Washington

House Wants to Dig Deeper Into Benghazi Talking Points

Subpoenaed emails from 10 State Department officials regarding attack 5/28/2013 07:24:30 PM Eastern

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has issued subpoenas to 10 former and current State Department employees for more information on documents related to the department's Benghazi talking points.

The White House released a raft of documents May 15, but Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said it left too many questions unanswered.

"The State Department has not lived up to the Administration's broad and unambiguous promises of cooperation with Congress," said Issa in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. "Therefore, I am left with no alternative but to compel the State Department to produce relevant documents through a subpoena."

He gave a June 7 deadline for production of the documents.

Among the key concerns with the talking points are that the administration blamed the media for the Sept. 11 attack that took the lives of four, including Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens. In the wake of the attack, U.N. ambassador Susan Rice made the rounds of the Sunday morning news shows with a narrative about the attacks being a reaction to an anti-Muslim video on YouTube.

After saying the video was a "precipitating cause" of the attacks, the White House approached YouTube to find out whether the video had violated its terms of service. YouTube said no, but did not make the post available in Libya or Egypt given the volatility of the situations there. YouTube maintained that the restrictions on access in Libya and Egypt were not a result of White House pressure.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had expressed her personal opinion that the video was "disgusting and reprehensible" and "appeared to have a deeply cynical purpose to denigrate a great religion and provoke rage."

 

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