Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Benghazi Stonewall at State Department: Senators want Ambassador's Cables

Three days after the Benghazi attacks in which Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed, the State Department attempted to hide behind the, 'we are not going to' talk about the ongoing investigation line. Since then, so much has been learned despite the attempts to stonewall that a couple of Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee are demanding access to Stevens' cables.

Via Foreign Policy:
"While we appreciate the sensitivities associated with this ongoing investigation, we must insist on more timely information regarding the attacks and the events leading up to the attacks," wrote Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Johnny Isaakson (R-GA) in a letter to Clinton Tuesday.

They acknowledged that Clinton is in the process of setting up an Accountability Review Board, although its chairman former Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Pickering said Monday that the panel hasn't started it work yet. But the senators don't want to wait for the board to finish its report, which might not be transmitted to Congress until next spring.

"To that end, we request that you transmit to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee all communications between the U.S. Mission to Libya and the State Department relevant to the security situation in Benghazi in the period leading up to the attacks, including, but not limited to, cables sent from Ambassador Stevens," they wrote.
CNN may have played a significant role in all of this last week, when it reported that it had acquired Stevens' personal diary from the consulate. In it, Stevens wrote that he was concerned about being on an al-Qaeda hit list and a lack of security, which we now know was due to the State Department requesting and receiving a Security Waiver for the consulate.

Here is a short video report from Anderson Cooper talking about the diary last week:

In the days after the diary raised legitimate questions, Buzzfeed reported on a profanity-laden exchange via email from one of Clinton's closest aides - Philippe Reines - to a Buzzfeed reporter who had asked some of those legitimate questions. Some may find such an exchange reminiscent of what CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson encountered last year, when digging for answers in Operation Fast and Furious. As we now know, both the Department of Justice and the White House had something to hide there too. Barack Obama asserted Executive Privilege in refusing to release Congressionally subpoenaed documents, as his Attorney General was being held in contempt for not doing it.

It would seem that based on the contents of Stevens' diary, the State Department's stonewalling, a Clinton aide's profane emails, and now the demands of two Senators that State turn over cables, we may be approaching a situation not all that dissimilar from how the administration handled Fast and Furious - by attempting to cover it up.

We'll know we're there when Obama asserts Executive Privilege over those cables.

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