Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

GOP ready to push Benghazi case into 2014, beyond

Newly revealed communications show that senior State Department officials pressed for changes in the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used a few days after the Benghazi attacks.

Associated Press (2012)

Newly revealed communications show that senior State Department officials pressed for changes in the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used a few days after the Benghazi attacks.

WASHINGTON — Steady drips of information about a horrific night in Libya are fueling Republican arguments and ads designed to fire up the conservative base and undercut the Democrats' early favorite for president in 2016.

Democratic and Republican strategists sharply disagree on the issue's power to influence elections next year and beyond. But after eight months of trying, Democrats are still struggling to move past last September's terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Democrats insist that an independent inquiry, the dismissal of several State Department officials, and nine congressional hearings leave little new to say on the matter. But Friday turned up the sort of nuggets that feed conservative activists' belief that a major scandal may still be at hand.

Newly revealed communications show that senior State Department officials pressed for changes in the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used a few days after the Benghazi attacks. These senior officials expressed concerns that Congress might criticize the Obama administration for ignoring warnings of a growing threat in Libya.

The White House has insisted that it made only stylistic changes to the intelligence agency talking points, in which Rice suggested that spontaneous protests over an anti-Islamic video set off the deadly attack. The new details suggest a greater degree of political sensitivity and involvement by the White House and State Department.

Rice and others eventually acknowledged that the Benghazi assault on Sept. 11, 2012, was a premeditated terrorist attack. Republicans say her Sept. 16 televised remarks were just the start of administration efforts to mislead Americans about what happened in Libya.

The Benghazi violence was heavily politicized from the start, occurring less than two months before President Barack Obama's re-election. Moreover, the secretary of state at the time was Hillary Rodham Clinton. The former senator and first lady infuriates many conservatives and ranks high in speculation about the Democrats' 2016 presidential nominee.

Friday brought another round of conservative broadsides against Clinton, Obama and the administration's handling of the Benghazi matter. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a possible Republican presidential contender, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Times restating his view that Obama should have fired Clinton.

Campaigning later in Iowa, Paul said he thinks the Benghazi affair "precludes Hillary Clinton from ever holding office."

The conservative group American Crossroads released a 90-second video asking if Clinton was "part of a cover-up." The video, like emails and letters from several other groups, asked for political donations.

The Benghazi tragedy hands Republicans a host of political opportunities, although none without complications. It may be difficult for average voters to sift through the chronology, assess blame, or even follow the logic of GOP arguments.

GOP ready to push Benghazi case into 2014, beyond 05/11/13 [Last modified: Saturday, May 11, 2013 8:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.