tv Americas Newsroom FOX News May 1, 2014 6:00am-8:01am PDT
tomorrow we're off to the kentucky derby. right? >> right. >> fun. >> that will be great. and cheerleading a sport, yes or no? >> she says yes. >> see you tomorrow. good morning, everybody, a fox news alert. this will be a significant day as the white house's benghazi story is falling apart. sources telling fox he's expected to reveal new information about what was happening on the ground that night or what was not happening on the ground that night. both critical. i'm bill hemmer. welcome to america's newsroom. martha: it's brigadier general robert lovell. he says he watched the assault in realtime.
he's expected to say nobody thought that the video had anything to do with the assault. bill: still no answers for the families of the four americans killed that night. new evidence the white house is change its story again. harris: new emails show a white house advisor pushed the spontaneous protest narrative. >> you knew full well what susan' rice would be asked about is the benghazi attack. >> may i read the promo? >> john, absolutely. and that's why as members of congress did, ambassador rice relies on points to about the benghazi attack produced by the cia. >> it did not come from the cia.
you toad there at the podium time after time and said she was referring to talking points created by the cia. now we see a document that comes from the white house, not the cia, attributing the protests to the video and the former director of the cia saying that's not something this analysts were attributed to. >> that document was about the overall environment in the muslim world. bill: michael, good morning to you. we have these emails which for many showing what was napping the white house in the days after benghazi. how do you see that story changing once we have seen this. >> let many keep in mind the talking points. the questions were, who in the federal government was pushing this idea that a youtube video that was anti-islam was the cause of the attack and why were
they doing it? what these emails show is confirming what we already know. that viewpoint that was coming from the white house, been rhodes was a national security advisor. the reason why is laid out in the email. they wanted to make sure it was about the email and not about the administration's middle east policy. it answers those questions but it doesn't answer why they were pushing this when the intelligence community was saying it's not the video. bill: the white house was saying one thing and the cia was saying another thing. jay carney was trying to draw a distinction saying we were talking about the overall middle east issue. judicial watch's lawsuit helped bring these emails public.
he suggested they were only look for benghazi material and he backs it up this way. >> we didn't asker to document about protests. we asked for benghazi talking points. we got this email in the state department and the white house in response to a specific request for benghazi documents. mr. carney is not credible here. bill: what he's saying is the document relate to benghazi because that's what the request was all about. >> this is typical of the way the white house has responded to questions about benghazi. if you look at th -- if you loot the emails there are direct and indirect references to benghazi. the foia request was about been gatsy. and there is a question why they weren't released in the congressional subpoenas and why it took a foia request an
outside activist group to get this out. it's just not true. it's not believable. >> how many more emails are out there? you have to think now there are emails that reacted to susan rice's appearances and there was communication after that and whether it worked, and on and on and on. the hearing starts in 25 minutes. martha? martha: there is lots of reaction to all of this from republicans who have been pushing republicans for answers since the night of the attack and they are not too happy. senator land i graham said this. >> i think it many an insult to the intelligence of the american people and disservice and disrespect to those who sacrificed their lives in service to their country to suggest the goals in the email had nothing to do with four dead americans is offensive.
martha: we'll go live to the hill as soon as that hearing gets underway this morning. we are told there could be some major news coming out of this hearing this morning. plus the uncle of sean smith, one of the four americans killed on that awful night will be with us live with his reaction to all these new developments today. we are also going get reaction from senator john mccain who has been one of the administration's loudest critics. a lot of people have been chuted down in the forum are starting to raise their heads and say this is way was talking about. >> we have been on this story. some others have beenen the story. but you almost feel like you are reaching a different point of critical mass. we'll see where that takes us. martha: a fox news alert on this. there was a spike in the number of people aflierg unemployment in the last measuring period. 344,000 people got online and
said i'm out of work and i need unemployment benefits in the last week. that's a 2-month high. the report comes after dismal growth report. 1/10%. good morning, stuart. 15-minute i guess we look at the weekly jobless claims number that was higher than expected. >> reporter: that's a technical expression initial claims for unemployment benefits. what we are talking about is the layoff rate. when you lost your job you claim up employment benefits. 344,000 is a large number. that implies a weak economy and a weak jobs market. when you koiment with yesterday as you said martha, disma'am gdp reports of d dismal gdp reports.
after five years of recovery, so-called recovery from recession we still have virtually no growth in the economy and a layoff right that is rising. that is not a healthy strong economy. martha: so no growth and more people losing their jobs. but the looks like nobody told wall street because the dow hit a record high. >> reporter: when you have a weak job market and weakening economy interest rates go down. that's what happened yesterday and again today. when that happens if you save money in a bond or bank cd, you get virtually no return. so you are looking for a good return on your money. so he abandon bank cds and bonds "and go to the stock market where you at least get a dividend of 2% to 3%.
