Slowly but surely the facts are emerging on what happened at the highest levels of the U.S. government during and in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Jay Carney, President Obama's chief spokesman, maintained the administration's wall of resistance to all criticism of the government's response despite release of a set of devastating emails Tuesday.

Judicial Watch, the nonprofit government watchdog, pointed in particular to an email circulated on Sept. 14, 2012, by then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes.

Its purpose was preparation of then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice for her appearances on the Sunday news talk-show circuit to discuss the Benghazi attack.

Rice was the first senior Obama appointee to comment officially on the attack, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The infamous video

The email's purpose was this: "Goal: To underscore that these protests are rooted in and (sic) Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy."

The "Internet video" was an amateurish mockumentary on Islam produced by an independent filmmaker and released a few days before the attack.

As Judicial Watch pointed out Tuesday, Rhodes' email went to key White House and State Department officials, including Carney, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist Davie Plouffe.

These individuals were the core of the Obama administration's Benghazi crisis communications management team.

Who gave Rhodes the video?

The Rhodes email is significant because it clearly indicates that within hours of the attack administration officials were focused on blaming the attack on the video and subsequent protests of it in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.

The key question then is who first pointed to the video as an explanation for the attack. The Rhodes email isn't the proverbial smoking gun, but it has an unmistakable odor about it.

The video theme remained the cornerstone of the Obama administration's Benghazi explanation as late as the president's Sept. 25, 2012, address to the UN.

Protecting the president

Judicial Watch obtained the email only after appealing an administration denial of a Freedom of Information Act request to federal court.

“Now we know the Obama White House's chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“And these documents undermine the Obama administration’s narrative that it thought the Benghazi attack had something to do with protests or an Internet video.

"Given the explosive material in these documents, it is no surprise that we had to go to federal court to pry them loose from the Obama State Department.”

On today's

Editorial: Whatever Thomas Piketty says, America is still the land of the greatest opportunity.

Special Report/Are Unions Obsolete: Despite many failures, Card Check still a Big Labor priority.

Special Report/Are Unions Obsolete: Right-to-work surge is reviving America's Rust Belt.

Columnist/Ron Arnold: What have Republicans got against winning?

Columnist/Noemie Emery: Two new books offer different paths to success.

Columnist/Philip Klein: Scott Walker has already won on labor law reform.

Beltway Confidential/Joel Gehrke: Postmaster says "American citizens are not our customer."

PennAve/Susan Crabtree: New emails put Benghazi video theme in Obama White House.

Legal Newsline/David Yates: West Virginia legal reform group releases "Dirty Dozen" politicians funded by trial lawyers.

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CBS News: Iraqis brave bomb threats to vote in key national election.

The New York Times: Officials struggle with next move against pair of "too big to fail" banks.

The Washington Post: Despite Pentagon spending cap, some questionable projects still get funded.

The Los Angeles Times: Budget cuts spurring new defense mergers.

ABC News: Ukraine says it is "helpless" against Russian disruption.

USA Today: As prices rise, housing recovery wobbles.

Righty Playbook

The Daily Caller: Kathleen Sebelius now refusing to testify before Senate panel.

The American Spectator: On the Left's Sterling justice.

Washington Free Beacon: 2014 college grads get diplomas, but few jobs.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: The Left's school-choice line is a joke from the 1800s.

Lefty Playbook

Hip-Hop and Politics: The NAACP is just as backward as Donald Sterling.

The Daily Beast: The horror of what happens when the GOP takes the Senate.

The New Republic: How Barack Obama sold out the Kale crowd.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: The GOP's "fund-raising terrorist" wants to elect more women.

Blog Right

Jammie Wearing Fools: Weird! Dems in close races avoid talking about Obamacare.

American Power: I've read history and I know Dems supported the KKK, Jim Crow.

Hot Air: Steny Hoyer says Obamacare will be, at worst, neutral factor in November.

Blog Left

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Pandagon: Women more likely to take selfies.

Slate: The hidden danger for the GOP in the polls.