The White House asked for this investigation by not telling the truth in the first place.

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"Diversion, subterfuge, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. ...Why aren't we talking about something else?" House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi complained last week.

Here's why: An e-mail has surfaced from a deputy national security adviser to Susan Rice on how to characterize the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on Sunday news programs. He advised Rice, then ambassador to the U.N., that her primary goal was to "underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." The e-mail was redacted when the most-transparent-administration-in-history provided Benghazi documents to Congress earlier, but was found through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Democrats are furious that the House will hold a vote to create a select committee to investigate the administration's response to the attack in Libya that left four Americans dead. They know this won't end well.

Though White House officials say they were operating on the best intelligence available, they were willfully ignoring information that the attack was preplanned by groups with terrorist links, a fact that undermined President Obama's re-election claim that "al-Qaeda is on the run." Cherry-picking intelligence is a big no-no.

It took real effort for the White House to overlook the tsunami of evidence that contradicted its campaign talking points. Before Rice's appearances on Sept. 16, 2012, National Public Radio reported that Libya's president had told NPR that al-Qaeda was responsible for the "precalculated, preplanned attack." Former deputy CIA director Mike Morell testified last month, "Analysts said from the get-go that al-Qaeda was involved."

A former deputy chief of mission in Libya, Gregory Hicks, testified last year his "jaw dropped" when he watched Rice blame the video. Retired general Robert Lovell, on duty at U.S. Africa Command at the time, testified last week, "What we did know ... was that this was a hostile action … a terrorist attack." Last week, Fox News' Bret Baier asked former national security spokesman Tommy Vietor how the administration came up with its video tale. Vietor replied that there were "guys quoted in newspapers saying (the video is why) they were there." So much for operating on the best intelligence.

White House spokesman Jay Carney improbably claimed that the Rhodes advice was not "explicitly" about Benghazi but about protests throughout the Middle East. CNN's Jake Tapper called Carney's comments "dissembling, obfuscating and … insulting." He was being generous. Rice was dispatched to discuss Benghazi, which is why she was grilled about it on every show.

White House officials brought this House investigation on themselves. They could have avoided it by simply telling the truth. Unfortunately, that was too much to ask.

Kirsten Powers writes weekly for USA TODAY.

In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors. To read more columns like this, go to the opinion front page or follow us on twitter @USATopinion or Facebook.

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