>> that wraps the money goes, stuart, thank you very much. >> this is breaking overnight. two inmates are dead. more than 100 others injured after an explosion at a jail in florida. officers say the gas explosion caused part of the building to collapse. 600 inmates inside at the time. it happened in the county jail of pensacola. they have 20 inches of rain the past 24 hours. jonathan serrie live at the scene. what do we know about the cause of this explosion? >> reporter: local officials believe it may be related to the flooding in the area. this is a powerful explosion. you can see visible damage to the exterior of the building. county officials are describing this as a partial building collapse.
the state fire marshal and atf are leading the investigation into the exact cause. but local officials say there was no direct electricity to this prison because of the flooding. there was a power outage. they were running on diesel power. they don't believe the diesel generator caused the explosion but they were not operating under normal power. also the kitchen here at the prison facility had recently under gone a renovation. they had just completed a renovation of that kitchen. the kitchen area was flood. there was standing water. these are going to be some things out of the ordinary that investigators are going to be look at as they try to determine the cause of this massive explosion, bill. bill: where are the inmates and where have they been taken? >> reporter: about 150 -- anywhere from 100 to 150 prison inmates suffered injuries. they were brought to near by
hospitals. there were a total of 600 inmates inside this building. those who were not injured were brought to other detention facilities in escambia county and the surrounding counties. bill: thank you, sir, we'll talk again. martha: a train derailment rocked a major city in virginia. thousands of gallons of crude spilled into the james river. look at that black smoke in virginia. so now what's being done to water supplies downstream is one of the big questions. bill: the toronto mayor is apparently still at it. another video surfaces and what rob ford says he's doing to get clean. martha: we are awaiting the start of a live hearing which we'll go to in just about 19 minutes from now where we could
get word on interesting new information on what happened that night because a top intelligence official will testify for the first time. we are live on the hill. >> the fact is we have four dead americans. was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk who decided to go kill some americans. difference at this pt does it make? the day we rescued riley, was a truly amazing day. without angie's list, i don't know if we could have found all the services we needed for our riley. for over 18 years we've helped people
>> bill: we are awaiting the start of the hearing on capitol hill on benghazi. here is how the administration's story evolved the past 18 months. >> this was not a preplanned premeditated attack. what happened initially is it was a spontaneous reaction to what transpired in cairo as a consequence of the video. people gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent. >> when she talked about the
video my reaction was that was not something the analysts attributed this attack to. >> there had been an attack on a consulate. not a protest. >> the whole issue of talking points throughout this process has been a side show. shoe why were he holding back this information. why was it not released when you released all the other emails. this it directly relevant. why did you hold it back. why did it take a court case for to you release this. >> i can say again and again and you can keep asking again and again, this document was not about benghazi. bill: meanwhile the relatives still have no answers. the information for, one of the four killed in been gas why it. i want to point your attention to two of the emails we have now seen on behalf of the white
house and ben rhodes, on the day susan rice went on five talk shows. to reinforce the does that change the story for you? >> well, it's definitely a broad failure of policy when you have the blood four americans. that's pretty accurate. but i think the questions that were raised to me by these revelations is we will accept the fact as we discussed last month that susan rice was a taxpayer paid liar. we now know that cast of characters is broader. these are people that have no ethical standard. and the thing i'm curious about is obviously somebody guide ben
rhodes -- guided ben rhodes to create this email. bill: why do you think that? he was an advisor to the president. >> yeah, but you are telling me a junior staff member is going toed to -- is going toed as adva senior staff members member? i think nothing happens in the white house without the blue print and thumb print of valerie jarett. bill: the gentleman testifying was in the region in the theater of operations. he's going to say what happened and i think more critically what did not happen that night. you believe to this day that this is the biggest coverup in
american history? >> i still do because let's look at it this way. we have a cross-cooperation between different facets of government that seem to be supporting each other and supporting in he sense a bald face lie. so it's interesting. yesterday i was reminded of ron ziegler, mr. nixon's press secretary when i was watching jay carney. it's an incredible amount of deja vu for somebody 57 years old. watergate was described by ziegler as you a third-rate burglary. we have carney saying it was a crony scandal and% pet was of a lie. bill: i know you will be
watching the hearing. what do you expect to hear? >> i expect to hear hopefully honesty. like john lennon says give me to truth. all i want is some truth. martha: toronto's controversial mayor rob ford beloved by many is in some pretty big trouble again. watch this. that's just one of our greatest hits tapes of rob ford. we'll show you what mapped now. he's making a pretty big announcement. particular around for that. bill: thousands are forced out of their homes, a wildfire exploding east of los angeles. an update on that. watch. >> we are just going to get out of here. it's not safe. >> we have everything reat ready
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bill: a dramatic video of the aftermath of a train derailment in lynchburg, virginia. it was a cfx train that derailed. tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil spilling from the derailed cars into the james river. richmond, virginia down river from lynchburg is getting ready to switch to an alternative supply. martha: near los angeles there is a dangerous wildfire spreading in that area good. the heavy winds pushed the piled fire * towards 1,100 homes and forced an evacuation.
but that order has been lifted. you have got a red flag warning that's been issued. will carrs is watching this in rancho cucamonga. >> reporter: crews made some good progress overnight. but the winds are picking up. these are the same santa ana winds that created scary moment for residents in this community 40 mimes east of downtown los angeles. we were able to go to the front lines with crews. they were seeing wind gusts 80 miles an hour. overnight crews mopped up hotpots near the communities. they cut some new lines. but he tells me as of right now fire crews have zero% zee zero t
contained. >> the interior of the house was getting filled with smoke even though the windows and doors were shut. reporter: the fire has burned 1,000 acres. thankfully no structures or homes have burned. they tell me today they are hoping they can get some helicopters and airplanes up to battle this fire. >> tough conditions for flying. any idea what caused this fire? >> they do know it started in a remost area. they say the logic is it was start bid lightning or human cause. since there are no storms in the area they are saying it's most likely human cause.
they are asking for people to be very vigilant today because they say the last thing they need for anybody to do is have a park create another fire while they are still trying to get containment on this fire. >> thank you, very much. we'll keep an eye on it. bill: we are talking about 80-mile-an-hour gusts. you are defenseless when the wind is that strong. new estimates on how many people have actually paid for obamacare. we'll look at that number coming up. martha: we are moments away from the big story of the morning. you can see everybody gather opening capitol hill. there will be an oversight hearing on benghazi. we are about to hear from a general we have not heard from before. he's an intelligence official. he will talk about what he witnessed that night. bill o'reilly taking the mainstream media to task for is benghazi coverage.
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to chair about the night of the attack. our chief intelligence correspondent catherine hear edge -- catherine herridge is there. bill: the general was in stuttgart, germany on the night of the attack. what he was able to see in realtime was the message traffic from libya to washington. we expect them to testify there was nothing that message traffic about a protest and nothing about the video. let's listen to congressman jason chaffetz who gave as you present violate yesterday. >> they took a country in libya and turned it into a failed state. one of the people that will be in that room is somebody who is in charge of a lot of the intelligence that they were
gleaning in libya. we are going to talk about libya, where it's going, how it's become that failed state. >> reporter: if he testifies he saw nothing in the message traffic about a protest or video that will be significant. as part of our ongoing reporting at fox news we referred to a report september 17, our sources on the ground in libya also said there was no protest and fox received considerable pushback for that reporting. bill: i see darrell is a gaveling the hearing to an opening. let's rinse as this hearing begins. >> ... successes and failures of u.s. intervention in libya. the oversight committee mission statement. we exist to secure two fundamental principles. first americans have a right to
know that the money washington takes from them is well spent. and second, americans deserve an efficient, effective government that works for them. our duty on the oversight and government reform committee is to protect these rights. our solemn responsibility is to hold government accountable to taxpayers. it's our job to work tirelessly in partnership with citizen watchdogs to deliver the facts to the american people and bring genuine reform to the federal bureaucracy. this is our mission. today the oversight committee convenes a fourth hearing related to the security situation in libya before, during and after the september 11 terrorist attack in benghazi which claimed the lives of four americans. the committee has previously brought forward important witnesses who offered new
enlightening testimony on security failures that force the administration to walk back false claims about the nature of the terrorist attack. testimony of previous witnesses also identified key questions in the interagency process that only this committee has the jurisdiction and the charge to investigate. while much of the committee's effort in the investigation has focused on the department of state, we have recently conducted several joint interviews of relevant military personnel with the house armed services committee. what we had requested that these interviews be conducted as unclassified, the pentagon leadership insisted that they occur at the inexplicable and
unreasonable level of top secret. some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have called for an end to these investigations. these calls are clearly premature and only raise political con -- raise concerns about the political ageneral today to stop an investigation before it has completed gathering facts about this inner-agency obama administration debacle. the committee seeks insight into the directions that float between the state department, the department of defense and yes the white house. it is essential that we fully understand areas of responsibility before, during and after the attacks. it's my hope that today's hearing will help us add to our investigation's expanding body of knowledge and i'm pleased we
will be proceeding on an entirely unclassified basis. we do so because the american people more than anyone else in this body have the absolute right to know why four men are dead in an attack that could have been prevented. with today we have a distinguished panel of witnesses before us that will bring expertise to us about the current situation in libya. one of our witnesses retired united states air force brigadier general robert lovell brings with him firsthand knowledge of u.s. military efforts in libya as he served at u.s. african command. u.s. african command is sometimes called africom.
this is the organization that had responsibility not just for libya, but for the entire continents of africa. -- continent of africa. it includes the libyan revolution and september 11, 2012 terrorist attack on a diplomatic compound in benghazi. at the u.s. african command general lovell served as deputy director for intelligence and knowledge development and commanding general of joint force odyssey guard. he was tasked with helping the state department reopen the u.s. embassy in tripoli after the fall of qaddafi. we appreciate all of our witnesses taking time to testify and enlighten the public about the situation in libya and the effects of u.s. decisions. in addition to pursuing the
relevant information about the military's involvement in libya we continue to receive document from the state department. since late march alone we have received over 3,200 new documents, many of which have never been seen before, by anyone outside of the administration. and all of which -- and repeat, all of which should have been turned over more than a year and a half ago when the committee lost -- launched its investigation. some of these document which were brought to light only days ago through a foia request by an organization known as judicial watch, show a direct white house role outside -- i'm going to repeat this. the documents from judicious watches foia which were pursuant
to our request more than a year and a half ago, show sea direct white house role outside of talking points repaired by the intelligence community. -- points prepared by the intelligence community. the white house prepared the talking points used not the intelligence community. it is disturbing and perhaps criminal that these document like these were hidden by the obama administration from congress and the public alike. particularly after secretary kerry pledged cooperation and the president himself told the american people in november of 2012 that quote every bit of information we have on benghazi has been provided. this committee's job is to get to the facts and to the truth.
i for one will continue to chip away at this until we get the whole truth. the american people -- the americans who lost their lives in benghazi, those who were wounded, and the american people deserve nothing less. so today's hearing is critical for what our witnesses will give us and i welcome you and i thank you for being here. but it comes in a week in which the american people have learned that you cannot believe what the white house says, you cannot believe what the spokes people say, and you cannot believe what the president says and the facts are coming out that in fact this administration has noingly withheld document pursuant to congressional subpoenas in
violation of any reasonable transparency or historic precedent at least since richard millhouse nixon. >> thank you for this hearing. in 2011 the people of libya rose up against their dictator to end his oppressive rule which lasts more than four decades. at the time republicans and democrats alike strongly supported helping armed rebels in their efforts to overthrow qaddafi. in april 2012, senator john mccain traveled to libya and met with the rebels after which he proclaimed i quote, they are my heros'. during a national television appearance on july 3, 2011, senator mccain warned allowing qaddafi to remain in power would be far more dangerous to the united states and the
alternative. he stated and i quote, this notion that we should fear who comes after or what comes after qaddafi ignores if qaddafi days in power, it's a direct threat to our national security. end quote. during a television appearance senator behind sa lindsey grahad taking the fight to qaddafi will protect our national security. he stated quote you cannot protect our vital' national security interest in qaddafi stays. he also stated the focus will be to cutted head of the make off. as the revolution grew songer, qaddafi embarked on a brutal crackdown. march 17, 2011 he threatened his
own people and warned he would show them quote no mercy end quote. the next day president obama explained to the world why the united states with us supporting the effort to remove qaddafi. said this. the world has watched the events unfold in libya with hope and alarm. last month protesters took to the streets 0 demand if universal rights. a government that is accountable to them and responsive to their aspirations. but they were met with an iron fist. instead of respecting the rights of his own people, qaddafi chose the path of the brutal suppression. innocent civilians were beaten, imprisons and in some cases killed. senator mccain you a plawd the president's decision. during a press conference in libya he stated, had president obama and our allies not acted,
history would have remembered benghazi in the same breath pass former yugoslavia, a scene of mass atrocities and a source of international shame end of quote. in an op-ed senator mccain wrote this. the president was right to intervene. he now deserves our support as he and on you coalition partners do all that is necessary to help the libyan people secure freedom. october 2011 qaddafi finally met his ugly denies. during his oppressist rule he was an extremely dangerous tie rant. during the 1980s. you supported interest national terrorism including the bombing of pan am flight 103 over lockerbie, scotland which claimed the life's of 270 innocent civilians.
he also pursued the chemical and biological weapons. patch qaddafi was killed the new libyan government reportedly found two times the chemical weapons that qaddafi kept from the world. christopher stevens arrived in benghazi to work with the libyan people on their transition to democracy. he made connection with the libyan people during this career. he understood the challenges caused by 40 years of oppression. he believed in the promise of a new future for this country. today libya is at a crossroads. open a us in paper and you will read about violence in a country awash in a country with a central government that has not
consolidated its control or the country. the libyan people continue to look to the west with respect and with hope. they are aspire to work with the united states to build a stable pro-democratic country. we want the people of libya to succeed. we must find a way to reengage the world and ourselves on behalf of a nation that desires our help. this was the bipartisan goal shared by republicans like lindsey graham and downmccain who called on the united states and i quote, to build a parentship with a democratic and pro-american libya that contributes to security, prosperity across a region during a time of revolutionary change. end of quote. i hope a is a step toward this goal. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses about how we can assist the people of libya and
with that mr. chairman i yield. >> i thank the gentleman. all members may have 7 days in which to submit opening statements for the record and any quotes of senator behind say graham or john mcka yawn mccain. >> i would like to enter into the record the harvard-kennedy school entitled "lessons from libya" dated december 2013. an associated press article entitled' libya's guns fear for all, region's turmoil. global research. headline "nato's humanitarian in libya transforming a country into a failed state." the final one is listed as unclassified, a state department document previously referenced
by congressman trey gowdy. the subject line is "libya update" december 12, 12:46 p.m. there is a paragraph pertinent to our discussions today. it's referencing the libyan ambassador when he said his government suspected former qaddafi regime element carried out the attacks i'd told him the group that conducted the attacks is affiliated with islamic extremists. this coming from the state department, going to victoria nuland, i would like to enter this into the record. >> what was the date and time on that. >> september 12, 2012, 12:46 p.m. this is hours after the attack. it's what the state department told the libyan government what was happening. quote, i told him, meaning the
libyan ambassador, that the group that conducted the attacks is affiliated with islamic extremists. those were the facts as the state department knew them. >> copies will be distributed to all members on the dais. we welcome our guest, brigadier general rob th -- general robert lovell. the former deputy commanding general of joint task force odyssey guard. miss core sh sarks ki is a research fellow at the hoover institution. mr. rolls is a senior fellow at at foundation for defense democracies. mr. frederick wary is a senior associate for middle east program at the cash deendowment
for international peace. your titles are impressive and they are all doctorates. would you all please rise and take the oath and raise your right hands. do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you, please be seated. let the record reflect all witnesses answered in the affirmative. in order to allow sufficient time for questions. i ask each witness summarize their opening statements which will be placed in the record in their entirety in addition other extraneous material you may want to submit. but try to stay close to the five minutes. as as my predecessor, mr. towns often said, green means go everywhere, yellow means hurry up through the intersection and
red means stop. so please observe that on the countdown clock. with that, general you are recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> for all the witnesses, pull your mikes close to you when you speak. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking minority member and members of the committee. i retired after 33 plus years of service. my service began in 1979 in the air force. it's been my honor and privilege to serve as an for since earning my commission in 1985. i have served with brave and distinguished men and women uniformed and civilian. i thank them for their service and example. my time in service was filled with great fan humbling opportunities. over the and of my career i have been shaped by professional education, training and experience. these and other personal
influences have formed my thoughts on today's subject. here is a brief outline of my previous service most relevant at handle. the chairman covered some. i served in african command as a colonel and as a general officer as the deputy director of intelligence and knowledge development division. i served as a watch officer during dawn and operation unified protector. and in addition to that i also served as the senior limit liaison to the d interagent $i partner. that greatly influenced my views on how interagency partnership works. my three topics u.s. african command and the interagency nature of that command.
second military operations with regard to libya, strategy, supporting policy and policy in a miley dynamic and limiting -- in a -- can be highly dynamic and limit strategy when it's to achieve a desired result. benghazi in 2012. this is the most serious of the themes. there are many sayings in the military. one saying that rings most true is you fight the way you train. in benghazi we did. many with firsthand knowledge recounted the heroism december played by americans in benghazi that night. they fought the way they trained. there were discussions about what we should do. these elements also fought the way they were trained. specifically the predisposition of interagency influence of the military structure, support waiting for a request for assistance from the state department. there are accounts of time, space and capability,
discussions of the question could we have gotten there in time to make a difference. well, the discussion is not could or could not of time space and capability. the point wise should have tried. as another saying goes, always move to the sound of the guns. we didn't know how long this would last when we became aware of the distress nor did we commit understand what we had in front of us. we had a kidnapping. protracted hostage engagement. you we did know this was a hostile action. this was no demonstration gone terribly awry. the facts led to the conclusion after terrorist attack. the africom was focused on retribution. thank you for the invitation too appear before this committee. i'm here because i take this matter very seriously.
i'm prepared to take your questions. >> thank you, general. >> i think the starting point for our conversation about libya is this is a failing state. right? security is eroding, governance is ebbing and libya is unable to capitalize on its one big advantage which is the oil revenue. bill: we are going to just tell what you we learned so far the past 25 minutes. the brigadier general just said there. that's a significant headline. this is a man in charge of the theater of operation. not specifically in libya but the region. the facts on the ground said it was a terrorist attack, this was no demonstration. darrell issa saying since march, two months ago, 3,200 new document have become public. martha: let's be joined by doug
schoen. former advisor to bill clinton and monica crowley. stun can the testimony we just heard. you could tell the brigadier general was emotional. it struck me when he said it's not that we could or couldn't have gotten there in time, he says we should have tried. he says the military is always trained to go in the direction of the gunfire and he felt that night we did not. he said the attracts were attributable almost -- the attacks were attributable almost right away, and we heard of this state department memo to the libyan officials, this isal this al-sharia. >> this is not a partisan matter. you know and monica knows i'm a democrat. i have supported the clintons. i probably will probably hope to support hillary clinton. but she and her team have many
questions to answer. the president has much to answer because the so-called talking points, the emails that have come out suggest a very different story. the obvious question is where did these talking points come from, how could they have been crafted in light of what you reported and what the general just said? martha: you look back at that ben rhodes memo which was prepared for susan, prepare susan rice for these conversations. we were told she went off the cia talking points. but now we know there was a memo that was communications people from the white house. lean on this internet video. this is not a policy issue here. and the press across the board except for here and a few other places just laid down and said okay. that's the story despite everything this general is saying. >> what the general is saying backs up previous reports which is they knew within hours that this was a terrorist attack and not the result of a protest over
some obscure video. his question that you raised about why didn't we act, we should have at least tried. that's one of the big jut standing questions here. who gave that standdown order. this gets to doug's point. how did this transpire in ben rhode did not freelance that men owe. it came from -- did not freelance that memo. it came from a higher up. did it come from him? did the president and the secretary of state hillary clinton sign off on this? where were they that night? >> when were they told? when did they learn what general lovell said? we need answers. martha: there has to be a paper trail. >> they came out perpetuating this lie that it had something to do with a video when they knew it didn't. youd the secretary of state telling this lie to the faces of the victims' families.
how hillary clinton could stand there and watch the casket.come in and fake this emotional response while lying to their faces is outrageous. the fact that the press weren't following up. they weren't asking questions. fox news was reporting the truth and we were roundly mocked and attacked. all this is being corroborate. i think fox deserves an award for their coverage, not to be mocked. >> let us have now a select committee with subpoena power to get people like tom donolon under oath. let's put aside the rhetoric and put aside the posturing and get the facts. 180 republican members of the house. we need the republicans like
eric cantor and john boehner to step forward and not hide. martha: jay carney has been at the podium saying we had five hearings on this. we turned over thousands of document. but now document were so heavily redacted that you couldn't tell the significant things that were in them. so isn't this time to actually have a real investigation with subpoena power? >> we need honest democrats who want to see the truth come out and join with republicans saying we need a bipartisan commission. they are not turning or the document that matter. it took judicial watch to file a foia request to get this. martha: why do you think, doug, that the press and the white house were so happy to sort of
build this circle and say we hear you. it's a video, it wasn't your fault. as hillary clinton so famously said, what difference does it make what happened? >> they began with what sadly is a lie. they compounded the lie with the talking point. it was the middle of an election campaign and the obama administration decided all that matters was getting through the election. it was lie after lie after lie. and ultimately they had to stick with a discredited story. it's wrong, it's sad, and now the time toys get to the truth. we can't as americans -- republicans and democrats go forward fan deal with thing like ukraine unless we know what happened and why it happened. our own people have been attacked, it was a terrorism attack, i am the president and we will find out what happened. it is an opportunity to say to
romney you don't know what it is like. we don't know where the president was ever even. >> but they were saying al qaeda is decimated and on the run. if you have an al qaeda attack that takes out the american representative you have a problem. i think the reason they were able to get away with this is because they had the protection of the press. main mainstream media has protected the president from the beginning >> we are waiting for the question and answer segment. that is the most telling aspect of these hears. chris sty wall is here. good morning to you. this is a retired general.
if he were not retired would he be testifying? >> he may not be testifying with a clear voice. but what had general told us today is hugely significant testimony in this sense. you have a senior commander involved in the chain that not only talks about what the knowledge of this being an attack, not coincident damage from a riot. but this was an attack. and the fact the great shame of this, if there is a true national shame in this incident, was he did not try. we were told repeatedly by the obama administration that we could not try and it would have been impossible to help those who were killed. having a senior military official who was present to
lement the fact we didn't go to the sound of the guns is damming. >> we have often wondered what was done that night but equally important is what wasn't done that night. and i thought the general said three significant things: we didn't know how long it would last, the facts said it was a terroris, attack from the beginning and this was go demonstration. he said that knowing that in the immediate moments of the attack. >> there are accounts of time, space and the discussion of could we have gotten there in time to make a difference. the question is could or couldn't, we should have tried. as another saying says always move to the sound of the guns. we didn't know how long it would
last once we had the distress no did we know what was in front of us. but what we did know was this was a hostile action. it wasn't a demonstration that went awry. the facts led to the conclusion of a terrorist attack. >> you heard the discussion about a special committee. that how many in washington think you figure out the truth. it is my understanding that boehner hasn't gone there in tul he is convinced this leads to the white house. if that is true, do these emails take us inside the white house? >> you have hit on the core of the issue today. yesterday and today we got a
picture of the magnitude of the doctoring and tdeception that took place and sure that is just political spin, but it is dishonest political spin and that gets us to the heart of the administration. what the general said today is material to the question on which the election path could have hung. which is could we have done something about this -- did the president abrigate on his responsibility. his opponent would have had
evidence he failed on something that could have been prevented. so one is the on the documents being falsified and the other is the president not meeting his duties. if that is not enough for the house to call for a select committee, i don't know what would be. >> one more point based on what the general said, this is no demonstration, and an e-mail from ben rodes who was briefing susan rice before going on the talk shows it said in writing in quotes to underscore these protest are rooted in an internet video and not a broader failure of privacy. jay carney is trying to say they were reflecting on the overall
region and not benghazi. >> let me put it a different way. when central criticism on why republicans wouldn't want to expand this investigation is it will be bad for voters and distract from other things the democrats are doing. isn't the criticism being made? they failed to do the right thing because of political fall back. >> and isa said we received 32, 000 documents. what is in the documents? there must have been a reaction
to the conference calls and the five appearances on sunday with how did she do and where does the story go. and all of that must be captured in e-mail form. >> and maybe in g-mail accounts or text messages. what about those? when do you get to those? without subpoena power and forcing people to cough up documents, we will continue to be in the space we have. and you saw the dis-spiriting situation where the white house said you were right but didn't form the question in the form of an answer so we didn't have to tell you.
