“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One email sent on the night of the Friday after the Benghazi attack, from an unknown sender said: “The State Department had major reservations with much or most of the document.”

Benghazi emails show State Department had heavy hand in watering down account of attack

Published May 15, 2013

WASHINGTON –  State Department officials repeatedly objected to -- and tried to water down -- references to Al Qaeda and prior security warnings in Libya in the Obama administration's initial internal story-line on the Benghazi terror attack, according to dozens of emails and notes released by the White House late Wednesday. 

The documents were released under pressure after whistle-blowers testified on the Hill and some email excerpts leaked to the media last week. The 100-page file showed that State Department officials were even more heavily involved in editing the "talking points" than was previously known. 

One email sent on the night of the Friday after the attack from an unknown sender said: "The State Department had major reservations with much or most of the document." 
Individual emails show State officials repeatedly objecting to the intelligence community's early version of events. 

The early versions stated that "Islamic extremists with ties to Al Qaeda" participated in the assault and discussed links to militant group Ansar al Sharia -- and referenced prior attacks against western targets in Benghazi. 

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland complained that she had "serious concerns" about "arming members of Congress" to make assertions the administration was not making. "In same vein, why do we want Hill to be fingering Ansar al Sharia, when we aren't doing that ourselves until we have investigation results ... and the penultimate point could be abused by Members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want to feed that either? Concerned ..." 

The White House had until now declined to make the documents public and had let congressional investigators review the documents without making copies. 
The documents describe how the administration developed "talking points" to describe what the administration wanted to discuss publicly immediately after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


  1. What a great circular firing squad we have going on!

    State blames Defense, Defense blames CIA, CIA blames FBI, FBI blames Justice, Justice blames State....if only they'd use real bullets, or all blame Barky, or both.

  2. Read e-mails here -

  3. .

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Well then we can assume the Obama administration wasn't caught by surprise.