ABC: Emails show State Department toned down Benghazi memos

May 10, 2013 18:41


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WASHINGTON - Obama administration officials edited memos about last year's killing of the US ambassador in Libya to omit reference to a CIA warning of a threat from al-Qaida, ABC News reported on Friday in a story that could fuel Republican attempts to prove a cover-up.

Emails between the State Department, White House and intelligence agencies show extensive editing by the administration as it went through 12 different drafts of the memos explaining the Benghazi attack.

The so-called "talking point" memos were used to prepare US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice before she appeared on television talk shows to discuss the September 11, 2012, attack on the US mission in Benghazi in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

In one exchange, the State Department's top spokeswoman at the time, Victoria Nuland, objected to including the CIA's reference to intelligence about the threat from al-Qaida in Benghazi and eastern Libya.

That "could be abused by members (of Congress) to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned," Nuland wrote in one email obtained by ABC News.

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