Screen Shot: CNN
The 100 pages of emails detailing discussion inside the Obama administration over last year's deadly attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya have revealed a tug of war, a strong difference of opinion and polices between the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department.
The assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last year in September in which four Americans died was a "terrorist attack" having an al-Qaeda connection. During the past few weeks Republicans have intensified their criticism on holding the Obama administration responsible for the Benghazi attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission last year and even demanded his impeachment. Senior administration officials toldreporters at the White House the emails were released to clear up ‘misinformation’ about the process which is majorly being spread by the Republicans.
There are quite a lot of top-level officials both from the CIA and State Department involved in the whole controversy. But a few have the most to do with the whole matter. We have compiled a list below of the characters who are related to the Benghazi Attack emails for simplification of facts.
1- David Petraeus:
He was the Head of CIA until his resignation in November 2012 involving an extra-marital affair. This means that he was in-charge when the Benghazi attacks took place. The CIA prepared the ‘talking points’ after the terrorist attacks which underwent several changes or revisions (as the White house would like to call it). But Petraeus wasn’t at all happy with what the Obama administration had done to the ‘CIA version’ of the attacks. We shall know the reason behind his disapproval in the next points.
2- Michael J. Morell:
Apparently permanent Deputy Director of the CIA, Mike Morell was primarily responsible for the changes in the CIA draft because he made them. He, after a meeting with the White House, scratched out some important details about the warnings of a possible terrorist attack by al-Qaeda issued by the CIA (prior to the attack) to the White House. To find out why he did it, read the next point.
3- Victoria Nuland:
The spokesperson for the United States Department of State was ‘concerned’ that the talking points were not in accordance with what the White House wanted to say about the attacks. That’s because some of the information in the draft prepared by the CIA could have been ‘misused by opponents’ against the administration. The changes were made.
4- Susan Rice:
Susan Rice’s involvement in the revisions has been eyed with intense scrutiny. The White House has cited on multiple occasions that the changes in the CIA draft were made with the help of Rice’s suggestions. After that she appeared on television and also sent to Congress.
Though the released emails were addressed towards misinformation, they have only drawn more attention towards the tug of war between two major departments of the United States. We wonder how the Republicans are going to use this turn in the Benghazi investigation. Let’s see.