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White House releases Benghazi documents

4:31 PM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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By Oren Dorell, USA TODAY

The White House Wednesday released 100 pages of emails documenting the correspondence and revisions made to the Benghazi talking points given to Susan Rice.

The emails show that after an interagency meeting at the White House, Obama administration officials crossed out sections of the initial narrative provided by the CIA to be disseminated to public, removing any mention of terrorism and the name of an al Qaeda-linked group whose members the CIA said were involved.

The final version was a shadow of the original, with no language about warnings provided by the CIA up until the day before the attack.

Once the talking points were finalized, someone from the CIA asked that a copy be sent to "the Director," who at the time was David Petraeus, saying "He needs to know in advance what is going to the Hill in his name, even if it (is) going with the force of full interagency coordination."

The White House had until now declined to make the documents public and had let congressional investigators review the documents without making copies.

The documents describe how the administration developed "talking points" to describe what the administration wanted to discuss publicly immediately after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Attorney General Eric Holder said "definitive action has been taken'' in its investigation into the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Holder declined to elaborate on the nature of the action, except to suggest that it could be made public soon.

Holder said federal authorities have "taken steps that are definitive and concrete.''

"We are prepared to reveal shortly what we have done,'' Holder said. "We are in a good position with regard to that investigation,'' he said.

Contributing: Kevin Johnson; the Associated Press

USA TODAY

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