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McKeon: The cover-up is always worse than the incident itself

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, a California Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, stopped short Saturday of calling President Obama a liar. But he says the administration is keeping the American people in the dark when it comes to the deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

McKeon tells Fox News' "America's News Headquarters" he doesn't know why the Obama administration is dodging questions and blocking the efforts of some lawmakers to get answers.

"They ought to just tell everything they know," says McKeon. "When there is a cover-up, it's always worse than the incident itself. They ought to just come clean and tell us what happened. 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."

To add more fuel to the fire, a spokesman for McKeon tells Fox News that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta office stepped in and prevented four senior military officers from answering McKeon's questions concerning security at the consulate, effectively blocking the investigation. McKeon's spokesman calls this "nearly unprecedented."

While on Fox, McKeon acknowledged that he has questioned "senior commanders" within the military about the Benghazi terror attacks and says they're stonewalling.

"Essentially what I wanted to know was had they or anyone in their command warned the State Department of any problem that they had in Libya or had offered any help," says McKeon.

The congressman went on to say he gave those commanders 24 hours to respond. On Friday, they did saying they would not and could not respond in a timely manner. McKeon says just thinking Ambassador Christopher Stevens was in Benghazi without adequate protection "sickens him."

-- Regina Bratton