White House releases Benghazi attack emails

Updated: 2013-05-16 09:25


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WASHINGTON - The White House released Wednesday 100 pages of emails and documents in its latest effort to blunt the Republicans' sharp criticism of cover-up in the deadly attack on the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi last year.

These documents showed how the Obama administration's so-called "talking points" evolved about the attack, which took place on September 11 and killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

According to the emails, references to al-Qaida, Islamist extremists based in Libya and prior terrorist attacks around Benghazi were removed from the talking points.

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, used later the talking points during her appearance on major TV networks to argue that the Benghazi attack was not an act of terror, but rather one arising from a spontaneous protest over an American-made film.

Rice came under unscathing attack from the Republicans as she was accused of trying to be misleading in the run-up to the presidential election in November.

Officials have defended the administration's handling of the attack, and President Barack Obama himself on Monday dismissed his rivals' attack over the talking points as a politically-driven "sideshow".