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

Charles S. Clark, Government Executive
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 »
WILL APPEAR TOGETHER TOMORROW
As Expected, Clinton Goes with Kaine
1 days ago
THE LATEST
SO MUCH FOR THE RATINGS BUMP
Convention Ratings Same as 2012
1 days ago
THE LATEST
8,000 DOCUMENTS
Wikileaks Releases Trove of DNC Docs
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Wikileaks published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Democratic National Committee Friday, just days before the start of the party's convention in Philadelphia. The documents included briefings on off-the-record fundraisers and candid photographs."

Source:
YES, WE KAINE?
Clinton Announcing VP Pick Today
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton "is widely expected to announce her choice" of vice president "in an email to supporters while on a campaign swing in Florida on Friday afternoon." The consensus: it'll be Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, although Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also said to be in the running.

Source:
EARLY BUMP FOR TRUMP?
New Round of Polls Show a Tight Race
1 days ago
THE LATEST
  • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
  • A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
  • And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
×