Friday Lightning Round: Benghazi investigation developments

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 28, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Each week we ask you to vote online in our Friday Lightning Round poll. And this week you chose the latest on the Benghazi investigation. We're back with the panel. Charles, this week General Carter Ham, then-AFRICOM commander, testified behind closed doors. Take a listen what one representative said she took out of it.


REP. MARTHA ROBY, R - AL: The day before the White House sent out a press release bragging about how prepared they were to protect on a very important anniversary of 9/11. What we also know as a result of today's hearing is that they did not even confer with the combatant commander in that part of the world to make sure that he had everything he needed.


BAIER: What do you think of that?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's rather astonishing. That's -- General Ham, he's in charge of Africa, and he is the guy who would have been the one who would prepare the preparedness. And all you get from the White House, and you see it is a theme through all of this, including the talking points, is trying to make the appearances look good, trying to explain all of the behavior of the administration, why would you cover up, why would you tell a story.  They want it to look as if they were not responsible. Everything had been done because it was an election year, and that I think is the root of all of the distortions and the lies.

BAIER: Carter Ham also, Kirsten, apparently said behind closed doors that there was no stand down order. There was a stay there order for the special forces in Tripoli to not go to Benghazi. What about this story and where it is, where it is going?

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: Well, I mean, stay there and stand down are -- it is a little bit of -- there's not that much difference there, frankly. I guess you could say it casts some question, Gregory Hicks said there was clearly a stand down order, so that needs to be reconciled in some way.

BAIER: Understand for a second, in the military, stand down means do nothing.  They were given a mission to stay in Tripoli.

POWERS: Right, which in effect is keeping them from, we assume -- everything I know about the military is that they would do anything they could, if any one of their people is in harm's way. So, you know, but again, it is hard to know exactly what -- if he is saying as we understand it to be or if there's something more to this.

BAIER: More on this tonight at 10:00 p.m. We will tease that in a bit. John, the NSA story, you have this -- OK, we will see it now. 10:00 p.m., this is a special that we have.

John, the NSA story, you have Edward Snowden apparently still locked up in this Moscow airport. You have all these different leaks coming out that everyone says are really, really damaging to national security. What are your thoughts?

JOHN STOSSEL, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: I'm still trying to get my brain around it. This is one of those where there are two sides. I am not that upset by the data mining because I think the intentions are good and it may be useful. And I've lost my only friends, the libertarians, who now call my disgusting, and a LINO, libertarian in name only.

BAIER: LINO, that's a new one.

STOSSEL: Because I put on my web page a list of 100 other things I was angrier about at the government. And so I am out of the club.

BAIER: All right, in the club, a lot of people watching the Zimmerman trial, today an interesting exchange in which the prosecutor's witness said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person you now know to be Trayvon Martin was on top, correct?

WITNESS: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was the one reigning blows on the one on the bottom, George Zimmerman, right?

WITNESS: That's what it looked like.


BAIER: The beating  that happened on this sidewalk. Charles, this witness is saying it was Trayvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman and the defense there using that.

KRAUTHAMMER: Prosecution didn't have a good day. The star witness, I feel sorry for her. She didn't want to be there. She is not the witness you would want on the stand. She isn't that well prepared, and when she gets -- contradicts herself unintentionally, I think, it weakens the prosecution's case. I say the defense has had a good couple days.

BAIER: Quickly, winners and losers. Winners, first, and losers?

STOSSEL: My winner is Barney Frank because not only does he want to legalize gambling, but he now says that drugs like cocaine and heroin should be legal.

BAIER: Aliright, loser?

STOSSEL: My loser is the economy and poor people because Obama's global warming push will wreck the economy and wreck poor people's lives.

BAIER: Kirsten?

POWERS: The winner is the gay rights movement and anyone who supports gay marriage, having a terrible, unconstitutional, discriminatory law, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act struck down. And the losers are people who oppose gay marriage who just don't realize that the fight is basically over.

BAIER: OK. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: Winner is constitutional propriety with striking down of Voting Rights Act, this anomaly which we had for 50 years, a deserved and a good one of identifying the southern states for separate treatment as a result of discrimination in the past is now over, and we return to the constitutional norm of all states essentially being treated equally.

The loser of the week, and I say this with some sadness, is Rusty the red panda who newly arrived from Nebraska, tried to escape from the Washington Zoo. He left no note, so we're not exactly sure why. But I think after three weeks of bickering and the gridlock in Washington, he had had enough. But unfortunately he did not make it to the corn husker state, which is his native territory. They found him asleep in a tree, and he is back in the zoo, and he hasn't spoken a lot since.

BAIER: Wow. This was the lightning round at one point, but it is good to get the panda update.

KRAUTHAMMER: It is a long story but a rather -- it's a poignant one --

BAIER: It is poignant. John, thanks for being here. That's it for the panel. But stay tuned for some words of wisdom.  

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