JW’s Benghazi Work Cited in Congressional Letters Demanding Investigation
Besides making global headlines this week for uncovering smoking-gun Benghazi documents from the State Department, Judicial Watch is being cited in congressional letters demanding—once and for all—a full investigation of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack.
JW’s work on Benghazi has received worldwide attention in the last few months because it has forced the release of information that the Obama administration is trying to keep from the public. JW has gone to court and filed a number of public records requests to expose the truth. JW has also published two in-depth special reports on Benghazi, the last one on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. Read the special reports here and here.
As the real story trickles out thanks in large part to our work, here’s what we know occurred for sure: On September 11, 2012 Islamic jihadists raided the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the first diplomat to be killed overseas in decades, and three other Americans were murdered in the violent incident. The Obama administration has worked hard to keep details of the attack—and the negligence that led to it—from the American public and Congress hasn’t done much to get to the bottom of it.
Part of the scheme included concocting a bogus story linking the attack to a homemade anti-Muslim internet video. Delivered by former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, the preposterous explanation was orchestrated by the White House, according to the latest State Department documents obtained by JW as a result of a lawsuit. The files include a newly declassified electronic mail showing then White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration officials masterminding a campaign to “reinforce” the president and portray the Benghazi terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”
When the emails were exchanged, both the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) already knew that the video played no role in the terrorist attack, so the administration deliberately lied to cover up the truth. JW had been trying to get the records since mid-October 2012 and was forced to sue in federal court. Among the White House personnel that received the memo were Press Secretary Jay Carney, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Peltin and Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.
Incredibly, during a White House press briefing yesterday Carney had the audacity to say that the emails obtained by JW were not related to Benghazi! A network television reporter challenged the frazzled White House Press Secretary’s absurd version, but like a good team player he didn’t budge. ‘‘It was explicitly not about Benghazi,’’ Carney told journalists during his daily briefing at the White House. ‘‘It was about the overall situation in the region, the Muslim world, where you saw protests outside of embassy facilities across the region, including in Cairo, Sana’a, Khartoum and Tunis.’’
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina confirms the email ‘‘shows political operatives in the White House working to create a political narrative at odds with the facts.’’ Graham and two fellow senators quickly fired off a letter to the chairmen of the Senate and House committees with jurisdiction over the State Department demanding an investigation into the origin of the controversial Benghazi talking points. The letter, also signed by New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte and Arizona Senator John McCain, refers to JW’s “release of more than one hundred pages of emails from the White House.”
In another letter penned this week, Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf specifically mentions Judicial Watch’s Benghazi work to demand the installation of a bipartisan House Select Committee to thoroughly investigate the attack. Addressed to House Speaker John Boehner, the letter says that “it is now abundantly clear that senior White House staff were directly involved in coordinating the messaging in response to the Benghazi attacks and were actively working to tie the reason to the infamous Internet video, which they knew from the CIA and others was demonstrably false. In short, the administration, specifically the White House, lied about a matter with direct bearing on U.S. national security in order to influence an electoral outcome.”
JW will continue investigating what really happened in Benghazi. Previously, JW obtained the first photos depicting the devastating aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic and CIA facilities in Benghazi as well as details of the inexperienced foreign company hired to protect the American compound. The State Department paid the virtually unknown British firm $794,264 for nearly 50,000 guard hours, according to the federal contract obtained in the course of JW’s ongoing Benghazi probe. Earlier this year we obtained a Navy map that shows the U.S. military had a multitude of forces in the region surrounding Libya when terrorists attacked the Special Mission in Benghazi.