Well, that's over. Multiple outlets are reporting that the White House will provide to the Senate Intelligence Committee a cache of emails in which Obama officials discuss how to describe the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, shortly after they occurred. The offer kills two birds with one <strike>stone</strike> Friday news dump: it should placate the array of Republican Senators who wished to delay the confirmation of Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel in order to extract more information about the attacks in Benghazi, and it runs interference on questions about the administration's ever-expanding drone strike program. As The New York Times first reported, Senators like John McCain and Lindsay Graham seemed to think that they could extract even more information about the administration's response to Benghazi by leveraging White House unwillingness to release classified memos about targeted killing.
The emails, like that closed-door Benghazi hearing John McCain famously missed, are likely to remain confidential. But their release marks the beginning of the end of both Hagel's embattled journey toward Secretary of Defense and the GOP's curiosity about Benghazi. It remains to be seen, however, if this will neutralize criticism, from either party, of the President's fleet of drones.
Somewhere, Susan Rice reaches for a drink.
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- Senate Intelligence Committee
- Chuck Hagel
- John McCain