Slatest PM: White House Releases Benghazi Emails

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 15 2013 5:34 PM

Slatest PM: White House Releases 100 Pages of Benghazi Emails. Read Them All Here.

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President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder attend the 32nd annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the West Front Lawn at the U.S. Capitol May 15, 2013

Photo by Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Benghazi Emails For All: New York Times: "More than 100 pages of e-mails released by the White House on Wednesday reveal intensive jostling between the C.I.A. and the State Department over the government’s official 'talking points' in the aftermath of last September’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. The White House released the e-mails to reporters after Republicans seized on snippets of the correspondence that became public last Friday to suggest that President Obama’s staff had been complicit in trying to alter the talking points used by Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, in the days after the attacks. White House aides have said the excerpts used by Republicans — and heavily reported by the news media — were an inaccurate representation of their involvement. On Tuesday, CNN obtained one of the e-mails in question that appeared to minimize the White House involvement. But Democrats — including some of Mr. Obama’s former top aides — said Wednesday morning that the administration would have to release all of the e-mails in an effort to prove that the president had nothing to hide."

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Read Them All Here:

Holder Gets Grilled: Reuters: "U.S. lawmakers accused the Obama administration on Wednesday of trampling on free speech rights and evading questions about the Justice Department's secret seizure of Associated Press telephone records. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, testifying before a House of Representatives panel, provided limited responses on the issue, noting he had been recused from the probe into a government leak that led to the records seizure. Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee became frustrated that Holder could not answer why the subpoena to obtain the records was so broad and why the Justice Department did not first try to negotiate with AP to obtain information. 'We don't know where the buck stops,' said U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican."

A Shield For Two: Washington Post: "With Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. offering few new details Wednesday on Capitol Hill about the Justice Department’s decision to secretly obtain journalists’ phone records, the White House began pushing for a federal media shield law in an apparent act of damage control after criticism of the department’s actions by members of both political parties and the news media. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that he will re-introduce the media-protecting legislation at the request of the White House, according to a White House official. The Free Flow of Information Act would protect journalists from being compelled to testify about their confidential sources, unless all other avenues are exhausted and exposure is in the public interest."

Internal IRS Fallout: CBS News: "Two Cincinnati, Ohio-based employees of the Internal Revenue Service have been disciplined and are 'off reservation,' a congressional source tells CBS News, after a Treasury inspector general report out Tuesday showed the agency targeted for excessive review conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. The congressional source added that the investigation is ongoing and does not rest with the two employees. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said "nothing determinative" about the Cincinnati pair's status was discussed in a closed-door meeting Tuesday with acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller. As the scandal unfolds, calls for resignations, and even jail time, are coming from both the left and the right."

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to the Slatest PM, follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

American Sent to "Special" N.K. Prison: Associated Press: "An American citizen sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what Pyongyang has described as hostile acts against the state has started life at a 'special prison,' state media said Wednesday. Kenneth Bae entered the prison Tuesday, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a short dispatch, but no other new details were provided about the American arrested in November who Pyongyang accuses of trying to establish an anti-Pyongyang base in the North. Two South Korean experts on North Korean law said they didn't know what a 'special prison' was. ... Washington has called for Bae's release, but there has been no sign yet that a high-profile American envoy is set to travel to North Korea. ... Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has attempted to use his friendship with Kim Jong Un on Bae's behalf. On his Twitter account, Rodman asked the leader to 'do me a solid' and release Bae. ... Pyongyang hasn't responded."

The Juice Is Not Loose: USA Today: "O.J. Simpson, a former football great looking soft and gray after nearly five years in a desert prison, testified Wednesday that he believed sports memorabilia collectors he confronted in a casino hotel room in 2007 possessed items that had been stolen from him. 'I had never sold any of my personal memorabilia, ever,'' said Simpson, shackled and dressed in drab blue prison garb. Simpson addressed a judge — without a jury — in a rare post-conviction hearing aimed at overturning his conviction on armed robbery and kidnapping charges stemming from the bizarre, disputed confrontation. Simpson, 65, testified that his lawyer at the time, Yale Galanter, discussed the missing items with him and advised him on how to get them back."

Walmart Bails on Bangladesh Safety Deal: Guardian: "Walmart has confirmed it will not sign up to a legally binding agreement on worker safety and building regulations in Bangladesh supported by retailers including H&M, Zara, Primark, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer, Next, C&A and several others. However, the US retail giant has created its own agreement, which it claims goes beyond the current accord that was drafted by labour groups and campaigners. The company ... said the deal signed by its rivals was 'unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals' and questioned the 'governance and dispute-resolution mechanisms'."

Gosnell Jurors Talk: ABC News: "Jurors who found Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder for killing three new born infants said today that his 'greed' was a major element in their verdict. The jurors spoke after Gosnell, 72, was sentenced to a third life sentence. They are to be served consecutively, ensuring that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. The doctor was accused of routinely carrying out late term abortions, but was convicted of 'snipping' the spinal cords of three babies who were born alive. Jury foreman David Misko explained today outside the courthouse what made the jury decide on first degree murder. 'The premeditation of it,' he said. 'It was just business as usual with him, he snipped the necks no matter what happened, so it seems that was what it was the premeditation of the babies.'"

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