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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Breaking News | 5 comments

White House Releases 94 Pages of Emails, Notes About Benghazi Terror Attack

The White House released nearly 100 pages of emails and notes about the Benghazi terror attack that claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The internal emails included the talking points Ambassador Susan Rice and other officials used on Sunday shows following the attack on September 11, 2012. View the emails and notes here, courtesy of CNN.

This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

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  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    The Hill’s Overnight – Defense:

    The Topline:

    The White House on Wednesday released more than 100 pages of inter-agency emails on last year’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

    The document dump by the Obama administration was intended to bolster its argument it did not try to hide the fact the attack was the work of Islamic militants in the country.

    The emails discuss the talking points used by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in television interviews that aired five days after the attack. In the interviews, Rice said the attack stemmed from a protest over an anti-Islam film, and not terrorism.

    Officials contend the emails prove that the talking points were originally generated by the CIA, and that the White House along with the CIA and other agencies believed at the time that the attack stemmed from demonstrations.

    The emails — circulated in the days following the attacks from Sept. 14-16 — show that CIA deputy director Mike Morrell asked that references to al Qaeda and one other terrorist group be taken out of the talking points, which would be used by administration officials. (emphasis mine)

  • dduck

    A walk through the sausage factory has left me bleary eyed and confused. From my biased viewpoint, the original assessment shows that the CIA thought this was related to the other demonstrations in Cairo and other places. The original second bullet point said “crowd” which infers a demonstration, not an armed attack; they obviously didn’t know at that point. They also said they “know there were AQ people involved in the “demonstration”.
    These were scrubbed to remove crowd meaningless “extremists” substituted for knowing that AQ was involved, but still in a “demonstration”.

    In common street parlance, it was a deadly attack, not a demonstration, and I maintain that the scrubbing and preparation was for Susan Rice to go on the shows with an incomplete, white-washed “talking point”.

    Victoria (toria)Nuland was all over this sausage making effort and i would love to know who she had COVO (blanked out several times), with. Interesting that she said “do we know” questioning CIA about the AQ assertion, instead of “how do we know”. The former puts pressure to eliminate the AQ reference and the later might have bolstered the AQ involvement and hence stayed in the TP. just saying.

    BTW: Nowhere in this process is SOS, Hillay Clinton, mentioned. I can’t believe she wasn’t in the loop somewhere (just my personal opinion).

    All in all, I call it an effort to not cast a negative light on the WH, State and CIA. Just my very BIASED 3 cents.

  • CStanley

    This part of it is a big yawn as far as I’m concerned. The real question is why the TP were drafted as they were to begin with. If that really was done independently by CIA…then why? I think it strains credulity that the first bullet point represented the best assessment they had at the time about what happened that night.

  • zusa1

    In releasing the e-mails, the White House was hoping to show that intelligence officials, not political advisers, drove the debate over the talking points. It drew attention to a draft of the talking points — the only document provided by the White House that was not part of an e-mail chain — in which Mr. Morell, in his own writing, crossed out five lines that referred to C.I.A. warnings about the threat of attacks by Al Qaeda-linked extremists in Benghazi and eastern Libya.

    But there is no other evidence in the e-mails that Mr. Morell himself objected to the inclusion of this material. In an e-mail to Mr. Petraeus accompanying the final version of the talking points, Mr. Morell referred to the State Department’s deep concerns about the references.”

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    The Times article also says:

    “This is certainly not what Vice Chairman Ruppersberger was hoping to get,” Mr. Petraeus wrote, referring to Representative C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which had asked Mr. Petraeus for talking points to use with reporters in discussing the attack on Benghazi.


    While the e-mails portrayed White House officials as being sensitive to the concerns of the State Department, they suggest that Mr. Obama’s aides mostly mediated a bureaucratic tug of war between the State Department and the C.I.A. over how much to disclose — all under heavy time constraints because of the demands from Capitol Hill. The e-mails revealed no new details about the administration’s evolving account of the Sept. 11 attack, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

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