Could more have been done to save Americans in Benghazi?

Liz Cheney on handling of Libya


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now, there are more questions than answers when it comes to the terrorist attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead. According to e-mails obtained by the Fox News Channel, the two former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed seven hours after the fighting at the consulate began. So, why since the State Department admits that they were watching these events unfold in real time did the administration not act sooner?

Now, earlier today, Fox News' Jennifer Griffin was on "America's Newsroom," explaining what actions were taken by our military. Watch this.


JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Here's what the Pentagon did do. They did send a team of special operations forces from Tripoli to Benghazi. They sent a fast team of marines from Rota, Spain. They sent a special operation force, they moved it from Central Europe to Sigonella Air Base in Southern Italy, about 480 miles from Benghazi. Then they left F-16s and apache helicopters parked at Aviano Air Base in Northern Italy. They did not take off. Two navy destroyers already in the Mediterranean were moved off the coast of Libya.


HANNITY: And joining me with reaction, Fox News contributor Liz Cheney. Liz, literally, they are saying that these forces were an hour away. Our State Department's watching in real time. We know that by 4 p.m. Eastern, the White House knew about it. By 6 p.m., Eastern, they knew more was happening. Why wouldn't they send in the military to help people at the consulate?

LIZ CHENEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that is a question that the president of the United States needs to answer for the American people.

You know, I thought that Jennifer's reporting was interesting, and if you combined that with the State Department briefing that they provided on October 8, what looks to have happened is the only reinforcements that actually arrived in Benghazi, it sounds like were called in from Benghazi. The rest of the movements that occurred resulted in no additional reinforcements at Benghazi. And whatever other movements occurred, we now know they clearly were insufficient because we lost four Americans.

We also know that at 5 p.m. on September 11, 2012, President Obama, Vice President Biden and the secretary of defense were meeting in the Oval Office as you had these e-mails coming into the White House situation room, explaining that our consulate was under attack, that we didn't know where the ambassador was, that people were wounded.

So, these e-mails were coming in while they were in the Oval Office. And so far, everything we can tell points in the distribution of the president making no decision to do anything to rescue these people. He's got to explain to the American people, whether or not that's the case.

HANNITY: So, they're in the situation room. So, if it makes it to the White House situation room, the White House knew.

CHENEY: Right.

HANNITY: So, they knew everything that was going on, in spite of what their claims are. They knew that this was terrorist related. Does that mean that on the night of September 11, the president of the United States went to bed, knowing that the first ambassador in 30 years and other Americans were killed or under fire, and then he goes and he takes off to Vegas?

CHENEY: Right.

HANNITY: Is that possible that all happened? And troops were available to retaliate?

CHENEY: Yes. I mean, that is exactly what we need to find out, Sean. We need to know, the president directly needs to say the American people, he needs to answer the question -- what did you know when you went to bed that night, Mr. President? Did you go to bed while this attack was still on ongoing? He needs to explain to the American people why he made the decision, apparently, not to send in reinforcement that were, you know, a little over 400 miles away, that could have been there within hours.

You've got a situation where we know, for example, from this same State Department briefing that happened on October 8, an AP reporter said to the State Department official, what was it about the attackers at the compound that led you to believe they were angry because of a video? And the State Department official said, well, we didn't believe that. You're going to ask somebody else. Yet, in days following, we have seen again and again and again, the secretary of state, the president, the vice president, the ambassador to the United Nations saying this was all because of a video. There are very serious questions that have got to be answered.

HANNITY: There is something else that I think could happen here as well. And I think the American people, I think Congress should demand this, and that is, if all of this is on video and the video exists, why can't we be given the video? Find out what the White House knew, when they knew it, put it in real time, based on the answers that they have given publicly, which turned out to be lies now, we have found out.

CHENEY: Right.

HANNITY: I think -- would that be fair, as long as there was nobody on video that -- I mean, we saw the trade centers get hit, we saw the trade centers fall, we saw America under attack on 9/11/2001. Why can't we get these videos?

CHENEY: Yes, I mean, look, the president said that they were releasing everything real time as they got it. We now know that wasn't the case. Each time more information comes out, all it does is to call further into question, the actions of our president and our secretary of state and our secretary of defense, calls into question what they were doing while this attack was underway.

The other issue at stake here, Sean -- and this is something that Saxby Chambliss, the ranking member of the Senate Intel Committee brought up this morning on Fox -- is that we have now somebody in custody in Tunisia, who is responsible for part of this attack. We as a nation, have no way to ask him any questions or to detain him because we don't have a detention or interrogation policy.

HANNITY: The evidence now seems inconvertible and overwhelming, the president lied repeatedly to the American people. I think we need to know before this election on November 6.

CHENEY: I think you are absolutely right, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Liz Cheney, thank you for being with us.

CHENEY: Thank you.

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