House, Senate hold hearings on Benghazi attack

Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Benghazi, after all the hoopla, finally, finally, the hearings, this as four State Department officials lose their posts after a scathing report reveals a State Department that has now seriously lost its way, damning news for Hillary Clinton. So, where is Hillary Clinton?

K.T. McFarland wants to know, because, as secretary of state, K.T. says the buck stops with her.

Now, we’re told, K.T. next year. She testifies next year.


CAVUTO: She is not avoiding these various committee hearings. She just can't do them now.

MCFARLAND: Look, I am not her doctor, so I'm not going to give her the permission slip to not have to go to these hearings.

But I think it's worth noting that the two times the secretary of state should have spoken out about Benghazi, the first time was when the U.N. ambassador went to all of those Sunday talk shows, and the second time was today, both of those times, Secretary Clinton has been suffering from the fatigue of her demanding travel schedule. You draw your own conclusion.

CAVUTO: So, what is yours?

MCFARLAND: I think it's -- I think Secretary Clinton is leaving her options open.

But what bothers me about the whole thing is nobody is being held accountable for this. Secretary Clinton said, I take responsibility, but she doesn't seem to take the blame. No one is taking the blame. I don't care whether it is the State Department that is not taking the blame, the high officials in the White House or the State Department, or Al Qaeda, frankly

We have not gone after Al Qaeda. We have not hunted them down. We have not punished them. We have not retaliated.


CAVUTO: For this attack.

MCFARLAND: For this time.

But what does this tell you? If you go back and look at bin Laden, in 2000, he did a campaign, he did a recruitment video. And he said, in 1998, we bombed the United States embassies in East Africa and nobody came after us. We bombed the USS Cole in 2000, and nobody came after us. Go attack America again.

So, what message are we sending to Al Qaeda by not hunting them down and punishing them and retaliating against them? We are saying, come get us again.

CAVUTO: But how much of that could also be war fatigue, their view that, look, America has been in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they are just sick of it?

MCFARLAND: Right. We are sick of it.

But that doesn't mean -- I'm not saying invade someplace.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

MCFARLAND: I'm saying the guy who has claimed responsibility for the Benghazi attacks is sitting in a luxury hotel in Benghazi sipping strawberry frappes. We know where he is. We also know where the Al Qaeda training camps are Eastern Libya. Why have we not held anyone responsible? Because that's what...


CAVUTO: Well, if we knew where these places where, what is the risk of not going after them?

MCFARLAND: You tell me. I do not understand why we don't go after them.


CAVUTO: Well, what did you think?


MCFARLAND: Well, the administration has said they wanted a lighter footprint.

And, again, I think this has a second point which speaks to the whole Middle East policy the administration has. Two years ago, that was a region at peace. But now we are looking at a region where country after country, we have toppled dictators. We have let things fall as they may. We have tried to let them have a -- we would have a small footprint. They could set up their own governments.

And what has happened? Two years later, the Arab spring is an Arab winter. We are facing a situation a year from now where you could go from the Atlantic all the way to Pakistan with countries which are anti-American, which are Islamist, which are in economic and political chaos. That, to me, is the bigger scandal than timelines and talking points on Benghazi. It is who lost the Middle East and why.

CAVUTO: What is going on right there now, though? Is there a view and a sentiment being expressed abroad by our own people abroad that someone doesn't have their back?

MCFARLAND: By our own people throughout the region?

Yes. And if you look at, say, for example, Libya, we toppled that dictator and then we sat back, we didn't give the Libyan government, the new Libyan rebel government the tools they needed frankly to set up their own security. They are afraid of going after the Al Qaeda or the militia groups.


CAVUTO: But can you blame us, given the whole Egypt thing?

MCFARLAND: But there is a point between there.

CAVUTO: Right.

MCFARLAND: You could go in. The two examples in my lifetime are Iran and Eastern Europe. In Iran, Jimmy Carter helped topple the shah of Iran and then stood back and didn't get involved to help the new rebel government set itself up as a pro-democracy self-governing group.

What happened? The ayatollah and the mullahs came in and shoved aside the well-meaning democrats and set up an Islamic state. But look then at the fall of the Berlin Wall, Reagan administration, George Bush 41. When that happened, we sent in people to help. We sent in double-entry bookkeepers. We sent in political experts to show them how to run political parties.

We sent in people to say this is how free media works. We didn't tell them what to do. We just gave them the tools to do it. As a result, Iran greatest threat to world peace today, and then Eastern Europe, America's greatest allies.

CAVUTO: Wow. That's very interesting.

K.T., thank you very, very much.

MCFARLAND: Thank you. Thank you.

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