Ben Rhodes Email Recipients: Most Lead to White House – Even Michelle Obama’s Letter Opener Was Schooled

Once again it is Judicial Watch we have to thank for revealing Benghazi information hidden from the public and even Congress. Even Michelle Obama’s “letter opener” was on the Susan Rice Prep email list. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s “Strategic Communications Director” did communicate, and he did strategically direct the spin on the attacks. See the list of other White House email recipients, numerous very close to Barack Obama along with their positions at that time, a couple connected to Hillary Clinton, one connected to Susan Rice. Through these documents, we also learned that Rice received information, while the attacks were underway on 9-11-12, that Ansar al-Sharia was at the compound.

Ben Rhodes is an Assistant to Obama and Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting. “Strategic Communications” fulfilled, America betrayed. Incidentally, Ben Rhodes is the brother of David Rhodes, president of CBS news.

The “Review Authority” for the documents I have transcribed below, released to Judicial Watch, is shown as “Sharon Ahmad, Senior Reviewer.” The document is in pdf form. Find it here.

Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama

Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama


From Benjamin J. Rhodes, Friday September 14, 2012 8:09 pm

To: Dag Vega NSC Deputy Press Secretary, David Plouffe, Dan Pfieiffer, Jay Carney, Jennifer Palmieri, Joshua R. Earnest, Ferial Govashiri, Howli Ledbetter, Dawn Selak, Daniel Brundage, Erin Pelton, Mehdi K. Alhassani

Subject: PREP CALL with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET


● To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad;

● To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy;

● To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests;

● To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.


● Since we began to see protests in response to this Internet video, the President has directed the Administration to take a number of steps. His top priority has been the safety and security of all Americans serving abroad.

● First, we have significantly increased security at our diplomatic posts around the globe, with additional resources from across the government. The safety and security of our personnel is paramount and under constant review

● Second, we have reached out to governments in the region to make sure they are cooperating closely with us, and meeting their obligations to protect diplomatic facilities as best they can. For instance, we’ve seen cooperation from Yemen and Egypt cooperate significantly after President Obama called those leaders.

● Third, we’ve made our views on this video crystal clear. The United States government had nothing to do with it. We reject its message and its contents. We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence. And we are working to make sure that people around the globe hear that message.

● Fourth, we’ve encouraged leaders around the globe to speak out against the violence, and you’ve seen very important statements in the Muslim world by people like Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, President Morsi of Egypt, and others who have condemned the violence and called for a peaceful response.

● I think that people have come to trust that President Obama provides leadership that is steady and statesmanlike. There are always going to be challenges that emerge around the world, and time and time again he’s shown that we can meet them.

Q: Are you concerned that our relationship with Egypt and other Muslim countries is quickly deteriorating? Is the arab Spring now about hatred of America? Did President Obama lose the Arab World?

I think we need to step back a bit. The Arab Spring was about people across the region rising up to demand their basic rights. The protests we’ve seen these last few days were sparked by a disgusting and reprehensible video.

The fact is, this is a time of extraordinary change in the Arab World. But we’ve been able to build cooperative relationships with these new governments.

You saw that in Libya, where there’s been full cooperation with the United States and an outpouring of support for Chris Stevens and the work that he did.

You saw that in Egypt, where President Obama was able to call President Morsi directly, which led to the Egyptians calling for calm and providing much more security at our Embassy.

So this part of the world has been faced with unrest many times in recent decade. But we’re going to keep moving forward, and we believe that strong U.S. leadership can lead to a region that is more stable and more responsive to the people.

Q: Have you failed to articulate a policy for dealing with the Arab Spring?

You have heard the President articulate a very consistent set of principles and support for universal rights as the arab Spring has unfolded. We support the process of nonviolent political and economic change and reform in the region. Of course, that process will look different in different countries.

There are countries where that transition has occurred, like Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia, and we’re working to help them consolidate their democracies, deal with security needs, and stabilize their economies.

In other places like Syria that are still in throes of revolution, we have opposed the brutality of the regime and are supporting the aspirations of the people.

While this process unfolds, this President has left no doubt that he will continue to protect our other interests — destroying al Qaeda, bringing our men and women in uniform home from Afghanistan, and strengthening our leadership in the world.

But the arab Spring is going to take time to play out. This is an enormous change. And that is why we need to stay focused and firm on behalf of our principles, as the President has done.

Q: What’s your response to the Independent story that says we have intelligence 48 hours in advance of the Benghazi attack that was ignored? Was this an intelligence failure?

We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent. The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex.

Q: Can you explain to us again the President’s comment about why Egypt was not an ally?

Egypt is a critical partner of the United States. As you know, the President had an important conversation with President Morsi about the need to protect our embassy and personnel in Cairo, and the need to denounce the violence.

President Morsi expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of American life in Libya and emphasized that Egypt would honor its obligation to ensure the safety of American personnel. The President is very appreciative for the statement President Morsi made and for the actions he’s taken to date to secure our Embassy.

This was not an effort to change our relationship with Egypt in any way. We have had a long-standing partnership with Egypt, and have supported their transition to democracy. We are now working to build our relationship with what is obviously a new government.

If Pressed: I’m not here to get into a long exchange about diplomatic terminology. The President has made it clear that Egypt is a close partner of the United States, and that we have expectations tha the Egyptian government will meet its obligations to protect our facilities.

Q: Romney’s adivsor said that these protests wouldn’t have happened under President Romney?

Well, I’m not here to talk politics. Events abroad are unpredictable. Foreign policy challenges emerge no matter who is President. And I think that people have come to expect steady, statesmanlike leadership from this President on national security, and his response to these protests is no different.

The following appears to be a message/email/letter/whatever to then Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, and is dated April 17, 2014 showing Case No. F-2012-38774, Doc No. C05415286 — note that part of the first line is unreadable and that prior to the first line I can see, a message of the same size of the below is redacted. (Page 21)

HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] request: Late this week, CIA Director Petraeus gave me [____] a [hots spots?] briefing and was asked for unclassified talking points that its members could use about incident in Benghazi. (Apparently NCTC [National Counter Terrorism Center] Director Matt Olson received a similar committee from a congressional committee.) The first draft apparently seemed unsuitable (based on conversations on the SVTS [Secure Video-Teleconference Service] and afterwards) because they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack on our embassy. On the SVTS, Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy editing hand to them. He noted that he would be happy to work with Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to develop appropriate talking points. McDonough, on Rhodes’s behalf, deferred to Sullivan. It was agreed that Jake would work closely with the intelligence community (within a small group) to finalize points on Saturday that could be shared with HPSCI. I spoke to Jake immediately after the SVTS and noted that you were doing the Sunday morning shows and would need to  aware of the final posture that these points took. He committed to ensure that we are updated in advance of the Sunday shows. I specifically mentioned Erin Pelton as the one coordinating your preparations for the shows and also strongly encouraged him to loop in Rexon during the process.

Connected to Hillary Clinton

• Jake Sullivan: At the time of the Benghazi attacks, Jake Sullivan was Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and Director of Policy and Planning.

• Uzra S. Zeya: Not a recipient of the emails above but I do see her name on page 42, and others, seemingly at a time when the attacks were going on. Uzra was Deputy executive secretary to Hillary Clinton (also to Condoleeza Rice). She is a staff member of the American Educational Trust specializing in Islamic affairs. She produced a video about a pretty blonde California girl who converted to Islam, never leaves her home without being propertly covered (Uzra is not properly covered) and the blonde California girl runs a school for Muslim children. Most importantly, she served as on Hillary’s handpicked Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB) under the Clinton’s good friend Thomas Pickering. The ARB conducted the “review” without interviewing Hillary or her staff.

Connected to Susan Rice

• Erin Pelton: In July 20, 2012, 52 days before the attacks on our Benghazi compound, U.S. Ambassador the the U.N., Susan Rice, announced Erin Pelton would be the new spokeswoman for the US Mission to the United Nations. She worked for Susan Rice.

Connected to Barack Obama (and one of them, to Michelle Obama)

• Dag Vega is the director of broadcast media for the White House. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch in 2011 showed that he encouraged government entities to “skip Fox please.” It’s called manipulating the news. It’s called getting Obama through the November 2012 elections and back to the Oval Office.

• Jennifer Palmieri is assistant to Obama and director of communications.

• Dan Pfeiffer on 9/11/12 was White House Director of Communications. Today he is “Senior Advisor to the President.”

• Joshua Earnest, Special Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary since 2011.

• Howli Ledbetter: She opens Michelle Obama’s mail.

• Dawn Selak: In 2011 the LA Times showed her as Obama’s Executive Assistant. Today she is a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy.

• Ferial Govashiri: Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff to the National Security Council and Director of Visits

• Daniel Brundage: Special assistant to the senior advisor and deputy chief of staff

• Mehdi K. Alhassani: Special Assistant, Office of the chief of Staff, National Security Council staff, Executive Office of the President.

• David Plouffe: On 9/11/12 he was Senior Advisor to the President.

• Jay Carney: On 9/11/12 White House Press Secretary 

Huge amounts of information in these documents, most marked “unclassified,” have been redacted. For my complete Benghazi database, visit here.

Linked at Grumpy Opinions – need a dose of humor. Take a look at Bob Mack’s cartoons.

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  • Meg

    We all know they lied about the video. What we need to know is what do they plan to do about it. Shouldn’t some people be held accountable? Could it be they are protecting their next candidate for Pres.?

    • Boehner need to call for a Select Committee if they are not going to arrest and impeach some now. Right now, Hillary’s Accountability Review Board is “the” investigation. So hameful

  • blackirishblonde

    I looked up everyone on that email~~~ do you think the White House was involved!!!

    Dag Vega (@DagVega44). @WhiteHouse Director of Broadcast Media

    Bill Burton~Priorities USA Action~~ founded by former Obama campaign officials Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney in order to collect and spend money from wealthy donors, including corporations and unions.[2] As per FEC rules established in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the group is legally prohibited from coordinating with the candidate or his campaign.

    David Plouffe~campaign manager for Barack Obama

    Dan Pfeiffer ~ Assistant to the President of the United States

    Jay Carney~White House press secretary

    Jennifer Palmieri~ Assistant to the President and deputy communications director.

    Josh Earnest~White House Special Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary

    Feriel Govashiri~ Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff to the National Security Council

    Howli Ledbetter~director of correspondence for Michelle Obama

    Dawn Selak~Intern to Senior Advisor David Axelrod

    Daniel Brundage~assistant to the deputy chief of staff

    Erin Pelton~ Spokesperson, U.S. Mission to the United Nations

    Mehdi AlHassani – Field Organizer , Obama for Proud to be an American

    • Pretty much matches the list I have in the article, but Alhassain has a much more important job with Obama now, Dawn Selak is spokesperson for the Dept. of Energy,

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