News / USA

White House Releases Benghazi E-mails

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya burns during a September 2012 attack that killed the U.S. Ambassador and three others. The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya burns during a September 2012 attack that killed the U.S. Ambassador and three others.
x
The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya burns during a September 2012 attack that killed the U.S. Ambassador and three others.
The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya burns during a September 2012 attack that killed the U.S. Ambassador and three others.
President Barack Obama moved late Wednesday to head off further potential political damage from the controversy over his administration's response to last year's terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Libya.

The White House released 100 pages of emails detailing intense debate among administration officials and the CIA about how to word public "talking points" after the attack in Benghazi.

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the attack.

The emails were originally requested by Republican lawmakers investigating the response to the Benghazi attacks.  Until Wednesday, the White House had declined to make them public, allowing lawmakers only to review them.

The decision to release the emails was an effort to calm the furor over the Benghazi issue, which with other controversies threatens to slow or damage Mr. Obama's second-term agenda.

Republicans accused the administration of mishandling security and the response to the attack.  They asserted that mentions of prior terrorist threats, including by groups linked to al-Qaida, were removed for political reasons.

The emails confirm what had been reported before by media organizations: that then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland asked that a reference to an al-Qaida linked group, Ansar al-Sharia, be removed.

In the email she expresses concern that the content could be used by members of Congress to "beat" the State Department for not heading CIA warnings.

One former White House official, former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, referred to "massive disinformation" at the time in the U.S. Congress.

Final talking points eliminated CIA references to Ansar al-Sharia, and to CIA warnings about extremist threats linked to al-Qaida in Benghazi and eastern Libya.

Also eliminated was a reference to "indications that Islamic extremists participated in the violent demonstrations" in Benghazi.

Earlier Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated President Obama's remark earlier this week that the Republican investigation was a political "sideshow."

"It is absolutely political.  And we have in the course of this been focused on what isn’t political and what is essential, which is the fact that four Americans were killed and we need to find those who are responsible and bring them to justice.  ((OPT))  Secondly, we need to take action to ensure that the inadequate security that clearly existed at the time, because we could not protect those four Americans, be looked at and addressed so that it doesn't happen again," Carney said.

Release of the emails does not end the Benghazi controversy, as Republicans press for additional documents.

Republican Representative Darrell Issa welcomed the email release but said there is still much more for Americans to learn about the administration's response to the Benghazi attack.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid