Obama Again Pressed for Libya Details as McCain Calls Him ‘Incompetent’

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks during a campaign visit to support Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the Fairfax American Legion Post on Oct. 26 in Fairfax, Va. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Three GOP senators are pressing President Obama anew for details about a deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Libya.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire allege in an Oct. 31 letter to Obama they are “concerted effort to misrepresent the facts” about a Sept. 11 attack on a consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“Your failure to answer these important questions will only add to the growing perception among many of our constituents that your administration has undertaken a concerted effort to misrepresent the facts and stonewall Congress and the American people,” the senators write in the letter. “We look forward to a prompt and thorough response to these questions. The American people deserve a full accounting of what happened in Benghazi where four brave Americans were murdered.”

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others died in the attack.

Despite the trio’s requests for answers to a list of questions about what Obama and his administration knew and when they knew it, the senators say they have yet to get any answers from the White House.

“Unfortunately, you and your senior administration officials have not been forthcoming in providing answers to the many questions that have emerged,” McCain, Graham and Ayotte write.

In a Monday television interview, Obama said his administration is conducting an internal probe of what went wrong. He vowed to catch those responsible and punish anyone inside the U.S. government who made mistakes.

“What my attitude on this is, if we find out we that there was a big breakdown, and somebody didn’t do their job, they’ll be held accountable,” Obama said. “Ultimately, as commander in chief, I’m responsible, and I don’t shy away from that responsibility. My No. 1 responsibility is to go after the folks who did this, and we’re going to make sure we get them.”

The trio’s latest letter came one day after McCain declared Obama, his 2008 presidential election foe, unfit to be the American commander in chief.

“This president is either engaged in a massive cover-up deceiving the American people or he is so grossly incompetent that he is not qualified to be the commander in chief of our armed forces,” McCain said Oct. 30 during a hurricane-relief event in Ohio hosted by this year’s GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. “It’s either one of them.”

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett