Drawing a Blank on the Obama Administration’s Benghazi Disclosure

by Jim Geraghty

White House press secretary Jay Carney is bragging that the administration has released 25,000 pages of documents related to Benghazi.

That number sounds like a lot, but Carney didn’t mention how many of those documents actually have text on them.

For example, the documents recently obtained by Judicial Watch were scrubbed of information the executive branch decreed secret, making some of them . . . less than edifying. Out of 110 pages of documents released because of Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit, 36 are partially or entirely redacted because of classified information.

Redaction turns this page into a blank slate, for example:

And then there are the pages offering only a smidgen of text from the preceding page, such as this separate page with just the word “Erin.”

Some documents detail an e-mail exchange where the entire text is redacted:

Out of those 110 pages released to Judicial Watch, 30 pages are transcripts of news reports about Benghazi and Rice’s interviews with the media, 14 pages collect official statements from administration officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill in response to the Benghazi attack, five pages collect reactions to the attack from Libyans on Twitter, and two pages are an e-mail of a press release of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In short, Carney wants the administration to get credit for disclosure — which they complied with only after a lawsuit — even though they’re releasing a lot of documents that only repeat public news reports, don’t say much the public didn’t already know, and in some cases, literally don’t say anything.