I know it hasn’t been reflected in the essays here, but I have great sympathy for Jay Carney and all of his predecessors. He has a terrible job. Sometimes it’s an inherently unethical job, as when the White House spokesperson, aka “press secretary,” is sent out to spin, tap-dance, and otherwise obfuscate for his boss, the President, presumably but not always for the good of the nation.
Nonetheless, when someone in Jay Carney’s position loses all credibility and can no longer be trusted to deliver information that can be called truthful by any stretch of the imagination, that individual has to go. The official spokesman of the White House cannot be seen as someone who intentionally lies to the press and the public, and this is the status Carney has now. He has an obligation to resign, even if his boss isn’t astute enough to tell him to, and history indicates that he is not.
In a September 14, 2012 briefing, Carney himself presented, and unequivocally so, what is now known to be the false Administration narrative that the attack on the Benghazi outpost was not “directed at the United States” but was instead the direct result of an anti-Muslim YouTube video, saying, “This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to United States policy, obviously not to the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video, a film, that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting — that in no way justifies any violent reaction to it.” In a Nov. 28, 2012, news briefing Carney insisted that there was a “single adjustment” made to the CIA talking points regarding the attack by the Administration, “changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility.’ ”
On Friday of this week, ABC’s Jonathan Karl, picking up from a similar report by the Weekly Standard, reported that a review of emails proved that those talking points were subjected to 12 significant revisions, orchestrated by the State Department, resulting in the removal of any references to warnings, terror, or the al-Qaida-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia. This week, Carney again asserted that the changes made to the talking points were “a matter of non-substantive factual correction,” referring to the “consolate” change. This is the utmost deceit, and, as was reiterated on ABC’s “Sunday Morning” show, a demonstrable misrepresentation. Obviously, scrubbing the CIA report of any mention of terrorism and al Qaida is not “non-substantive.” Carney’s device seemed to be that the White House itself only made the one change, after the State Department, with input from the White House, oversaw a complete and deceptive re-write. That is dishonest, even though Carney’s only alternative would to be to say, “Okay, you caught us. We lied.”
He’s got to go. He has lied: he’s a liar.
It’s as simple as that.
Graphic: 20 min.