CNN Reports Details of Amb. Chris Stevens’ Private Diary; State Dept. Calls it ‘Indefensible’; CNN Punches Back: State Dept. ‘Attacking the Messenger’

By Chris Ariens 

The State Department is taking CNN to task for sharing details from Ambassador Chris Stevens’ diary, before returning the journal to his family. Stevens, along with three other Embassy personnel were killed on Sept. 11 when the consulate in Benghazi came under attack.

On Wednesday’s AC360, Anderson Cooper reported Stevens was worried about never-ending security threats, the rise in Islamic extremism, and being included on an Al Qaeda hit list.

On Friday, Cooper explained how CNN came upon the diary and how it factored into Wednesday’s reporting: “The information for that report like all of CNN’s reporting was carefully vetted. Some of that information was found in a personal journal of Ambassador Stevens in his handwriting. We came upon the journal through our reporting and notified the family. At their request, we returned that journal to them.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior adviser Philippe Reines, says that’s no explanation: “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. Or that when they finally did tell them, they completely ignored the wishes of the family, and ultimately broke their pledge made to them only hours after they witnessed the return to the Unites States of Chris’s remains.”

Further, the State Dept. calls CNN’s actions an “indefensible” invasion of privacy.

“CNN did not initially report on the existence of a journal out of respect for the family,” said CNN in a statement Saturday, “but we felt there were issues raised in the journal which required full reporting, which we did. “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 US personnel. Perhaps the real question here is why is the State Department now attacking the messenger.”

What do you think? Was CNN right to reveal the information from Amb. Stevens’ diary?

(h/t Playbook)