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GOP senators call for special panel to probe Benghazi attacks

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 9:49 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Three Republican senators on Wednesday demanded a special panel to investigate the September attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joined Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., in saying the standard congressional committees aren't up to the task of unraveling the complex series of diplomatic, military and intelligence missteps tied to the tragedy in Benghazi.

“While we await the findings and recommendations of the (Obama) administration's internal review, it's essential for the Congress to conduct its own independent assessment,” McCain said. “There is no credibility amongst most of us considering the administration and the numerous controversies and contradictions that have been involved in their handling of this issue.”

Obama said his administration is working with Congress and conducting its own “full-blown investigation” into the consulate assault in Benghazi, which came on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Graham said that at least two other Senate panels — the Foreign Relations Committee and the Armed Services Committee, on which he sits — would also investigate the attacks.

“Four Americans are dead, the first (U.S.) ambassador is killed in 33 years in the line of duty,” Graham said. “I think this is a symptom of a greater problem in the Middle East.”

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