Congressional Republicans are continuing to pepper the Obama administration with questions about last year's deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Although an independent review board has blamed inadequate security at the compound on senior management and leadership failures at the State Department, some GOP lawmakers have suggested that the administration is trying to cover up more serious deficiencies or negligence before, during and after the attack. On Tuesday, the issue surfaced when Obama was asked about allegations that his administration is preventing whistle-blowers from testifying before Congress about the attack. Obama pleaded ignorance, but Secretary of State John Kerry and his staff denied any impropriety and vowed that all questions would be answered.
A clearly exasperated Kerry complained during a separate news conference Tuesday about "an enormous amount of misinformation out there" about the Benghazi attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
"We have to demythologize this issue and certainly depoliticize it," Kerry told reporters at the State Department. "The American people deserve answers. I'm determined that this will be an accountable and open State Department as it has been in the past, and we will continue to do that, and we will provide answers."
Kerry has also expressed frustration with the refusal of some Republicans to accept the conclusions of the Accountability Review Board empanelled by his predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
FBI did its job,president says
President Barack Obama offered his support Tuesday for the FBI's handling of a Russian intelligence tip about a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, even as the nation's intelligence chief ordered a review of whether more could have been done to thwart the attack. "It's not as if the FBI did nothing," Obama said. James R. Clapper Jr., who as the director of national intelligence oversees the country's 17 intelligence agencies, said a review would look at how the FBI and CIA handled the Russian tip and its aftermath. Obama and law enforcement officials described the action as standard procedure.
Associated Press,New York Times