Photo Credit: U.S. State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Obama’s State Department Admits it Deleted Key Portions of Iran Briefing

Photo Credit: U.S. State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The State Department, in a stunning admission, acknowledged Wednesday that officials intentionally deleted several minutes of video footage from a 2013 press briefing, where a top spokeswoman seemed to acknowledge misleading the press over the Iran nuclear deal.

“There was a deliberate request, this was not a glitch,” State Department official John Kirby acknowledged on Wednesday, adding they don’t know who made the request. . . .

But on Wednesday, current State Department spokesman Kirby said a public affairs official requested the removal the same day as that briefing. He said he didn’t know who specifically asked or why.

Kirby said there were “no rules [or] regulations in place that prohibited” this at the time, but said the deletion was not in keeping with the department’s commitment to transparency.

Jay Sekulow  of ACLJ explains,

When viewing the video, at about the 26:56 mark, you will notice the “white flash” – a well-known and oft-used transition edit.

But according to the State Department press office director Elizabeth Trudeau:  “There was a glitch.” Not convinced? No, seriously:  “Genuinely we think it was a glitch.”

Our media team at the ACLJ has reviewed the tape. It was not a “glitch.” It was an intentionally placed edit in the video – a deletion of eight minutes of tape unflattering to the Administration’s narrative.

In response to the State Department’s first statements about this, ACLJ submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the State Department. In response, the State Department finally admitted what Sekulow says the ACLJ “knew all along.” He explains, “the deletion of a key portion of this briefing was not a ‘glitch’ as the State Department first claimed; it was intentional. The Administration admitted that ‘a specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing.’”

But then the State Department added, “We do not know who made the request to edit the video, or why it was made. . . . There were no rules in place at the time to govern this sort of action, so while I believe it was an inappropriate step to take, I see little foundation for pressing forward with a formal investigation.”

Is this really an acceptable answer? Don’t the American people deserve that the people who lied to them be held accountable especially about sending billions of dollars to America’s sworn enemy Iran?

ACLJ’s FOIA request was sent nearly three weeks ago demanding the State Department to state who ordered editing the video, and what the employment hierarchy is, and why the video was edited.

The law requires the State Department to provide this information. And if Obama’s State Department refuses to comply with the very laws designed to ensure government transparency, it will be another example of Obama’s commitment to being the “most transparent administration of all time.”

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Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley facebook.com/BlankleyBethany/ & BethanyBlankley.com.

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