Steve Hayes, writing for

This hearing was compelling because of its substance. The three witnesses – each with firsthand knowledge of what happened before, during and after those attacks – provided new details about virtually every aspect of the growing controversy. Their testimony was complemented by new revelations about internal Obama administration deliberations, including previously undisclosed e-mails and memos.

One example: We learned that Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs at the State Department, sent an e-mail on Sept. 12, 2012, in which she reported, “the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Shariah, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” Among those copied on that e-mail were top State Department officials; Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management; Cheryl Mills, counselor to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman.

Why this matters: It widens the circle of officials who knew in the hours after the Benghazi attack that those responsible were jihadists with ties to Al Qaeda. More important, it confirms top advisers to Clinton had received this information less than 36 hours after the attacks and days before administration officials scrubbed talking points presented to policy makers by the C.I.A.

Whole thing here.

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