tv Rpt. Benghazi FOX News October 28, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
prevented or repelled after it began. what did the white house know and when? fox news has been on this story from the very beginning. this hour, details you haven't heard. at we enter the final stretch of the race for the white house, which side is closer to the truth? those that argue the terrible tragedy was largely unfor seeable and the president should not be blamed? or those who say we're seeing president obama's foreign policy unraveling right on our tv screens? >> it was supposed to be one of triumphs of president obama's foreign policy. a libya without moammar khadafy. he had been one of the worst sponsors of terrorism. families of 189 americans murdered on pan am flight 183 knew that well. after the 2003 invasion of iraq
he ended his secret nuclear program. >> i for one didn't buy it. i was deeply suspicious that moammar khadafy may be playing us. >> frank gaf ne89 is president of security policy. >> m away away's transformation from rogue even bizarre terrorist sponsor into one of america's most reliable allies is i think going to be seeing by historians as one of more bizarre twists of diplomatic history. >> bret: whatever the case, khadafy was a repressive leader caught by the surprise in the arab spring. world leaders are calling for him to go. >> moammar khadafy, last has lost legitimacy to lead.
>> president obama orders the pentagon to provide air support. one anonymous obama staffer describes the strategy as leading from behind, a characterization the obama administration officially rejected. >> with the libya operation represented was burdensome. >> the united states participated significantly but grand greater responsibility to france, great britain, italy, countries that have greater stake in the outcome. >> bret: april 28th, khadafy stills hold tripoli but rebels hold benghazi. christopher stevens is sent to benghazi. a car bomb explodes in front. hotel. stevens and his team decide it's too dangerous to stay there. in august they settle on a
compound on the west side of the city. >> it was a rented from an owner who had a nice villa and several out buildings as. >> well andrew wood is a 24-year special forces veteran who worked on security for u.s. personnel in libya for six months before the september 11th 2012 benghazi attack. >> there is not a lot of security. it's not a fortress. >> inside the walls are four buildings, one is essentially a large residence with a number of bedrooms in it. another residence has a cantina where the staff eats. just across the way, they have a tactical operations center, filled with security staff, folks and security monitors. finally the barracks a small house by the main gate of the compound. it will house a libyan security force. >> many viewers who traveled around europe and asia probably think one of those heavily guarded fortresses where you go
to get your visa. >> i think the corrected term was embassy property. it wasn't fortified. >> bret: colonel khadafy is captured by rebels in his hometown. with khadafy gone, stevens is named ambassador. he will spend much of his time at the main embassy building in tripoli, but he'll come to benghazi often. they upgrade the physical security at that property. charlene lamb at the stated department. >> we extended the wall to 12 feet with razorer wire. >> a fortified saichb haven is built. you enter through a heavy metal grill. >> tell me about the safe haven? >> bars on windows, you are building a jail cell basically. its delay until you get some
relief to get out of there. >> after the bombing in beirut we created a minimum standard for facilities across the world. >> bret: he serves on a committee on homeland security? >> this facility in benghazi didn't meet the minimum standards and didn't meet the minimum standards for personnel. >> bret: security consists of five diplomatic security special agents and four members of the libyan government security force called the 17th february bring gate. there is more security at the annex now, known to be a c.i.a. facility a mile away. based in tripoli but moving around the country is is a department of defense site security team. february 12th, 2012, lieutenant wood arrives there as the new commander. >> it had 16 members. >> what did they all do?
>> special operations soldiers had extra skills and capability. >> could a team that small make a difference? >> caliber of individuals on the team were the best in the united states inventory. they can make a difference. >> the problem is they are slated to end the tour bie summer's end. the security situation is taking an ominous turn. >> there is an uptick in terror attacks in libya? >> that is true. think the nature of things started to change. when i first got on the ground there was a lot of lawlessness going back and forth. as things progressed, commotion fel down and they seemed to be targeting more towards westerners. >> bret: lib had yeah had just gotten over a civil war.
for americans station there had the danger was just beginning. >> americans become targets, after the break. this is a fox news alert. the storm will be dangerous since it's on track to collide with a winter storm from the west. some coastal parts of new york and new jersey could get up to 11 feet of storm surge. tens of thousands of people have been asked to leave their homes. those who are still in the storm's path are urged to stay inside. now back to benghazi, new
old were being settled. in spring of 2012 that would change. americans and allies in libya found themselves increasingly in the crosshairs. >> april 26th a bomb is tossed over the wall of the benghazi compound. june 6th an ide is placed on the compound's north gate. no one is injured in either incident. that is not the case five days later. june 11th, 2012, a convoy transporting ambassador he isn't hurt. andrew wood was the site team commander in libya. >> clear that was terrorist attack. >> i actually conducted an investigation a couple days afterwards. walked the ground. took photographs. examined the vehicle. they knew what they were doing. it was definitely an assassination attempt by skilled operators.
as i could see it, i could they were stronger and we were last on the target list. >> all told there have been 230 security incidents in libya in the last year. ambassador stevens grows more and more worried. he says so in a series of cables sent to washington like this one on june 25th entitled libya's fragile security deteriorates as tribal arrive risen tense ties. libyan extremists shall targeting international organizations and foreign interests. that is why wood, and eric nordstrom implored the state department to keep woods sst force in the country beyond the scheduled august departure. >> we weren't requesting additional security. we were requesting to keep the security we had. that was being taken away.
>> bret: water and to keep your team on the ground, the team that was in place already. >> my team was only a small part. there was state department. >> that stands for mobile security detachment team. >> a lot of those are ex-green beret and ex-navy seals. there were three teams on the ground there. >> august 25th, state decides not to get keep the sst libya the mst team is reduced, as well. >> why do you think the request was denied? >> i don't know. >> john bolton. >> i think what was motivating the state department was in f we had security that truly been appropriate it would have been admission conditions on the ground in libya were not safe. that would have violated the world view that this had been an administration success. >> bret: august 8th, three days
after the state department pulls the heavy security teams from benghazi, ambassador steefx sends another cable about the, quote. violent incidents that dominated the political landscape. he writes, what we have seen are not random crimes of opportunity, but rather targeted and discriminate attacks. less than a week later, lieutenant wood and military site security team would leave. >> how did you feel when you left? >> i didn't like it. i said as much. my concerns was specifically for benghazi. >> ambassador stevens was a great diplomat. being great diplomat and dynamic place like libya means taking care of lots of different things. >> consul to the libyan government is a former state department official that knew stevens? >> he was concerned about security. he was concerned about some of
the developments in libya. he would be in a very careful diplomat and taking noted of all the things that were happening. >> bret: september 11th, 2012, a mob gathers in cairo egypt. they scale the wuamgs and burn the american flag, angry over an obscure video produced in california. there is plenty of action in cairo. all is quiet at the compound in benghazi. still sometime before 6:00 p.m., ambassador stevens sends another cable to the state department reporting, quote, growing problems with security in benghazi. growing frustration on part of the residents with libyan police and security forces. these forces, the ambassador writes, are two awake to keep the country secure. few hours later he would be murdered. >> we weren't there. >> if you were, could you have
protected ambassador stevens. sometimes in a firefight. >> bret: what exact happened in benghazi? greg palkot has been on the scene. up next, a timeline of heroism and disaster with no details you haven't heard before. what makes the sleep number store different? you walk into conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. we have so much technology in our store to really
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>> bret: many of you may have seen greg palkot reporting from benghazi. he started with all the available information from u.s. government briefings and diplomatic cables and other documents contained by fox news. he gained access to that ill-fated compound, pulling it altogether, he reconstructed what happened that night. now, he has new revelations with new information that fills in this troubling story even more. >> reporter: september 11th, 2012, the u.s. ambassador to libya takes a last meeting with the to your t usualish consul general. he escorts them to the main gate. he makes small talk to the guard
and goes back to the main residence building and retires for the night. still no sign of any spontaneous demonstration over the web video obama a would later suggested escalated to a riot. there is information management officer sean smith and four diplomatic security special agents. another agent is at the nearby tactical operation from. some guards at the compound say they could hear up the street explosives going off and people yelling and chanting. >> a mad mob of attackers breaks through here in the gate a weak pointed and then move on here to the understaffed libya militia barracks. they torch it and light up embassy cars around it and then they move on. >> witnesses say the fighters are well armed and organized flying the radical islamic flag. an act in a tactical operation
center sees scores of men pouring into the compound. at this annex, where fox news has confirmed was a c.i.a. insulation, tyrone woods a former navy seal can hear shots being fired in the vicinity of the consulate. they tell fox news jennifer griffin they asked permission from superiors on the scene to assist but are told to stand down. they say it is first two such requests they would make. but the c.i.a. says, quote, no one had any level at the c.i.a. told those not to help those in need. claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. meanwhile, security agents are sounding the alarm, too. >> a diplomatic security agent working in the tacky cal operations center immediately activated dangerous notification system. >> charlene lamb was working in washington and could follow the
events in realtime. >> we also alerted the quick reaction security team nationed stationed nearby. the brigade and embassy in tripoli and diplomatic security center in washington. >> around 10:00 a drone begins to hover over the consulate and gives live pictures back to washington. special agent comes here and gets ambassador stevens from his bedroom and brings him along with sean smith to this room in the safe haven, really besides medicine, a big dark, windowless room. then outside a locked gated and hoped for security. >> he radios others to his whereabouts. it's erupting in gunfire and explosions. >> at this point there are seven americans, three different locations, ambassador stevens and two others in the main residence, two special agents at the second residence and cafeteria and here, two more
agents. attackers all around. >> inside the main residence, attackers come in here and ransack the places and then they go for the locked gated. they look inside. it's dark and they can't see anything. they try the lock and can't open it up. inside an agent has a gun trained on them ready to shoot if need be. but as lieutenant colonel andrew woods say the safe haven is only safe for a short time. >> it's a delay for an aggressor but it has to rely on something. >> that someone might have been his elite site security team but they had been pulled out of the country. they were trapped by diabolical killers who poured diesel fuel around the house, light it and leave. >> bret: when we come back the trapped measures try desperately to escape. ♪
>>. >> bret: before the break, greg palkot told you how terrorists overran the compound in benghazi libya. a handful of americans caught by surprise, pinned down in three different locations. three of these men including ambassador chris stevens have locked themselves in a so-called safe haven in one of buildings. attackers can't break in so they set the place ablaze. it's become a fiery jail. in the middle of a shooting gallery. once again from benghazi, here is greg palkot. >> reporter: september 11th, sometime after 10:00 p.m. compound is under heavy attack. this libyan militia member he was there. >> you can't see anything, the explosions. shots going beside you. you can't even take a breath. i can't even move.
