White House releases Benghazi emails
Washington: The US has released emails exchanged between the various wings of the Obama administration about Benghazi terrorist attack last September that left three American nationals, including its ambassador to Libya, dead.
The release of emails yesterday, running into 100 pages is seen as an effort by the White House that it is not hiding anything on Benghazi, as being alleged by opposition Republican lawmakers.
According to Obama administration officials, these e-mails demonstrate that the process of developing the so-called talking points was not focused on politics but rather on events.
These emails indicate that the CIA concluded at the start of the attack that this was "spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo," which had taken place earlier in the day and that it "evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex".
These emails reveal that the State Department repeatedly expressed concerns over various revisions of the talking point, which have now become "political flashpoint" in a long-running battle between the Obama administration and Republicans.
Meanwhile in a letter to the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Congressman Howard P "Buck" McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, requested additional information related to the Benghazi attack.
"Questions still remain regarding orders issued to a site security team that was in-country," he said.
Earlier yesterday, the White House accused the Republican of politicizing the issue.
"I have said more broadly that this is political. Republicans are fund raising off of it. Outside conservative groups are doing ads on it. The Speaker of the House is obsessed with it and yet, when he had the opportunity to look at the emails, he didn't even go," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney alleged at his news conference.
"We know that the emails in question were provided to the relevant members of Congress of both parties, including the leadership.
"And at that time, even though they supposedly knew everything that was in them, they did not raise objections about them," Carney added.