Judicial Watch Announces Three New Lawsuits against Obama Administration for Records Relating to Benghazi Attack
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed three Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Departments of State and Defense in its continuing effort to force the Obama administration to provide access to records concerning what occurred in the days immediately before, during, and after the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:14-cv-01508)) (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01511)) (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)).
Earlier this year, as a result of a separate FOIA lawsuit, Judicial Watch forced the release of an email from then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes showing that the Obama White House was behind the false talking points that blamed an Internet video and spontaneous demonstrations for the Benghazi attack. This belated disclosure, which was kept from Congress, spurred House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to request and obtain House approval for a special Select Committee, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), to investigate the Benghazi scandal.
On September 3, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against U.S. Department of State for the following records subsequent to a June 13, 2014, FOIA request:
Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S, Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes but is not limited to, notes, taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.
In a recent NBC News interview to promote her latest memoir, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has conceded that she took extensive notes during the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi. “I kept a lot of notes,” Clinton said. Asked if she would turn them over to the House Select Committee investigators, she responded, “They can read the book.” The Judicial Watch lawsuit could force Clinton to turn over all notes taken during and following the attack.
Also on September 3, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense for the following records pursuant to a June 12, 2014, FOIA request:
Any and all activity logs, reports, or other records produced by the U.S. Africa Command operations center between September 10, 2012 and September 13, 2012 regarding, concerning, or related to the attack at the U.S. Special Mission Compound and Classified Annex in Benghazi, Libya.
On July 21, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State for the following records subsequent to a May 13, 2014, FOIA request:
Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.
Judicial Watch has now filed 40 FOIA requests, a Mandatory Declassification Review, and seven lawsuits against the Obama administration relating to the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request on October 12, 2012, to gain access to documents about the controversial talking points used by then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice for a series of appearances on television Sunday news programs on September 16, 2012. The Rhodes “smoking gun” email was produced in response to a court order in Judicial Watch v. State, No. 1:13-cv-00951, filed on June 21, 2013.
In June 2013, Judicial Watch released the first seven photos depicting the devastating aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic and CIA facilities in Benghazi. The following November, it obtained 32 new documents from the Department of State, including 13 previously withheld photos depicting the carnage at the U.S. Consulate. The documents were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department on February 25, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1-13-cv-00242)).
“Once again, we are going to court to force the Obama administration to come clean about the events surrounding the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Hillary Clinton’s flippant refusal to make available the notes she took during the attack fits right in with the Obama administration’s pattern of obstruction. This administration, which promised to be the ‘most transparent in history’ has turned out to be one the most secretive. Thanks to Judicial Watch, Congress has a renewed focus on Benghazi, but Judicial Watch will continue its independent lawsuits and investigations – which not only get documents, but force the Obama administration to account to federal courts for its lawless cover-up and its Benghazi lies.”