it's like organized attacks. >> reporter: the entire safe haven that takes up half of the first floor of the main residence is black with thick smoke and fumes. steven and smith move to a bathroom that has a window but they try to open it but there is too much smoke. they decide to take their can chance with armed attackers that have taken over the compound. >> this is the window that he crawls out of. stevens and smith do not crawl after him. even though he can barely see and breathe he goes back in, he goes back in and out several times. he can't find them. he is overcome with smoke. >> back at the c.i.a. annex sources tell fox news there is another request to go assist the people in the compound. once again they say they are told to stay put. once again the c.i.a. says it never happened. quote, we feel competent that
the agency reacted quickly during the terrible evening in benghazi. >> three security a little make their way to the main residence. they crawl into the residence on hair hands and needsee to find their two colleagues. they find smith. they pull him out of the building. he is dead. just before 11:00 p.m., at the annex, former seal to say reason woods is said to go on nor orders and race to the consulate. they bring with them 16 libyans and the brigade militia. some surround the compound, unable to find stevens. by 11:00 p.m. libyan forces can no longer hold the perimeter. >> attack was stow strong, we were calling for back-up. even the back-up didn't came. >> they carried stevens to the
main gated. they head to the annex but almost immediately the crowd fires upon them and throws two grenades under the vehicle. they take direct fire from ak-47s. despite two flat tires they keep rolling. several blocks away they hit more traffic and a busy benghazi neighborhood. car careens over the middle divider and pushes forward and finally makes it to the annex and again hope for safety. midnight some two hours after the attack begin, a quick reaction force from embassy leaves for benghazi on a chartered aircraft. on that plane is former navy seal glen do her at this will be fending off highway heavy fire. the battle is on again. they are hitting with fire and rocket propelled grenades, forcing them to retreat further back. yet another call is made for
military back-up. they say their requests is refused. special forth are ready in italy but pentagon officials later express concern by putting them in harms away. stationed thousand miles away are attack helicopters. strafing the street was not an option for fear of civilian casualties. back at the mission, they enter the building and find the body of stevens slumped on the floor. >> they don't know who he is. they drag him out threw a window. his eyes are did a dazed. someone says she is breathing. crowd is relieved. cheering, allah akbar. god a great. around 1:00 a.m. ambassador stevens is brought by car here to the benghazi medical center where doctors tried to resuscitate him for 45 minutes. he dies of severe asphyxiation.
the fight has been going on for over four hours and drone overhead is running out of fuel. a second is sent. officials delay them for 45 minutes. negotiating over who will escort them. they arrive at c.i.a. annex around 3:00 a&m. around 4:00 a.m. this annex compound is hit by another wave of attacks. it's described as planned and precise. a round of mortar fire targeting a roof well behind the gate. that turns out to be dangerous and deadly. blade injured in that attack, is david ubin. the man that tried to save the lives of stevens and smith. two other americans are killed. former navy seals glen do her at this and tyrone woods that man a gun position. they were hit by a mortar. they didn't go down without a fight. fox news national security correspondent jennifer griffin. >> we know from witnesses and
sources that spoke to those witnesses that glen doherty and the machine gun they were sharing on the roof was caked in blood. it was said they continued firing and they continued fighting after they were hit. >> a decision is made to evacuate the whole enterprise. >> libyan militia make a convoy to escorted them to the airport. september 12th, the americans evacuate on two flights. it leaves with the remaining americans on board and bodies of stevens, smith and agents doherty and woods. >> bret: chris steechx was the first u.s. ambassador killed on duty in more than three decades. the story moves back to washington. up next, new details on the obama administration's reaction. was it the following of war? was it an attempted cover-up or something else? special reports investigates
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♪ so make them write a big check today. ♪ ♪ and if you're feeling a little slow, ♪ ♪ then 5-hour energy will help you go. ♪ ♪ so buy a bottle of pink lemonade and ♪ ♪ you can help fight breast cancer today. ♪ >>. >> bret: returning to our story, it's september 11th, 2012, the sake underway. back in washington, what does the president know and when does he know it? what does he say, and when does he say it? questions that turned this terror attack into a political
firestorm. here is chief white house correspondent ed henry. >> september 11th, as the attack in benghazi was playing out, e-mails cascaded into the intelligence community and pentagon and even white house. 4:00 eastern time the diplomatic mission is under attack. 49 minutes later, firing at the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi has stopped and compound has been cleared. at 5:00 p.m. the president, vice president and defense secretary meet in the oval office. >> an hour after the attack begin, at that time they would have had a drone and video feed being fed back to washington. >> fox news security correspondent jennifer griffin. >> problem is, don't forget video from a drone is taken from an incredible distance, you don't have clarity as to who on
