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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid