Fox News
November 09, 2012

What does Iran attack mean for our foreign policy?

Guests: John Bolton, Jack Keane

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 9, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LIZ CHENEY, GUEST HOST: We are now learning new details about another possible coverup from the Obama administration. It involves Iran's attempt to shoot down an unmanned U.S. drone. Last week, Iranian war planes fired on and missed the aircraft as it flew in international air space. The Pentagon revealed this information for the first time yesterday, saying the drone returned to base safely.

But today the question lingers, why are we only learning about this attack now? Why was this information kept under lock and key until the election was over? Here to talk about this and the abrupt resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, is former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, and Fox News military analyst and retired four-star general, Jack Keane.

Gentlemen, thank you both very much for being here this evening. General Keane, let me start with you in this tragic news and very surprising news about General Petraeus and his abrupt resignation. What is your sense of sort of the implications for the nation, and the really tragic end to what has been a stellar military career?

GEN. JACK KEANE (RET.), FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Just let me say on a personal note, Liz, I know Dave Petraeus very well and his family. Again, it is such a sense of loss and sympathy for the amount of pain that they are in. I love this family and him as well. So it's a personal loss for me.

But it's also a loss for the country. This is our most accomplished general officer in generations, comparable to the legends we had in World War II. He didn't fight a war as big as they did, but he fought a war that we were definitely losing, and most people don't understand how tremendous it was that he was able to turn that around, and then began to turn the war around in Afghanistan as well. No general officer has been offered two wars to turn around, except MacArthur, and he failed miserably at the second one. He is a consummate public servant. Loves this country and loves serving it, and he's got such a tremendous ability. I have to believe that America has not heard the end of Dave Petraeus.

CHENEY: I appreciate that, General Keane. Thank you. And I would like to go to you, John, and talk about what does this mean in terms of what comes next at the agency, and also get your thoughts on what it means in terms of the Benghazi investigation. Do you think that General Petraeus will in fact be called to testify?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Well, I think in terms of Benghazi, it is inevitable that he will testify. I do not think that the resignation timing had anything to do with the hearings next week. Just because the general is now a private citizen doesn't mean that he can't be called to testify, or subpoenaed, if need be. It may well be the hearing would have to be closed because of the classified nature of much of the information, but there is no way you can preclude Congress from having him testify simply by leaving the agency.

I think there are a lot of unanswered questions here in terms of timing, though, with respect to the presidential election, and what the FBI investigation had uncovered, when the White House or the attorney general knew about it. This is a very, very disturbing series of events. And I think it will have a profound impact on the CIA. I think it is now incumbent on the administration to come up with a new director, as quickly as they can, to try and restore morale. This has got to be a shattering blow to the agency, to its personnel in the field, and the ramifications here for all of the agency's operations are very grave, indeed.

CHENEY: Jack, let me ask you, on the issue of this drone, you know, we have had these reports now that you had the two Iranian Soviet-designed fighters. They apparently fired on the drone and missed, which I think raises some questions about the skill and the capability of the fighters and the pilots. But give me your sense of what the Iranians are up to, what it means, and why we failed to respond in any way whatsoever.

KEANE: Well, I think it's just part of the gradual influence that the Iranians are trying to have in the region at large, and also to quiet nuclear weapons. And they clearly want us out of the region. And that's been their stated objective for years.

We are going to have clashes like this with them. And also, I think they -- they clearly understand that the United States is in a weakened position in the region, based on our policies for the last few years of disengagement. And they are encouraged by all of that. I mean, that's why they are on the rise in the region, and the al Qaeda and the affiliated groups are on the rise in the region. They are emboldened by it.

As for the timing of it, this seemed to me to be a routine Predator operation, as I understand it. And as such, when the United States property is attacked either in the air or on the ground, I believe the administration, the Pentagon has an obligation, once they have the facts, to report that immediately to the American people. This was not a covert operation, in which there is no obligation to report for obvious reasons. And so I don't understand why this wasn't reported soon after the event itself.

CHENEY: Ambassador Bolton, do you think there was something political in that decision to hold the reporting of that event until we got past the election?

BOLTON: Absolutely. I don't think there is any other explanation. You know, the original report was leaked by people in the administration, a pattern -- a disturbing pattern that we have seen for the past several years. And yet the official Defense Department spokesman, when he went on the record, said, well, you know, we don't normally talk about these things because they are classified. If it was classified before the election, it's classified after the election. If you don't want to comment on it, the standard formulation is, we don't comment on intelligence-related matters. And yet, they did not do that. So it's a pattern of trying to have it both ways -- keep classified what is detrimental to the administration and leak out what benefits it.

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