Speaker Ryan demands investigation into State Department censorship of press briefing video

The State Department has been caught trying the Orwellian Memory Hole gambit, deleting the video record of its spokesman Jen Psaki in essence admitting to Fox News’s James Rosen that it misled the media about nuclear negotiations with Iran.  At first, the department claimed it was a glitch, but yesterday the department admitted that it was intentional.  So there was a cover-up, and a lie about the cover-up.

And to make it worse, they were caught by Fox News.  Absent pervasive media bias, this would be Pulitzer Prize material.

It gets worse:

[Current State Department spokesman] Kirby said he learned that on the same day of the 2013 briefing, a video editor received a call from a State Department public affairs official who made "a specific request ... to excise that portion of the briefing."

But:

“We just don’t know who made the request or why.”

And they have no plans to investigate further!  It seems that the technician who actually carried out the edit doesn’t remember who made this unprecedented request.  And the department claims it does not have phone log records to discover who made the call.

The highest ranking GOP elected official, Speaker Paul Ryan is not letting this slide.  Adam Kredo of the Free Beacon:

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) is calling for an immediate investigation into recent disclosures that the Obama administration censored public video of a State Department briefing about secret discussions with Iran, according to comments provided to the Washington Free Beacon. (snip)

The senior congressional aide who spoke to the Free Beacon said that the administration continues to violate the law with its efforts to suppress information about the nuclear agreement.

“This [behavior] should come as no surprise from an administration that repeatedly withheld critical information about the Iran deal from Congress, and even broke the law by failing to submit the secret side agreements,” the source said. “The fact is this deal was sold to the American people on a lie that’s finally starting to unravel.”

This scandal could have legs.  After all, censoring the media record cuts to the heart of the First Amendment.  Jake Tapper of CNN is jumping on the Fox News story:

CNN’s Jake Tapper slammed the State Department on Thursday after it admitted that a video of a 2013 press briefing was intentionally edited to remove part of a conversation about the Iran nuclear deal. 

“Just as the public has a right to know the truth,” Tapper said, “we have a right to know who lied to us and why.” 

Tapper called the edit a “a scrubbing of the public record and should outrage every American.” 

Tapper recounted several details related to the incident, including playing tape of State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau who had originally called the edit a “glitch.” 

“A ‘glitch' a ‘defect,' a 'technical malfunction,' now flash forward three weeks,” Tapper said, before cutting to a video of the State Department’s admission of the intentional edit on Wednesday.

Coming just weeks after Ben Rhodes admitted creating a media echo chamber by misleading, the story keeps the Iran nuclear deal on the table as an election issue.

The State Department has been caught trying the Orwellian Memory Hole gambit, deleting the video record of its spokesman Jen Psaki in essence admitting to Fox News’s James Rosen that it misled the media about nuclear negotiations with Iran.  At first, the department claimed it was a glitch, but yesterday the department admitted that it was intentional.  So there was a cover-up, and a lie about the cover-up.

And to make it worse, they were caught by Fox News.  Absent pervasive media bias, this would be Pulitzer Prize material.

It gets worse:

[Current State Department spokesman] Kirby said he learned that on the same day of the 2013 briefing, a video editor received a call from a State Department public affairs official who made "a specific request ... to excise that portion of the briefing."

But:

“We just don’t know who made the request or why.”

And they have no plans to investigate further!  It seems that the technician who actually carried out the edit doesn’t remember who made this unprecedented request.  And the department claims it does not have phone log records to discover who made the call.

The highest ranking GOP elected official, Speaker Paul Ryan is not letting this slide.  Adam Kredo of the Free Beacon:

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) is calling for an immediate investigation into recent disclosures that the Obama administration censored public video of a State Department briefing about secret discussions with Iran, according to comments provided to the Washington Free Beacon. (snip)

The senior congressional aide who spoke to the Free Beacon said that the administration continues to violate the law with its efforts to suppress information about the nuclear agreement.

“This [behavior] should come as no surprise from an administration that repeatedly withheld critical information about the Iran deal from Congress, and even broke the law by failing to submit the secret side agreements,” the source said. “The fact is this deal was sold to the American people on a lie that’s finally starting to unravel.”

This scandal could have legs.  After all, censoring the media record cuts to the heart of the First Amendment.  Jake Tapper of CNN is jumping on the Fox News story:

CNN’s Jake Tapper slammed the State Department on Thursday after it admitted that a video of a 2013 press briefing was intentionally edited to remove part of a conversation about the Iran nuclear deal. 

“Just as the public has a right to know the truth,” Tapper said, “we have a right to know who lied to us and why.” 

Tapper called the edit a “a scrubbing of the public record and should outrage every American.” 

Tapper recounted several details related to the incident, including playing tape of State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau who had originally called the edit a “glitch.” 

“A ‘glitch' a ‘defect,' a 'technical malfunction,' now flash forward three weeks,” Tapper said, before cutting to a video of the State Department’s admission of the intentional edit on Wednesday.

Coming just weeks after Ben Rhodes admitted creating a media echo chamber by misleading, the story keeps the Iran nuclear deal on the table as an election issue.