The Obama administration called Hillary Clinton’s decision to sign an April 2012 cable authorizing the reduction of security for American diplomatic missions in Libya “standard protocol.” “It is standard protocol that cables originating from the department in Washington go out under the authority of the current secretary of state with their signature, i.e. their name, typed at the bottom,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “In this way, this secretary, Secretary Clinton and others before her, sign hundreds of thousands of cables during their tenure,” he explained, maintaining that Clinton did not mislead Congress when she testified that the cable in question was not brought to her attention.
Carney was challenged about the findings contained in a 46-page report on the attack in Benghazi, Libya released yesterday by five House committee chairman.
In addition to the disclosure about the signature on the cable, the report concluded, based on internal e-mails that remain confidential, that both the White House and the State Department removed references to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups from talking points that were circulated to top administration officials.
Those talking points were used by U.N. ambassador Susan Rice during her appearance on five Sunday talk shows, when she told Americans that the attack was the result of a anti-Muslim YouTube video that prompted protests outside the American diplomatic facility in Bengazi.
Carney dismissed the report and its conclusions as ”obviously partisan.”