The move came a week after public interest in last year’s terror attack unexpectedly rebounded with testimony by three State Department employees that reopened lingering questions about the assault. The documents were being released late Wednesday afternoon.
While many of the emails have already leaked out, the release of the complete set of communications paints a fuller picture of an administration struggling with how much to disclose about an attack that eight months later remains a focus of partisan division.
The decision to release them represented a major shift that officials hope will tamp down the controversy. Administration lawyers for months had rebuffed calls to hand over the emails on the grounds the exchanges were part of internal administration deliberations.
But administration officials have complained that congressional Republicans in recent days have been leaking selective excerpts from the emails to buttress their argument that the talking points were manipulated for political purposes.
That complaint was a lie, straight from the mouth of Jay Carney.
Update: Well, the White House has just made things even worse. The released emails begin on September 14, three days after the attack. By then, both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton had been blaming a movie for two days. The released emails are also heavily redacted.