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Who's to Blame for Benghazi?

12:05 PM, May 10, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Jennifer Rubin writes at the Washington Post:

If one theme came out of Wednesday’s hearings, it was that senior political officials were all too eager to escape blame for the Benghazi attacks, leaving permanent Foreign Service officials holding the bag. The latest attempt to repeat this theme involves a 30-year Foreign Service official, Victoria Nuland, who has served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, including as deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

A summary of e-mail exchanges involving her has circulated to news outlets, and it places her, falsely, in the thick of the controversy about the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice eventually used on the Sunday shows.

Senior State Department officials familiar with the e-mails and the sequence of events tell me how things transpired following the attack:

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, reporters were given a State Department background briefing on Benghazi, laying out the sequence of events on the ground with no mention of any spontaneous demonstration. The department held no on-the-record briefing that day or the next. The feeling “inside” the building was that this was an organized terrorist attack, the officials say, but at this point the State Department could comment only that, lacking confirmation from the CIA, the matter was under investigation.

Whole thing here.

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