the ground. you see figures moving. it's hard to tell friendly from foe. >> another e-mail states that a terror group with ties to al-qaeda claimed responsibility on facebook and twitter. administration officials later say a posting on social media is not in and of itself evidence. >> 11:57 another e-mail, benghazi shelter location also under attack. next morning, president obama addresses the nation from the rose garden. what he says or doesn't say will become a hotly debated issue over the next days and weeks. >> since our founding, the united states has been a nation that respects all faiths. we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence. >> with those words the president seems to be saying that ambassador chris stevens
and three others were killed in a spontaneous riot over the video and not a planned terror attack. a few paragraphs later, he does use the term terror, but in a more general sense after he recalls a september 11th, 2001 al-qaeda attack. >> no acts of terror will shake the resolve of this great nation. >> it's a huge distinction to obama critics like best selling author mark stein. >> there are always reasons to riot. >> he believes the president was trying to dodge responsibility for the attack by chalking it up to the sudden out of proportion outrage we here in the muslim world. >> i happened to be in the oval office once, president bush says it's always something, it's the crusades, it's the cartoons. and danish cartoons over a
sudanesse teddy bear. there is always a reason to riot. >> we've got an election going on. >> that afternoon the president leaves for a campaign trip to las vegas. >> president of the united states did not postpone a campaign event even though we had been hit. >> i said at that time, i thought it was the biggest strategic political mistake. >> dana perino was press secretary during the bush administration. >> just imagine as we say it's important for me to stay at the white house. >> once he made a statement, i'm not sure what he should have done. >> democratic eleanor holmes norton represents the district of columbia. >> to city in morning for several days and not go about our daily business. >> september 13th, hillary
clinton citizen it was spontaneous demonstration about the anti-islam video. >> there is no justification for responding to this video with violence. >> white house press secretary jay carney blames the video the next day. >> the protests were reaction in to a video. we have no information it was a preplanned attack. >> and later that day, at the transfer of remains known at joint base andrews, clinton talks again about the video. >> we've seen rage and violence directed at american embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. >> the father of one of those killed later tells fox news clinton told him personally they were going to arrest and prosecute the producer of the video. next day, september 15th, california authorities haul a
man who produced the video in for questioning and march him in front of tv cameras. september 16th. u.s. ambassador to the united nations susan rice goes on five sunday talk shows repeating the same story each time. >> there was not a premeditated attack. what happened any initially it was a spontaneous reaction to what had transpired in cairo as a consequence of the video. >> they panicked. >> former white house chief of staff john sununu is senior advisor to mitt romney's campaign. >> this is purely political reaction in a white house that had prepared itself to establish a narrative of a president getting rid of the threat of terrorism using the death of bin laden to focus on that and waking up one morning and finding out that terrorism on 9/11 of this year was back full-fledged and even killing a
u.s. ambassador. >> former obama state department spokesman p.j. crowley. >> i don't see a political agenda. i see the fog of war. the fact that we still do not know, it's not about politics. it's about the difficult task of reconstructing what happened and having full access to the site and to all the people that played a role in this. >> september 18th. >> did the administration have any sort of heads up that violence was increasing specifically in libya before the attack? >> i'm not aware of any. this is matter that is under investigation in terms what precipitated the attack. that night on the late show with david letterman, president obama gives his more elaborate explanation of what happened in benghazi. was it a spontaneous riot or planned attack. a combination of two he suggests. >> you have a video that was released by somebody who lives
here, sort of a shadow character. it caused great offense in much of the muslim world. what also happened extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies including the consulate in libya. >> on september 25th at the united nations the president mentions the video six times. >> there is no video to justify an attack on an embassy. >> september 27th, producer of that video is order detained without bail by a federal judge for allegedly violating the terms of his probation. he remaining in custody to this day. >> the attack on our consulate can't be blamed on a video insulting islamic. >> the republican presidential ticket is hitting obama hard, sake he is ducking responsibility for the attack. >> what we are watching on our tv screens is the unraveling
