- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The White House released more than 100 pages of e-mails Wednesday in an effort to quiet criticism that President Obama and his aides downplayed the role of terrorism in the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The documents detail discussions between top administration officials on developing “talking points” to describe the attack last Sept. 11 that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.


SEE ALSO: Benghazi talking points carefully trimmed; possible terror links scrubbed


The CIA originally drafted those talking points, and Republican lawmakers have said the administration scrubbed the memos to remove any references to a terrorist attack. In the early days and weeks following the attack, the administration portrayed it as a mob assault fueled by protests about an anti-Islam video.

But in the CIA’s original set of talking points, the first bullet point included a reference that the Benghazi attack was “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. consulate and subsequently its annex.”

It said the agency’s assessments could change “as additional information is collected and analyzed.”

The second bullet point said the Benghazi assailants were “a mix of individuals from across many sections of Libyan society.”