Cover-up? Republicans Trot Out the “C Word” on Libya

U.S. Marines stand next to a television monitor that is displaying a photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Ambassador Christopher Stevens during a memorial service for Stevens at San Francisco City Hall on October 16, 2012 in San Francisco. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Congressional Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of orchestrating a cover up of its handling of a consulate attack in Libya, raising the stakes just weeks before Election Day.

In the weeks since a Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left the American ambassador and three others dead, Republicans have pressed President Obama for details about what his administration knew about the likelihood of an attack and how it responded to that intelligence.

They had slammed the president for handling the situation poorly, and said it appeared some administration officials were being less-than-truthful about what they knew and when they knew, as well as what they did and did not do.

But they had avoided the “C word.” Until Saturday (Oct. 20).

“When there is a cover-up, it’s always worse than the incident itself,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said during a television interview.

Administration officials “ought to just come clean and tell us what happened,” McKeon said. “Admit that mistakes were made and make corrections for the future because this is just going to be a deeper and bigger hole they’re digging.”

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican on the upper chamber’s Armed Services Committee, also dropped the “C word” over the weekend, just days before tonight’s (Oct. 22) third and final presidential debate.

With prominent polls showing Obama’s race with GOP nominee Mitt Romney is a dead heat, will Romney look across the table and accuse his opponent of managing a cover-up?

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