Two weeks after introducing a bill that would require a timely investigation into this month's attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Sen. Bob Corker has partnered with another of his Republican colleagues to call on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to release final cables sent from Ambassador J. Chris Stevens, who—along with three of his colleagues—was killed Sept. 11.
Corker and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., penned a letter to Clinton Tuesday, requesting that the State Department quickly provide the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with all communication relevant to the security situation at the consulate in Benghazi in the days leading up to the attack.
Both Corker and Isakson are members of the committee.
In the letter, the senators said they had become "extremely concerned" about conflicting reports over events leading up to the attack between news outlets and the administration of President Barack Obama.
"While we appreciate your participation in the briefing to the U.S. Senate last week, we are extremely concerned about conflicting reports over the events leading up to the attacks," the senators wrote. "Specifically, we are concerned over the apparent lack of security preparations made despite a demonstrable increase in risks to U.S. officials and facilities in Benghazi in the period leading up to the attacks."
According to a recent report from Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill, the former Chattanooga mayor was less gracious in comments made to reporters after Clinton's briefing to the Senate last week.
"That is the most useless, worthless briefing I have attended in a long time," Corker said, suggesting that he had learned more details about the attack and U.S. response from a front-page New York Times report that morning rather than from the secretary of state herself.
The letter requests all communication between the State Department and the U.S. mission in Libya be handed over to the committee, "including, but not limited to," cables sent by Stevens in the weeks before his death. According to a CNN report, Stevens wrote in his journal prior to the attack that he was concerned about Americans' security in the wake of rising violence against Western diplomats and aid workers.
The letter details three incidents preceding the Sept. 11 attack—an IED attack that damaged the consulate in Benghazi on June 6, an RPG attack against a convoy for a British ambassador on June 11, and an RPG attack on the office of the International Red Cross in Benghazi on Aug. 5.
Although a handful of their Senate colleagues have said that the administration has denied having knowledge that the attack was a preplanned terrorist action, Corker and Isakson's letter falls short of making that claim outright.
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