OTR Interviews

Col. Oliver North: Obama administration is 'criminally negligent' in Benghazi

Oliver North: White House is 'criminally negligent' in Benghazi, latest House hearing shows need for select committee


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 1, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: A lot of grilling going on today, but our next guest says lawmakers and the media are not asking the right questions about Benghazi.

Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North joins us. Good evening, sir.

You think they are asking the wrong questions, media, at Congress?

LT. COL. OLIVER NORTH, FOX NEWS HOST, 'WAR STORIES': Congress decided today, the first Thursday in May, would be the National Day of Prayer. Let's start with 'God help us' because we are going to need that. After what we saw today we need all we can get.

And I agree fully with that idea of a select committee. The committee today did not ask the right questions of the General Lovell. General Lovell was the J2. He was the senior intelligence officer for AFRICOM with responsibility for what's going on, collection and dissemination of information for the military inside Libya. What they should have asked him wasn't about the talking point. We all know they lied. The talking points are bogus. What we know is why they did it, because it was not the narrative that they needed for the election.

What we don't know is, why didn't they prepare for. This 9/11 is going to be a terrorist anniversary for the rest of our days on this planet. It's going to be a time for heightened awareness, increased attention, putting forces into position. The questions that should have been asked were, General Lovell, did your staff warn people about 9/11? General Lovell, did your people communicate with the State Department about the threats that Ambassador [Chris] Stevens had already communicated?


One of the big problems in this is that Stevens had asked for help and never got it. Why?

VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine Herridge reported on October 31 that, on the 15th of August, there was an emergency meeting convened by the U.S. mission in Benghazi. And that there was an August 16th cable marked secret that was sent to the State Department, and what it said, in part, is that al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a, quote, "coordinate attack." That's according to a classified cable reviewed by FOX News. That's Catherine Herridge's reporting, October 31st, 2012.

NORTH: God bless her. And Catherine has kept this issue alive and has focused on the talking points, and the bogus and the lies and the narrative of, gee, we have got to show Obama to be a great statesman. The reality of it is this administration is criminally negligent.


VAN SUSTEREN: That's a tough accusation.

NORTH: I know a little something about select committees. I have been there.


VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, I seem to remember do you know something.

NORTH: And the fact is if they wanted to get the answers, they could, OK?



VAN SUSTEREN: But the Republicans had full power in the House of Representatives. They could have done?

NORTH: Damn good question. And they should have done it. And you know what? They can do it now.


VAN SUSTEREN: Look, you know, this never should have dragged on for two years. This is absurd that it's dragged on for two years because the longer it drags on, the more suspicion it's created about missing documents.

So why --

NORTH: Absolutely. And disenchantment.


VAN SUSTEREN: Some would say the Obama administration is getting criticized for being political in how it responded and cooking up that crazy video thing. The others will say that the Republicans thought it would be politically bad for them to have a select committee. So what are the American people supposed to do?

NORTH: The American people want and deserve the truth. They deserve accountability. They need to know that the recommendations made by, quite frankly, a committee that included Tom Pickering, as its co-chairman, is going to actually implement those reforms that are asked for so that it doesn't happen again. There has got to be accountability somewhere. Where are the people that were -- that perpetrated this attack? They are still wandering around inside Libya and elsewhere. No one has been held accountable in our administration, nor the perpetrators of the attack.

VAN SUSTEREN: I got back, there were four murders in Georgetown here in Washington that were unsolved, from a year and a half ago, it would still be front-page news.

NORTH: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: We'd still be wondering who killed the four people in Georgetown.

NORTH: And there should have been a select committee, there's still time for it, and they need to do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why won't Speaker Boehner do it?

NORTH: I don't know. You have to ask him. Get him over here.

I will ask him.

VAN SUSTEREN: He always has an invitation.

Anyway, Colonel North, it's always great to see you.

NORTH: Thank you, Greta.