After an explosive article in the New York Times Magazine last month, America is beginning to see the full picture of how the Obama administration deceived the public, Washington, and the entire world on the Iran nuclear deal. In the piece, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes explained that he and others used inexperienced journalists and non-governmental agencies to create an “echo chamber” of lies that would help the deal go through.
Since then, Rhodes has denied using this kind of propaganda to sell the deal, and the media – perhaps embarrassed, perhaps simply unwilling to really go after the administration – is essentially hoping this story will go away.
Well, it isn’t. And it’s beginning to look like the rabbit hole goes much deeper than anyone might have imagined.
In February of 2013, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said all Iranian negotiations were being done in the full light of day. She insisted that there were no backroom talks happening behind the scenes.
But in December of that year, another story emerged. Following reports that Nuland’s claim was false, Fox News reporter James Rosen asked another spokesperson – Jen Psaki – about the discrepancy.
“There are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress,” Psaki acknowledged. “This is a good example of that.”
Okay, so the administration lied. It certainly wasn’t the first time. Why is that a big deal in 2016?
Well, it turns out that the State Department edited the Rosen-Psaki exchange out of the video before posting it online. Eight full minutes were removed from the footage, including Psaki’s admission. After initially blaming it on a “glitch,” the agency finally came clean this week and admitted to intentional censorship.
“There was a deliberate request [to delete the footage] – this wasn’t a technical glitch,” said current State Department spokesman John Kirby. “Deliberately removing a portion of the video was not and is not in keeping with the State Department’s commitment to transparency and public accountability.”
Actually, it’s pretty much par for the course for this administration. Whether it’s Benghazi, Syria, or the Iran deal, Obama and his minions have fed the American public one lie after another. And all the while, this president has continued to claim that his administration is the most transparent White House in American history. It’s one of the biggest whoppers of his presidency.
When it comes to the Iran deal specifically, the American people deserved better. We deserved better from our government and we deserved better from our press. This was a catastrophic failure of open discourse, and it appears that it was designed intentionally for political purposes. It’s ominous to imagine what this might mean for the Middle East, but it’s terrifying to imagine what it might mean for our democracy.