Republican consultant Liz Cheney accused the Obama administration Wednesday of engaging in "one of the worst cover-ups" in history by trying to hide the facts surrounding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.
Cheney, a former State Department official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, blamed President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for covering up the terrorist attack because "it doesn't fit, you know, with their whole notion that somehow al-Qaida is on the ropes."
Clinton, she said, should have been aware that the consulate did not have enough security.
Cheney, now a Fox News contributor, made the charge Wednesday night on the network's Sean Hannity show following a heated hearing on the attack before the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
"I think this is, Sean, one of the worst cover-ups, probably in the history of the republic. . . . We are not talking about a policy that went awry here, we are talking about an ambassador and three other Americans who were killed," Cheney said. "We are talking about a nation under attack."
Cheney noted that Obama has been mostly silent on the attack since initially portraying it as a violent reaction to an anti-Muslim film that was blamed for igniting anti-American protests across the Middle East. She said Clinton has also been silent on the attack as well.
Both Clinton and the White House have acknowledged the attack was a terrorist assault, and State Department officials testified Wednesday that additional security at the compound in Benghazi may not have helped.
"Having an extra foot of wall, or an extra-half dozen guard or agents would not have enabled us to respond to that kind of assault," Eric Nordstrom, a regional State Department security officer noted at Wednesday's congressional hearing.
But Cheney said, "At some point . . . the American people have to ask, 'Who is in charge at the State Department?' You know, there is this notion out there that Secretary Clinton is competent, that Secretary Clinton is doing a good job, running our diplomacy," Cheney said.
"All of the facts show otherwise. And either she's in charge of the department and she was reading her intel briefings every day, and she was reading the threat reports, and she was getting briefed, or she wasn't," she added.
Cheney asserted that both the president and Clinton are lying about events surrounding the attack "because they have to get the American people to believe that this president has been an effective national security president."
"But in fact, al-Qaida is on the rise," she said.
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