State Department Downplays Failure to Secure Benghazi Crime SceneOct 08, 2012
By Julian Pecquet
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland dismissed concerns that sensitive information may have been jeopardized because the consulate where Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died on Sept. 11 still hasn't been secured more than three weeks later.
The comments were in response to a Washington Post report that “sensitive” documents — including U.S. efforts to collect weapons, Stevens's full itinerary and personal information about dozens of Libyan contractors — could still be found among the charred rubble. The tone was in sharp contrast to the State Department's strong criticism against CNN after the network found Stevens' diary and reported that he'd felt targeted by al Qaeda.
“This was not, based on what we've seen, any kind of breach of classified information,” Nuland told reporters. “If you take a look at those things that were found, they were all unclassified documents. Some of them were, for example, the evacuation instructions for personnel. So clearly these were things that were in use at the time of the attack and frankly, none of us was surprised to — to see them at the site.”
The comments come as the Department of Defense revealed that an FBI investigative team had finally made it to Benghazi late before heading back out less than a day later. Nuland repeatedly referred to the slow pace of the investigation as “challenges” during her briefing.
Source: The Hill