Emails show State Department official urged Benghazi contractor to avoid media

Newly released documents show an official at the State Department urged a contractor providing security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi not to respond to media inquiries, in the wake of the September 2012 terrorist attack.

"We concur with you that at the moment the best way to deal with the inquiries is to either be silent or provide no comments," the Sept. 26, 2012 email from contracting officer Jan Visintainer said.

The emails were released by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Around that time, questions were being raised about the quality of security at the U.S. compound.

Fox News reported shortly after that email was sent that internal letters showed a dispute between Blue Mountain Libya, the security license holder in Libya, and its operations partner Blue Mountain UK, which trained and provided the local guards.

A source said at the time that Blue Mountain Libya felt the security provided by the UK partner was "substandard and the situation was unworkable."

But the State Department, according to the letters, did not appear to get involved in that dispute.

In the Sept. 26 email, Visintainer wrote to officials with Blue Mountain Group thanking them for "informing us about the media inquiries."

"We notified our public affairs personnel that they too may receive some questions," she wrote.

Judicial Watch claimed the administration has "worked hard to keep details of the attack -- and the negligence that led to it -- from the American public."