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Public Statements

Letter to President Obama

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Last evening, Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called on President Obama to release Intelligence Community reporting that led Administration officials to initially characterize the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya as a "spontaneous reaction" to a film. Likewise, Chairman King requested that the President release Intelligence Community data and intelligence which led the Administration to change its characterization from a "spontaneous reaction" to a "terrorist attack."

In a letter to the President, Chairman King wrote:

In recent debates, Vice President Biden made an absolute commitment to "get to the bottom" of the Benghazi attack, and pledged that "wherever the facts lead us … we will make [them] clear to the American public." You made an identical promise to "investigate exactly what happened, regardless of where the facts lead us." Vice President Biden added that the Administration blamed the attack on a film protest "because that was exactly what we were told by the Intelligence Community," but that as the Intelligence Community "learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment."

The text of the letter follows:

October 19, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

I write to request that you release the Intelligence Community reporting which led your Administration to characterize the assault on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, the assassination of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, and the murders of three other American officials as a "spontaneous reaction" to a film trailer posted on the Internet. I further request that you release subsequent Intelligence Community analyses which led your Administration to determine that the events of September 11, 2012 represented a terrorist attack.

In recent debates, Vice President Biden made an absolute commitment to "get to the bottom" of the Benghazi attack, and pledged that "wherever the facts lead us … we will make [them] clear to the American public." You made an identical promise to "investigate exactly what happened, regardless of where the facts lead us." Vice President Biden added that the Administration blamed the attack on a film protest "because that was exactly what we were told by the Intelligence Community," but that as the Intelligence Community "learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment."

In line with these representations, I request your Administration release edited transcripts of any Intelligence Community or State Department radio traffic; redacted versions of instant messages, emails or operational cables; "tear lines" of situation reports, intelligence reports, or intercepts; and any images (of reduced fidelity or magnification) which led the Intelligence Community to tell the Administration that the incident in Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction to a film. I further request your Administration declassify the bases upon which the Intelligence Community changed its initial assessment.

Thank you for your time and consideration of these requests.

Sincerely,

PETER T. KING

Chairman


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