In her look-back piece on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson checks off the requisite boxes. She noted that the sealed criminal charges had been filed against suspects for the two-tiered assault that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. She made note of a White House statement expressing commitment to “bringing the perpetrators of the Benghazi attacks to justice and to ensuring the safety of our brave personnel serving overseas.” She noted an effort by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., to get the State Department to cooperate in interviews with Benghazi survivors.
And then she noted her own reportorial legwork:
The FBI, CIA, Director of National Intelligence, Defense Department, State Department and National Security Agency have rejected or failed to answer multiple Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made by CBS News, as well as appeals of the denials. The agencies cite exemptions related to ongoing investigations or national security.
Of course they cite exemptions. That’s what these agencies are trained to do. Last year, Attkisson fired off a list of questions she alleged hadn’t been answered. The Obama administration responded, in effect: Asked and answered!
But if the administration really has given out so much eye-opening testimony and information, why be stingy on the public-records requests?
The Erik Wemple Blog is hereby proposing an Erik Wemple Blog-centric brokering scheme: The federal government coughs up Attkisson’s documents and, in return, Attkisson coughs up all documents related to those mysterious and still-unexplained breaches of her computers to the Erik Wemple Blog. Done.