The federal court has released a document about communication between United States President Barack Obama and then-State Secretary Hillary Clinton the night the U.S. Diplomatic Compound in Benghazi was attacked, news said, but the State Department withheld the contents of the call.
The document was released in connection with a lawsuit lodged by watchdog organization Judicial Watch.
It has already been public knowledge that Obama and Clinton spoke during the terror attack but the newly released document disclosed the timing of the call: it was made after the first attack on the compound but before the mortars tore up the CIA annex nearby, killing former Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Ty Woods.
According to news, the reason for withholding the contents of the call was not because they are classified information, rather because Obama’s administration claimed they characterize internal deliberations on the 2012 terror attack.
The administration’s claim came out in defense of Clinton who has been accused of excluding emails related to Benghazi when she handed over to the State Department her correspondences.
News said that only the closest aides of Mr. Obama and Clinton knew about the contents of the call. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser sent an email about the call to Philippe Reines and Jake Sullivan of the State Department and Bernadette Meehan, spokesperson for National Security Council.
The email sent had the subject “Call” while the text only said “Readout of President’s Call to Secretary Clinton” but the rest of the contents are already redacted. It was also indicated on the emails that on Sept 11, 2012 evening before the assault ceased, Rhodes endorsed a statement, citing an “anti-Islam Internet video” from Clinton.
The statement contained information about justifying the attack “as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet” and Rhodes informed Clinton’s aides to let the “State Department statement be our statement.”
On Sep 12, 2012, NSC officials and the State Department received an email from Meehan, saying Rhodes would hold a conference that day “to ensure we are all in sync on messaging for the rest of the day.”
The new documents alleged that Obama’s administration employed foreign and domestic Islamist group as well as foreign nationals to “push the Internet video narrative,” Judicial Watch said in a statement.
Also on Sep. 12, Rashad Hussain, Mr. Obama’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, sent respective emails to Ufuk Gokcen, OIC’s ambassador to the United Nations and Cenk Uraz, another official connected with the OIC, pushing for the video as what sparked the Benghazi attack.