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Special Report

Friday Lightning Round: Holder's Future

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," October 7, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Every week viewers vote in your choice online. In this our Friday Lightning round poll. This we ek, Holder's future, the attorney general's future won with 50 percent of the votes. We're back with the panel. We're going to start, however, with the ten year anniversary of Afghanistan and we'll come to the attorney general in just a moment. Ten years ago today the war started in Afghanistan. Pro gress made and what lies ahead? Some thoughts down the road.

JONAH GOLDBERG, AT LARGE EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: I think you can point to real progress but not nearly enough. I think that Charles -- in whose seat I'm in tonight --

BAIER: Do you feel the power?

GOLDBERG: I do. It's an august coursing through me. I think that he is basically right, that basically we're there trying to basically prop up and keep our eye on Pakistan, which is the real national security hotbed at this point.

BAIER: Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: Right. Well, it's not a safe haven for Al Qaeda. They're in Pakistan. Public sentiment is completely against the war. An ABC News poll out today, 60 percent of Americans are against it. Pew poll, even half of post-9/11 veterans are against it. So I think that, you know, I frankly don't see this being that much of a success, because when we leave, the place is almost definitely going to fall apart. So I don't know how much you call that a success.

BAIER: David?

DAVID DRUCKER, ROLL CALL: And if she is right, and terrorist groups are able to reconstitute there and in the future there are attacks launched from there, it will then be a problem. The decision to pull out, prematurely, according to some in the military, will turn out to have been a bad decision, we're just not gonna know yet.

BAIER: Operation Fast and Furious causing problems, obviously, for the attorney general. Here is what the president said yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I have complete confidence in Attorney General Holder, in how he handles his office. He has indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious. Certainly, I was not.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TX: As long as they continue to stonewall this thing and not come forward with a full explanation, this is not -- the story is not going to go away. And like so much of what happens on Capitol Hill, it's not the original offense, it's the cover-up that causes so much problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Late today, another document dump. A letter from the attorney general to this committee investigating saying I have no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious or of hearing its name prior to the public controversy about it. He says he receives hundreds of pages of so-called weekly reports, and e-mails have surfaced about those reports.

The oversight committee put out a statement, saying, "If the attorney general had said these things five months ago when Congress asked him about Operation Fast and Furious, it might have been more believable...however, it's hard to take at face value" and it goes on. David, where is this headed?

DRUCKER: Well we'll find out. I think Obama really values Holder and so I don't think he is going anywhere unless he becomes a true liability. Next year is a re-election year. They're not gonna keep Holder to dump Obama.

POWERS: Yeah, the chances of Holder going are very low unless there is some sort of smoking gun. It's interesting that he said he doesn't recall hearing its name. So, ya know it may be that he was briefed on it but they didn't call it Fast and Furious. The overriding problem is that they have constantly contradicted themselves or given out bad information on this from the very beginning so it sort of makes everything they say a little unbelievable.

GOLDBERG: Ya know, Kirsten says, I know she is being figurative when she said there is no smoking gun, but literally there was a smoking gun, actually there were thousands of them. And unlike Solyndra unlike a lot of these things actual people have died, including an American border agent. That should be a bigger scandal than it is. And it's interesting how this has, in some ways, become Washington-ified. If, ya know -- we were giving guns to drug cartels. That is a really bad policy that has now been covered up and is all about this inside Washington game. I think Kirsten is absolutely right on the politics of it. The moment Holder becomes a problem for Obama's re-elect he is gone. But Obama has got much bigger problems right now.

BAIER: So before the election does he stay or go?

GOLDBERG: I bet he goes before the election.

POWERS: Well, based on what we have now he stays, unless something new comes out.

DRUCKER: If this doesn't go away, he is gone.

BAIER: OK, very quickly, 15 years ago, Fox News Channel started. What about our impact?

DRUCKER: Well, Bret, I just want to say the first time I caught "Special Report" on TV I actually thought it was like a network special report that you used to get on NBC, ABC, they'd break in, ya know, primetime, we bombed somebody. And I keep waiting for the news, like what is the special report? And I realized -- oh, no, it's a show.

(LAUGHTER)

DRUCKER: And clearly I kept watching. And now I'm on the show and I really enjoy the show. But I think it's always good for journalists when we have competition. So the more outlets you have going after things, the better is it for people that are interested in news getting out there, news of any kind.

BAIER: We're going to leave it at David's wise words. That's it for panel. But stay tuned for a look back at 15 years of Fox News Channel.

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