The State Department Is Not Happy About CNN’s Use of Ambassador Stevens’s Journal

By
Amb. Christopher Stevens.

On Friday, CNN revealed (via Anderson Cooper) that it had come across Ambassador Christopher Stevens's diary in the rubble of the Benghazi consulate and subsequently used it as an un-cited source. Now, the State Department is accusing the network of ignoring the Stevens family's wishes, among other things: 

What [CNN is] not owning up to is reading and transcribing Chris’s diary well before bothering to tell the family or anyone else that they took it from the site of the attack. […] A family member made it crystal clear directly to CNN that they wanted Chris’s diary and would not make any other decisions [on use of its contents] until then. […] I guess four days was as long as CNN could control themselves, so they just went ahead and used it. […] They have yet to even try to defend the indefensible.

CNN fired back with its own statement

We think the public had a right to know what CNN had learned from multiple sources about the fears and warnings of a terror threat before the Benghazi attack which are now raising questions about why the State Department didn’t do more to protect Ambassador Stevens and other U.S. personnel. Perhaps the real question here is why is the State Department now attacking the messenger.

The network added that it did not quote from or show the journal out of respect to Stevens's family, and that they only acknowledged its existence "because leaks to media organizations incorrectly suggested CNN had not quickly returned the journal, which we did."