from “attacks” to “demonstrations” before the document was given to Susan Rice for peddling on the major television networks.
Who made the change? When asked this question by Bret Baier, former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor replied “I don’t remember. . . .Dude, that was like two years ago.”
When asked the corresponding question about the Psaki deletion, State Department spokesman John Kirby gave the same answer, minus “dude” and “like.”
The original version of the talking points contradicted the then-operative Obama narrative on terrorism, which held that Obama had essentially conquered it. Therefore, the words had to go.
In the case of the latest scrubbing, Psaki’s statement to James Rosen contradicted the Obama narrative on the Iran nuclear talks, which claimed they were prompted by the election of a “moderate” Iranian president. It also constituted an admission that the administration wasn’t always truthful about its negotiations. Therefore, the words had to go.
Obama’s foreign policy is predicated on a series of lies: the terrorists have been largely vanquished; they are not “Islamist;” the Iranian regime has significantly moderated; the Iran deal was prompted by Iranian moderation, rather than Obama’s desire to deal with the regime however radical it may be.
No wonder the truth so often must be scrubbed.