A “human error” at the State Department caused the House Select Committee on Benghazi to release the name of an apparent CIA source that the government had hoped to keep secret.
The name of the source — which was the subject of a partisan battle over the weekend — was not classified to protect national security, the Obama administration said on Monday. Instead, the State Department had hoped to keep it private to protect the man’s privacy.
"I think it was just human error in our desire to get these documents to the Benghazi committee as quickly as possible," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
“We have asked the Benghazi committee not to use the individual's name publicly to protect that individual's privacy.”
The name of the apparent CIA source — former Libyan intelligence head and Foreign Minister Mousa Kousa — was initially revealed in the subject line of an email released by Republican leaders of the Benghazi panel over the weekend. The email was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' No Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way MORE by longtime associate Sidney Blumenthal.
The presence of the name was previously reported by Yahoo News. The Benghazi panel subsequently redacted the name from the email's subject line.
“State Department failed to redact a name in a subject line, so the committee took steps to remove this information so it was consistent with State Department’s redaction of it in another subject line,” committee spokesman Jamal Ware said in a statement on Monday afternoon. “The committee will not confirm the name in question is the alleged source.”
Republicans initially claimed that the appearance of the source’s name in Clinton’s email was evidence that she allowed obviously classified information to pass through her inbox, though the CIA said this weekend that it did not consider the name to be classified. The CIA’s claim appeared to undercut a key argument for Republicans, days ahead of Clinton’s appearance in an open committee hearing on Thursday.