In an apparent effort to settle the on-going dispute over the development of the government's talking points in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the White House released, early Wednesday evening, nearly 100 pages of emails outlining how those points were developed.
The emails (all of which can be seen — and searched — at the bottom of this post) progress as originally reported by ABC News. Initial drafts from the CIA — which, as has been noted, included references to a protest over a YouTube video — were subjected to feedback from administration officials, the State Department, and other CIA representatives.
What's more clear from the emails is the extent of the exchange between the parties. The initial ABC report, relying heavily on an unidentified person who had access to the exchange, gave the impression that the State Department was mandating changes unilaterally. On Tuesday, CNN raised questions about that formulation, showing one email which called ABC's presentation into question.
Republican critics of the administration's response to the attack embraced the ABC report as an indication that the White House (and Obama) and State Department (and Hillary Clinton) were working to hide information that they considered unhelpful. Wednesday's document dump will certainly not entirely eliminate those concerns, but may further bolster the alternative view of the back-and-forth: that the State Department and CIA each wanted to distance themselves from the attack as much as possible.