All-Star Panel: New report on Benghazi terror attack

Reaction from 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," October 17, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: This is a Fox News alert. U.S. officials are confirming that the United Nations has uncovered a credible plot by the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabab to mount a major terrorist attempt against the U.N. compound in Mogadishu. This is the U.N. compound in Mogadishu. Apparently according to officials, it's another sign that the militant outfit once thought to be expired has become a major force for terror in East Africa. All first reported by Foreign Policy magazine, but confirmed now in the past few minutes that the U.N. has uncovered this terror plot in East Africa.

Now for another story that we brought you earlier in the show.  Investigators for the Republican majority on the House Armed Services Subcommittee tell Fox that they've tentatively determined that no military response could have been affected -- effective in Benghazi, could have worked, because the U.S. assets were so poorly positioned around the globe ahead of September 11th, 2012.

And they're pointing to this press release from the White House that came out September 10th, 2012, quote, "Over the past month, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism John Brennan has convened numerous meetings to review security measures in place. During the briefing today, September 10th, 2012, the president and the principles discussed specific measures we are taking in the homeland to prevent 9/11 related attacks as well as steps taken to protect U.S. persons and facilities abroad as well as force protection." Today the press secretary was asked about all of this.


JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I wonder if you could tell us more about what those meetings entailed, who the participants were, how closely vetted that -- or thoroughly vetted that press release was, and whether the White House might be willing to make available either to congressional investigators and/or to the public the e-mail, the memos, and other sort of paperwork that was associated with the development of that press release?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is clear, because four Americans died on that day, that there was not adequate security. And that was revealed in the Accountability Review Board. And I would simply say when it comes to -- and I know that we're creating an exchange here for Fox, and I'm mindful of that.

JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: What we're engaged in here is not for Fox, it's for the record. Would you be willing to make any of those documents associated with that press release available as you did with the Susan Rice talking points?

CARNEY: James, I think we're done here. Thanks.


BAIER: OK, so another part of this investigation. We're back with the panel. We should point out there is another news organization that is working on a big story we're told about Benghazi, and we're obviously staying on it every day. Tucker?

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: Well, that hurt dog barks. It tells you right there. That appalling exchange where James asked an entirely legitimate question and is patronized and dismissed by the press secretary tells you they understand that they're vulnerable.

I actually don't think it's on this specific line of questioning that they're vulnerable. Why didn't you rescue these Americans before they were killed? I think people give the White House and the US government the benefit of the doubt. But the questions remain outstanding, including what were those CIA officers doing there in the first place? We still don't know. Why did you lie about the cause of Benghazi immediately, reflexively? We still don't know the answer to that. And more to the point, most to the point -- why hasn't anyone been held to account for these murders? These are real questions, and clearly they are unwilling and nervous about answering them, as you can tell.

BAIER: Well, this specific question is really about U.S. assets before 9/11. A big day, obviously, anniversary, 2012, and why they were so poorly postured around the globe.

CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, two points. It seems if this House subcommittee has found that no military response could have worked, that confirms what the administration has been saying all along, that they didn't send troops in to rescue them because there was nothing available.

Now, then the second point is well, why weren't they available? It's always been a legitimate line of inquiry. And I'm afraid that, you know, it's already they've pled guilty to having inadequate security. So I'm not sure exactly how productive this line of questioning is going to end up being.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well look, I think the fact that if you have a meeting that the president is at, some officials aren't there, including the African commander, you would expect he would be there. And then the assets aren't in place. There is obviously something in the laxity of that is quite shocking. You know that an anniversary is coming about, as we saw in this Somali story you mentioned. Today the resurgence of Al Qaeda and its affiliates is happening exactly in North Africa, in East Africa, and in the northern part of the continent, Mali as well. It isn't as if it's a surprise.

And, again, there is nobody in the administration who has taken responsibility, and nobody who suffered other than the [INAUDIBLE] in Libya, the one guy who tried to actually do something who was essentially demoted. He is the only guy I can see who has been punished.

And we have not targeted, as far as we know, any of these suspects.  And we haven't arrested them.

CARLSON: They've been readily available to news organizations. So what is the answer? It's not simply that the U.S. government is incompetent. It's not that incompetent. This is clearly a choice somebody made, and the question is why.

BAIER: That is it for our panel. But stay tuned for another group of All-Stars.

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