State Department: Yes, We’ll Send Benghazi Documents — Again

Charles S. Clark, Government Executive
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Charles S. Clark, Government Executive
Aug. 13, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

WASH­ING­TON — The State De­part­ment on Monday af­firmed that it will con­tin­ue work­ing to meet House Re­pub­lic­ans’ on­go­ing de­mands for doc­u­ments re­lat­ing to the agency’s hand­ling of the Septem­ber 2012 fatal at­tack on the U.S. out­post in Benghazi, Libya.

In the latest re­quest, Rep. Dar­rell Issa, R-Cal­if., chair­man of the House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee, on Aug. 8 sent a let­ter to former State De­part­ment spokes­wo­man Vic­tor­ia Nu­land de­mand­ing her emails con­cern­ing the much-de­bated tele­vi­sion “talk­ing points” from the days fol­low­ing the at­tack that left four Amer­ic­ans—in­clud­ing Am­bas­sad­or Chris Stevens—dead.

“You wrote that changes to the talk­ing points did not ‘re­solve all my is­sues or those of my build­ing lead­er­ship,’ ” Issa said in his let­ter. “Your email makes clear that de­part­ment lead­er­ship shared con­cerns with you about the draft talk­ing points. It is my hope and ex­pect­a­tion that the doc­u­ments I am re­quest­ing will identi­fy those con­cerns, and whose con­cerns they were.”

Issa went on to de­scribe as in­ad­equate the State De­part­ment’s re­sponse in hand­ing over 97 pages to com­ply with his May 28, 2013, sub­poena, say­ing it failed to ex­plain the email lan­guage. “The State De­part­ment con­tin­ues to re­fuse to make the doc­u­ments avail­able that would cla­ri­fy what as­pects of the talk­ing points your bosses were con­cerned about.”

In a state­ment emailed to Gov­ern­ment Ex­ec­ut­ive ac­know­ledging re­ceipt of Issa’s let­ter, a de­part­ment spokes­man said, “the 100 pages of emails on the talk­ing points were pub­licly re­leased months ago, but Chair­man Issa still is­sued a sub­poena on the top­ic, with which we fully com­plied. He con­tin­ues to ask about the talk­ing points and we will again work with him to ad­dress these is­sues.”

State has “demon­strated an un­pre­ced­en­ted de­gree of co­oper­a­tion with the Con­gress on the is­sue of Benghazi,” the state­ment con­tin­ued. “Spe­cific­ally, in sup­port of the in­vest­ig­a­tion, the State De­part­ment has par­ti­cip­ated in nearly 50 con­gres­sion­al hear­ings and brief­ings for mem­bers and staff, shared more than 25,000 pages of doc­u­ments with com­mit­tees, and made State De­part­ment em­ploy­ees avail­able for in­ter­views with the House Over­sight com­mit­tee.”

The spokes­man re­it­er­ated that the facts sur­round­ing the Benghazi in­cid­ent were laid out to Con­gress and the pub­lic in the in­de­pend­ent Ac­count­ab­il­ity Re­view Board re­port, and that State is com­mit­ted to im­ple­ment­ing all 29 of the re­port’s re­com­mend­a­tions. “Our dip­lo­mats con­tin­ue to serve in dan­ger­ous places,” he con­tin­ued. “People at the State De­part­ment are will­ing to step up and put them­selves in harm’s way, and it is a dis­ser­vice to them to politi­cize this is­sue.”

Issa gave State a dead­line of Aug. 15.

Re­prin­ted with per­mis­sion from Gov­ern­ment Ex­ec­ut­ive. The ori­gin­al story can be found here.

What We're Following See More »
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
19 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
SENT LETTERS TO A DOZEN ORGANIZATIONS
Senate Intel Looks to Preserve Records of Russian Interference
23 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to ensure that records related to Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections are preserved as it begins investigating that country’s ties to the Trump team. The panel sent more than a dozen letters to 'organizations, agencies and officials' on Friday, asking them to preserve materials related to the congressional investigation, according to a Senate aide, who was not authorized to comment publicly. The Senate Intelligence Committee is spearheading the most comprehensive probe on Capitol Hill of Russia’s alleged activities in the elections."

Source:
WON’T INTERFERE IN STRUCTURING NSC OFFICE
White House to Give McMaster Carte Blanche
1 days ago
THE LATEST
NAIVE, RISK TAKER
Russia Compiling Dossier on Trump’s Mind
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."

Source:
PLANS TO CURB ITS POWER
Pruitt Confirmed As EPA Head
5 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login