Hillary Clinton Urges Caution on Newly Released Emails Detailing Libya Attack
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton cautioned that a newly released State Department communication sent during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is “not in and of itself evidence” that the administration had definitively assessed the assault as a terrorist attack from the beginning.
On Tuesday, CBS News obtained three email alerts that were put out by the State Department as the attack unfolded. Four Americans were killed in the attack, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The third, sent at 6:07 p.m. ET — roughly two hours after the initial attack began — contained the subject line “Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibilty for Benghazi Attack,” referencing an Islamist group operating in the country.
The body of the text continued the message: “on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”
The document may fuel Republican efforts to show that the White House knew it was a terrorist attack, even as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was saying — five days afterward — that it appeared to be a protest gone awry.