All-Star Panel: New accounts of Benghazi attack come to light

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," September 4, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


MARK GEIST, ANNEX SECURITY TEAM: Small arms fire started coming from this direction. Rone had a machine gun and he stood in like a three- quarter crotch position, and just started laying down hate, laying hate down through this avenue of approach from here. I started to engage with him.  I ran out of ammo, knelt down, changed magazines, and right as I'm coming up and I start to reengage, another mortar hits almost to the center of the building here. And that one, it knocked me back. And that's what hit Rone.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: That's Mark Geist, codenamed Oz, one of the three men on the ground in the Benghazi attack, talking to us exclusively in a special that will air first tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. He's talking about Rone, Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL, and Chris Daugherty, both died on that rooftop at the CIA annex. One of the controversial elements obviously, has been this whole -- was there a delay getting to Ambassador Stevens, the whole stand down order back and forth. Senior intelligence official telling us, quote, "There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support." Here's what they say about that.


BAIER: If I gave you that 30 minutes back, would Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith be alive today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they would still be alive. My gut is yes.

BAIER: You in on that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I strongly believe if we'd have left immediately they'd still be alive today.


BAIER: About 25 minutes, they called it a stand down. We're back with our panel. Charles, I'm telling you, I've done 34 of these hours.  This will be the most compelling that we've put together.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Now that was a riveting moment when you asked them whether the ambassador and the others would be alive and they said yes. These are guys who were on the ground. The one you were talking to said three times he'd been told to wait. And as a result, there was a half-hour delay.

The question I had when I watched this was, why is it only you, why is it only Fox? This is an amazing story. It could be explained as the fog of war. Who knows what the reasons are? People maybe didn't have the right information. You don't have to believe there was a malevolence here. But to get the story out, this is, what, now? Two years that we're coming up on this, and the idea that we didn't have access to any of the witnesses, anybody on the ground. There was a story about the video which the men you interviewed said nobody have even heard of until they landed in Germany, the construction of a cover story and all this, you really have to wonder why is it that the rest of the press and that even Democrats have no interest in it?

Republicans in Congress had a lot of interest in Watergate and other scandals along the way. I think it is scandalous how it's been handled by those who want to protect their own party.

BAIER: Chuck, the important part about this hour is that this is their story as they tell it, three guys on the ground. It doesn't have anything to do with the politics in Washington, or what Republicans are saying, how it affects or doesn't affect Hillary Clinton, or what's been written in these reports. It's just their story.

CHARLES LANE, OPINION WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Right. And the person I want to hear from is Bob, the CIA guy who told them to wait, because when we hear from Bob we'll hear why he told them to wait. What we heard in your interview was they assumed it was he was waiting for more support from the local militia, which, by the way, might not be a bad reason to wait. In other words, you want to go -- you don't want to rush in with just three guys into what was obviously a very, very dangerous situation. You'd want to wait and see if you could round up some more support. In other words, there is a difference between waiting and waiting for no good reason, and, even worse, waiting because you were told we don't care what happens to the ambassador.

And I want to hear from Bob. I want to hear the CIA make him available and whatever and tell us exactly what's going on. What I'm not hearing in this is that anybody in Washington said we don't care what happens to the ambassador, write it off, stay away.

BAIER: They won't produce Bob. They've produced a statement, Steve. They also point to a couple of different reports, the Senate Intelligence Committee report, which said that in fact he was working to get this 17th militia to respond first. And they are also pointing to the House Intelligence Committee, which is run by Republicans, hasn't put out an official report yet. But there was some kind of voice vote there on this.  Democrats say, well, what's the deal with that?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes, I think it's a fair question. I don't think there were any Republicans who were present for that voice vote. But certainly, the report that was being produced under the auspices of Mike Rogers' committee says that there was no stand down. Wherein they talked to these folks, it will be interested to see if they make available not just the transcripts of their interviews with these folks but the transcript of their interview with Bob, and as available as widely as possible. I mean, I don't think we should be looking at serious redactions. This is now going to be out. These people are telling their stories, as you point out. These are not people with a political ax to grind.

The name of the book is "13 Hours" because what they do is they describe what happened on the ground. They're not into taking political shots. They want to tell what they saw, they witnessed in their own eyes.  I think they seem tremendously credible certainly in talking to people who have known them and have dealt with them in the past. They vouch for their credibility. And I think that was a pretty powerful segment of the interview that we just saw.

BAIER: Yeah and there's much more to that. The book is coming out next week, "13 Hours, What Really Happened at Benghazi," by Mitchell Zuckoff and these security folks, the CIA contractors. There are two others, we should point out, a part of this team, and obviously, Tyrone Woods was a part of the team. He died on that mortar firing as did Chris Daugherty.

Does it change the dynamic heading into this House Intelligence Select Committee on Benghazi?

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes, I think it does because I think there's something so compelling about what they say that you immediately want to hear what Bob has to say. You want to hear if there is another side of the story. You want to hear why. You want to hear what was the thinking. And then you want to hear what were their superiors saying. And that comes later. You start with what happened on the ground and you work up. I think it could lead to a systemic inquiry. We have a committee of course looking into this under Gowdy, Representative Gowdy. And I think all of this will put together a mosaic that will be rather compelling when it comes out probably in the middle of next year.

BAIER: Busy day. So one final panel today, reactions to the guilty verdict in the McDonnell Corruption case when we return.

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