Knoxville — U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) referred to the Obama Administration today as the "most stonewalling" administration with which he has worked.
Grassley was asked about an e-mail from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, written three days after the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which instructed officials to "underscore that these protests were rooted in an Internet video and not a broader failure of policy" when addressing the incident. The attack cost the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on major Sunday morning public affairs programs days after and blamed the video. Subsequent investigations have shown that the attack was pre-planned.
Judicial Watch is the organization who obtained the e-mail messages, through a Freedom of Information Act request. The news outlet had been seeking the documents since Oct. 18, 2012. A lawsuit was filed on June 21, 2013, to gain access to the documents. A judge involved in the case was being questioned by a Senate panel, which included Grassley, today. Grassley intends to vote against the judge's confirmation to District Court.
Grassley is disappointed that the Administration, which promised early on in the Obama Presidency to be the "most transparent" the nation has ever known, has not been transparent on this issue, and others. As for his thoughts on Judicial Watch's actions and the government's response, he believes it shows that the Administration did not share all of the information it had.
"I think it proves they were not fully transparent with us," Grassley said. In response to our question, Grassley read a direct quote from the emails. When the attack occurred, President Barack Obama was in the middle of a reelection campaign.