California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa stood up for himself Sunday against Democratic complaints that he put at risk the lives of Libyans covertly working with the United States by listing their names in sensitive but unclassified documents released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which he chairs.
The information was part of 166 pages of documents sent with a letter to President Barack Obama asking for more information about the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans.
"President Obama should be ashamed of yet another example where his administration has been caught trying to mislead the American people about what happened in Libya," Issa said in a statement. "Obama administration officials and their surrogates are clearly reeling from revelations about how the situation in Benghazi was mishandled and are falsely politicizing the issue in a last ditch effort to save President Obama’s re-election effort."
Issa was particularly upset with an anonymous administration official’s comments in Foreign Policy magazine saying that a Libyan human rights activist cited in one of the documents was not "publicly associated with the U.S. in any other way. . . . It's a danger to her life."
However, Issa noted that the woman already was publicly connected to the United States when she visited the country as part of the State Department for the International Visitor Program last December. The trip was detailed on the Internet.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, is expected to play a major role in Monday night’s presidential debate. Mitt Romney and other Republicans have been extremely critical of the White House’s shifting explanation for the attack, first blaming an anti-Muslim YouTube video before coming around to the view that it was a terrorist attack.
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