Just about everybody who’s anybody in the foreign policy and national security establishment, or “the Blob,” as former campaign van driver and novelist manqué turned Presidential foreign-policy mind-meld Ben Rhodes calls it, has had something to say about the spectacularly revealing Ben Rhodes profile in the New York Times Magazine.
David Samuels of the Times seems to have conducted the interview the way Times journalists usually do with Administration grandees: on his knees, breathlessly counterposed to the his dehiscent slide fastener of his interviewee’s trousers.
Despite his claim to be outside it, Rhodes is a card-carrying Beltway Blob made guy, by dint of his position (which he probably owes to having a brother who’s head of CBS “News”). He is a Deputy National Security Advisor on the National Security Council and has nothing but contempt for people who actually have studied, practiced, or (in the instant case) implemented foreign policy, especially not when it comes down to kinetics.
Conversely, nobody is asking, say, retired special operations sergeants and former defense contractors what they think, but why shouldn’t we stick our oar in? Everyone else is.
And right now, everybody is talking about how Rhodes admits that the Iran “deal” was built on myth and sold with lies.
Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”
When I suggested that all this dark metafictional play seemed a bit removed from rational debate over America’s future role in the world, Rhodes nodded. “In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this,” he said. “We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.”
This is the first admission that groups like Ploughshares and the Iran Project are under de facto Administration control — or maybe it’s the other way around.
He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. “We drove them crazy,” he said of the deal’s opponents. ….
In fact, Rhodes’s passion seems to derive … from his own sense of the urgency of radically reorienting American policy in the Middle East in order to make the prospect of American involvement in the region’s future wars a lot less likely. When I asked whether the prospect of this same kind of far-reaching spin campaign being run by a different administration is something that scares him, he admitted that it does.
But there was another glimpse behind Rhodes’s Beltway Blob kimono suggested by that article, aside from whatever Samuels glimpsed through that zipper while achieving his own mind meld with his special friend and interviewee. And it ties into past articles, like this one at, oddly enough, the New York Times: Rhodes describes in the recent, Samuels story how he makes a lie into news. Bear that in mind when you see who the author was of the Administration’s, and then-Secretary of State Clinton’s, pathetic and fabricated claim that the Benghazi attack was a reaction to a YouTube video. Yep, it was Rhodes. Here’s the Times’s Michael D. Shear (another Beltway Blob made guy?) in April, 2014:
The email from Mr. Rhodes includes goals for Ms. Rice’s appearances on the shows and advice on how to discuss the subject of the protests that were raging in Libya and at other American diplomatic posts in the Middle East.
Among the goals that Mr. Rhodes identified: “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” In a section called “Top-lines,” Mr. Rhodes added: “Since we began to see protests in response to this Internet video, the president has directed the Administration to take a number of steps. His top priority has been the safety and security of all Americans serving abroad.”
(For the record, the attack was a deliberate attack the extremist al-Qaeda linked militia. The extremists themselves had been suppressed by Qaddhfi, but were turned loose by the quixotic and purposeless war the Administration launched in Libya for reasons that still lack an explanation, except for the general tilt of Obama, Jarrett, Donilon, Rice, Power, Rhodes et al. towards Islamist extremists, and against American interests).
In another point in Samuels’ fluff piece, Rhodes, the self-described Holden Caulfield of the NYU MFA program, is described as having no ego. In the midst of a post that is probably enough for any pshrink to diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder in both Rhodes and his interviewer.
Finally, this puts a new light on the various incompatible Hillary Clinton statements about the Benghazi disaster that somehow eventuated on her disinterested and mendacious watch. She herself may have been spun by Rhodes and his small army of suckling and spewing mouths, a group which may well include Clinton eminènce grise Simple Sid Blumenthal.