The White House Photo Office has declined CBS News requests to release images taken of US officials during the Sept. 11 Benghazi attacks.
CBS News first requested the images on Oct. 31. In the past, the White House has released photos showing US officials during national security incidents. A half dozen images related to the mission that captured and killed Osama bin Laden were given to the public last year. One depicts President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team gathered in the Situation Room on May 1, 2011.
A White House official referred our request regarding the Benghazi attacks to the White House Photo Office. On Nov. 1, an official there indicated she would process our request quickly, but then did not respond further. Finally, this week, the White House Photo Office told CBS News it would not release any images without approval of Josh Earnest in the White House Press Office. Earnest did not respond to our telephone calls and emails.
At a press conference on Nov. 14, 2012 President Obama stated that his Administration has provided all information regarding “what happened in Benghazi.”
Clearly, it has not.
The deflection of responsibility here is hilariously dishonest. Suddenly, someone no one has ever heard of is so powerful that he can keep photos from the night of the attack away from the press and the people. If the photos presented the president in a flattering light — if there are even any photos at all — Josh Earnest would not be allowed to stand in the way.