obama foreign policy. >> october 16th. at the second presidential debate, romney and obama face off. they highlight the charges and counter charges over whether president obama took the benghazi attack and by implication the terror threat seriously enough. >> as soon as we found out benghazi consulate was overrun. i was on the funny. >> the president the day after flies to a political fund-raiser. >> day after the attack, governor, i stood in the rose garden and i told the american people that this was an act of terror and the suggestion that anybody in my team would play politics or mislead when we have lost four of our own is offensive. >> mr. president, 14 days he called it an act of terror. >> six days later. >> the first question, it
concerns libya. >> october 22nd, the final presidential debate. >> governor rom you said this is an example of an american policy in the middle east that sun raveling. >> if anyone was hoping to see another done any brook over benghazi they would be disappointed. >> we see in libya, an attack by terrorists. >> whatever the reasons, both candidates seemed ready to move >> my first job as commander in chief is to keep the american people safe. that is what we've done over the last four years. >> the story is not going away. >> could the terrorist attack in benghazi have been prevented? it could have been stopped? special report
>>. >> bret: on september 12th, 2012 four americans died in benghazi. this week brought a new set of questions, among them should the military have responded more quickly and forcefully, or was that impossible under the circumstances. october 24th, the state department. >> we are intent on figuring out who did this and bringing them to justice but i'm not going to get in the details. >> bret: details are trickling out. a suspect jailed in tunisia, another killed by egyptian police, another flee in benghazi. meantime, a number of benghazi officials from republican administrations to be sure are asking about the response to the attack. >> you don't passively allow to americans remain in attack for
eight hours of time when you have forces within range and do nothing. >> bret: one is bud mcfarland, national security advisor to president reagan. >> the secretary of defense was in the white house within an hour of attack started. he could have told them, yes, we have special operations people that could be deployed right away. to have known what he had available and to have known americans have been under fire is dereliction of duty to president of any party. >> bret: that is stroke stuff? >> it is stuff. i wouldn't say that if there was any ambiguity about the conditions on the ground. there really wasn't. americans were being killed. you must respond, that is your duty. you are the commander in chief. >> there is a lot of monday
morning quarterbacking going on. >> october 25th, leon panetta responds to the growing chorus of criticism. >> basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into arms way without knowing what is going on, without having realtime information about what is taking place. >> he declined a request for an interview. so did national security advisor tomdonalin. >> good morning guys. >> in fact a special reports investigates interview request for any white house official went unanswered. >> we're not harry potter, with a wand we can appear in libya sudden. >> i we turned to joe sestak, a pennsylvania democrat who is a retired three star admiral. >> you have the navy did i destroyers. >> logistics to have people from the airfield to move them over
there. you have a whole thing to work from. i read the accounts and people that were there would have done anything to get there, but it does take some planning. >> october 26th the father of former navy seal tyrone woods who was killed in benghazi went on fox news america live to respond to reports that the c.i.a. operators requested help during the fire fight and were denied. >> these people who made the decision and who knew about the decision and lied about it are murderers of my son. >> bret: then president obama does an interview with a local denver reporter. >> were they denied requests for help during the attack? >> well, we are finding out exactly what happened. i guarantee you that everybody in the state department, our military, c.i.a., you name it had number one priority make sure that people were safe. these are our folks.
>> i find it astounding. >> john mccain says the military should have been prepared to respond long ago? >> why in the world after two previous attacks on the embassy with deteriorating security and alarms being sounded by the ambassador on september 11th, why wouldn't we have our forces on an alert status so they could respond? >> you think the white house is covering something up? >> i think they are grossly incompetent or covering and i don't know which is worse. >> bret: in the democratic primary, hillary clinton ran her 3:00 a.m. ad. message was simple, late at night when we are asleep, it's the president who gets the call when a crisis erupts in the world. it's the president who must decide what to do. it's impossible to know what would have happened in libya if we had done things differently. it seems painfully clear that not enough was done before,