McCain Wants Select Committee to Investigate Benghazi

Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 08:29 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Sen. John McCain Wednesday renewed his call for one select committee investigation of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, saying there's just too much "conflicting" information for eight separate congressional panels to wade through.
 
Suggesting it would be a waste of time for separate House and Senate committees claiming jurisdiction to work at cross purposes, the Arizona Republican said a  Watergate-like panel would do a better job of getting to the "basics" of what happened and why it took so long for the Obama administration to acknowledge that a extremist group was responsible.
 
"The whole thing deserves a select committee," McCain said. "We now have four committees in the house, four committees in the Senate, all of which are investigating certain aspects, which are clearly overlapping in this whole investigation.

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"That's one of the reasons why we get conflicting stories," he added.
 
McCain noted that the 1973 Watergate select committee, formed to investigate the break-in at Democratic Party national headquarters by operatives working for President Richard Nixon's re-election committee, didn't involve a single death.
 
 
But he said Congress is more reluctant now because of politics to form a panel made up of members from both chambers working toward the same purpose.
 
"When Sen. [Joe] Lieberman and I first proposed a commission after 9/11, there was great resistance to it because of turf battles within the Congress," McCain said. "But this certainly warrants a full and complete investigation by a select committee in my view."
 
McCain, one of the most strident critics of the administration's handling of the attack, also reiterated his view that the explanation of what happened offered by United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice a few days after only served to muddy the waters and raise more questions.
 
Rice, who is reported to be Obama's choice to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, met with McCain and other GOP senators Tuesday and Wednesday in an effort to smooth things over. But McCain and his colleagues left the meetings apparently more convinced than ever that the administration was apparently trying to hide the truth of what happened in Benghazi.
 
"I, of course, admire Ambassador Rice's record. I think she's served the country, and obviously, that's important," McCain told Van Susteren.
 
But he added that the way she handled the Benghazi tragedy by saying the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video rather than a terrorist attack "raises many, many questions about her qualifications to be the secretary of state."
 
Asked about the meeting with Rice, McCain said she told the senators the explanation she offered on TV talk shows came from unclassified talking points given to her by intelligence officials.

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McCain said the classified information "indicated it was an al-Qaida-affiliated attack."
 
"They did not want to put the classified information into the unclassified talking points, which painted a vastly different picture," the senator added.
 
"Now, are we supposed to give Americans the wrong information because we don't want to reveal classified information? That's just crazy."
 

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