Friday Lightning Round: Ongoing Benghazi investigation

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 1, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Each week we ask you to vote in our Friday Lightning Round poll for your favorite panel topic. This week you chose the ongoing Benghazi investigation. We're back with our panel about the witnesses. Steve?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: There are actually going to be two sets of people meeting with the House Intelligence Committee. First, a couple of witnesses on the ground who have already met with the staff the Senate Intelligence Committee and then three later, about a week later in all likelihood, the three people who Catherine Herridge talked about before.

I think that the second group, the three, these are the three who are writing this book that's likely to come out sometime next year, are likely to provide basically a just the facts ma'am accounting of what actually happened on the ground, and I'm told that that account will, in some significant ways contradict the official line that we have gotten from the Obama administration. So it should be an interesting hearing. We will see if we learn anything out of a classified hearing.

BAIER: Julie?

JULIE PACE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, I think what will be interesting from a White House perspective will be to see if the information that comes out of these hearings, which is presumably going to be more detailed than what we know at this point, whether that gets the White House to change their position. So far the White House really feels like what they are doing is sustainable. They don't believe that they are under political pressure to provide more information to change their approach. And so we have to see after these hearings if there is a difference.

BAIER: You listen to senators like Senator Graham, George, he they are adamant about this. Take a listen.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R – S.C.: The survivors, the people who survived the attack in Benghazi, have not been made available to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes. So I'm going to block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to the Congress.


BAIER: What do you think about that?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, institutional tension is built into our system of government. Now, if you believe the administration's sincerity, and it's been difficult to do this since they said the Benghazi attack was just an excessively violent movie review about an Internet video -- if you believe them, they are worried about, A, national security, something was going on there that they think ought to be kept secret, or they are worried about the integrity of a perspective criminal justice action against people who attacked them.

Even if you credit that, however, there is an equally strong claim on the part of the rival institution, Congress, to its constitutional duty of executive oversight of the executive branch. And, therefore, they're going to have to just fight this out. What you do is get someone like Lindsey Graham who makes the marker so high and the stakes so large that someone is going to have to give.

BAIER: Quickly, winners and losers.

WILL: This week's loser was Brown University where a mob of liberals shouted down Ray Kelly, the New York police chief, who was there to defend and explain the stop and frisk policing. The winner this week was Ray Kelly and the people of New York because appellate court struck down and sharply reprimanded the rule of the judge who had in the first place overturned the stop and frisk measures which have probably saved over the last decade 7,000 lives, most of them minorities.

BAIER: Julie?

PACE: My loser healthcare.gov users or attempted users. In the middle of all of this political fighting there are real people trying to log on to the website and see what kind of health insurance they could get and we're now a month in to them not being able to do that.  My winner is the city of Boston. It's really nice to see the folks there after everything they went through earlier this year have a chance to celebrate.

BAIER: George was there. Steve?

HAYES: My winners are Yuval Levin and Jim Capretta, two health policy wonks who basically predicted almost everything that we have been seeing over the last couple of weeks. Here is what Jim Capretta wrote in The Weekly Standard back in July four months ago, "The real story here is that the exchange rollout has reached the point of administrative collapse and the administration is doing everything it can to hide that fact." That was four months ago.

The loser is Jon Huntsman. Last week the honorary co-chair of No Labels – the No Labels group dismissed Utah Senator Mike Lee and other conservatives and Tea Partiers as whack jobs. A new book about the 2012 campaign suggests that he was, in fact, planning his campaign while he was serving the White House, contradicting what he said. This from a guy who ran as a candidate who was going to end the trust deficit.

BAIER: OK, panel, my loser, a beard, because my staff put in should Bret grow a beard in support of no shave November? And 70 percent said no, and apparently that's why. Is that a "Duck Dynasty" beard?


BAIER: Thanks for the votes. That's in support of men's health, early detection prostate cancer, a good cause, just no beard. That's it for the panel. But stay tuned for a clip of Kathleen Sebelius bringing down the house, and also Bing results. 

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