One day after Senate Republicans held a press conference to question this week's State Department's report on the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Libya that left four Americans dead, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe said the scandal is bigger than Watergate and Iran-Contra.
"I have made a study of different cover-ups – the Pentagon Papers, Watergate and Iran-Contra. I've never seen anything like it. I think this is probably the greatest cover-up, in my memory anyway," the Oklahoma Republican said in an interview Saturday night on Fox News.
Republican senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said Friday that the State Department report does not address questions about the role of Cabinet officials in responding to the assault that night.
Mr. Inhofe said that, despite the report and testimony before Congress this week, the Obama administration still has not explained adequately why the mention of al Queda was deleted from the "talking points" given to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice.
"They don't talk about this, they don't talk about who changed this, who was the boss of the cover-up and what was the motive," Mr. Inhofe said. "We know what the motive was, this was before the election. And Obama had been saying he had done away with al Qaeda. Well, positively this was al Qaeda."
In testimony before House lawmakers Thursday, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said that, while Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton and other senior officials had been briefed about the security situation in Libya, decisions about security were made at the assistant secretary level.
Four State Department officials were relieved of their duties this week over the report, and the three who were identified held posts at the assistant secretary or deputy assistant secretary level.
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