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The Benghazi Scandal Grows

The State Department, the CIA, the White House . . .

May 20, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 34 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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Hicks testified last week that he was not consulted on the talking points and was surprised when he saw Rice make a case that had little to do with what had happened in Benghazi. “I was stunned,” he said. “My jaw dropped.”

The hearings last week produced fresh details on virtually every aspect of the Benghazi controversy and raised new questions. By the end of some six hours of testimony, several Democrats on the committee had joined their Republican colleagues in calling for more hearings, additional witnesses, and the release of unclassified documents related to the attacks in Benghazi.

On May 9, House speaker John Boehner echoed the calls for those unclassified Benghazi documents to be made public. He had two specific requests. First, Boehner called for the release of an email from Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary for Near East affairs, sent on September 12. Jones wrote to her colleagues to describe a conversation she’d had with Libya’s ambassador to the United States. When the Libyan raised the possibility that loyalists to Muammar Qaddafi might have been involved, Jones corrected him. “When he said his government suspected that former Gadhafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” Among those copied on the email: Jake Sullivan, Victoria Nuland, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, and Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff and longtime confidante.

Second, Boehner asked the White House to release the 100 pages of internal administration emails related to the drafting and editing of the talking points. Sources tell The Weekly Standard that House Republicans will subpoena them if the administration does not turn them over voluntarily.

Two weeks ago, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was time to “move on” from Benghazi. More recently, Jay Carney suggested the same thing, explaining that Benghazi had happened “a long time ago.”

But it’s increasingly clear that congressional Republicans, and many Americans, will not move on until the outstanding questions about Benghazi are answered.

Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

Correction: This piece originally said that Victoria Nuland suggested changes to the talking points because she was concerned about criticism from Republicans in Congress. That's inaccurate. She suggested changes because of concerns from members of Congress.

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