Huffpost Politics

More Benghazi Documents Come To Light As Conservatives Cry Cover-Up

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A picture shows a torn apart stars and stripes postcard at the U.S. consulate compound main entrance in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 13, 2012, following an attack on the building late on Sept. 11. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/GettyImages)
A picture shows a torn apart stars and stripes postcard at the U.S. consulate compound main entrance in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 13, 2012, following an attack on the building late on Sept. 11. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/GettyImages)

The slow dribble of Benghazi-related news continued on Thursday, as new documents related to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya came to light in two separate news reports.

Foreign Policy Magazine's Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa reported the discovery of sensitive documents at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, that revealed that the day of the attack, concerns arose over Libyan police -- who were supposed to be guarding the consulate -- taking pictures of the grounds from a building across the street.

Stunningly, the documents were found in the consulate last Friday, Oct. 26, almost a month after an FBI team visited the compound to collect evidence, and six weeks after U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans lost their lives in the attack.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge also reported Thursday that U.S. mission officials in Benghazi convened an emergency meeting on Aug. 15, less than a month before the attack, to discuss concerns that the consulate was not ready for a "coordinated attack" from one of the terrorist groups in the area.

White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about the Fox report on Air Force One as President Obama flew to Green Bay, Wis., Thursday for the first of three campaign rallies.

Carney said that "investigations are being conducted by both the FBI and the Accountability Review Board, and [the president] is not participating in the investigation."

"He is anticipating results that show us exactly what happened, who was responsible and what lessons we can learn from it in terms of how we ensure that it never happens again," Carney said.

The day before, a group of Republican senators sent their eighth letter to the administration, asking it to respond to previous requests for information about who knew what and when, and why the White House blamed the coordinated terrorist attack on an offensive YouTube video for several days after the attacks.

Wednesday's letter, sent by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), referred to a "growing perception among many of our constituents that your administration has undertaken a concerted effort to misrepresent the facts and stonewall Congress and the American people."

"The American people deserve a full accounting of what happened in Benghazi where four brave Americans were murdered," the letter said.

There is a clear partisan tint to the letter -- all of the senators behind the letter are strong supporters of Obama's election opponent, Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But it's also in the Obama administration's interest to point to an ongoing investigation until after the election.

The conservative grassroots is increasingly inflamed about the issue of what happened in Benghazi and why the administration offered shifting and contradictory answers about it. And increasingly, they are blaming the media as much as the administration.

"It is becoming abundantly clear that the nation’s television networks and other news media outlets are actively engaged in a cover-up of this incident on behalf of this White House," said Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, a national group. "We are calling on them to put aside politics and to do their job, fulfilling their duty as journalists to provide the American people with the facts.”

Many Republicans have expressed the belief that the president's credibility has been called into question by the way that the Benghazi attacks have simmered on the back burner, with any coverage driven mostly by conservative websites and talk radio and Fox News. But the Romney campaign also has not tried to place Benghazi front and center in the election by driving a daily or even regular message about it -- which would be one way to ensure that the media in general gave the matter more attention.

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