>> this is the point we have been waiting for. this is the question and answer session. let's go back to the hearing now. >> young men and women that serve in uniform and those that serve along with us in civilian clothes, the circumstances of what occurred in benghazi need to be known. and with all of the discussion that ensues over a full forthcoming to the american people is important. it is a duty to be here. >> thank you. >> our committee has interviewed a number of people, including those down range, people in libya and benghazi. but for the most part we have not interviewed people at afra com with the exception of gener general ham.
did you believe it is appropriate to question other officers that served with you as part of our discover of what they believe could have been done? not just what the military people call the two-shop but the three shop and show on. >> i am trying to think if there is any information that gives the most well-rounded picture of the occurances at the time are important to obtain. >> one of the questions as we fan out here, one question i have for you is your primary job is in fact knowing the risk, knowing who the bad guys are and knowing what might face them. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> so it isn't in the operati l operational response?
>> that is correct. >> however you were familiar with the risk of extremist groups in egypt, libya and for that matter all of africa. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> african command doesn't have any jets. it doesn't have any conventional divisions. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> so you leverage all of the other commands when you need physical boots on the grounds; is that right? >> boots on the ground, planes in the air, ships in the sea, etc. >> the role of african command, and i am not trying to put words in my mouth so correct me if i am a little off -- >> i will >> is to look at a continent with almost no troops and no basing. no military assets for the most part in africa are.
is it fair to say that counter terrorism and being aware and working with the governments in africa, with or without, to combat terrorism and in fact to make sure governments are stable and able to support our missions, usaid and the embassy, is that to a great extent of why there is a general in command that focuses on this country. >> that is the understanding. it is to help africans help africans and work with partners to do so. >> so in that role, on september 11th, earlier there was an attack in egypt. do you know of, anticipate, or
believe the attack in egypt was based on seeing a you tube video. >> personally, no. >> that never came to you even though intelligence and what might have caused this would have been up your alley? >> yes, sir. >> and in the hours after the benghazi attack did you hear video? >> briefly discussed but not from a serious standpoint. >> what time did you roughly hear there was a video? >> early on in the evening of september 11th. >> before 3:15 in the morning? >> absolutely. i would have to say probably dismiss that notion by then by working with other sources.
>> okay. i want to follow up with this one last thing. you heard about this early on and you as the deputy and the highest ranking person that moment working these issues, you dismissed this idea that this attack was a demonstration that went awry and was based on a you tube video from la. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. recognize the ranking member. >> more than three years ago, a wave of polittle -- >> we have senator john mccain here. you have been listening to the general who said it wasn't we could not have tried it is that we should have tried and we are trained to go to the sound of the gun.
what is your reaction? >> my reaction is all along we thought they had the capability to respond. this attack or series of attacks took place well over seven hours. there were forces stationed and if we had sent them immediately it is obvious we could have had some effect or tried to. but the larger issue is we know the whole addressing of this tragedy and the loss of four americans was a political exercise inside the white house taken over the by the political shop and the appearance by susan rice was alleging there was a video that sparked a dem
demonstration when in fact it was said there wasn't. this is all an example of this being a political issue being covered up to lect the president. >> what next? >> we need a selective committee. we have been calling for a long time for a select committee of both houses that can get to the bottom of this. it is now the needless and tr tragic situations. and jay carney is denying the emails being forced to be released had anything to do it benghazi. that is a new high or low
depending on how you look at it. >> i am struck on how long this has been going on. people saying i want to know what happened, why four people died and no one helped them, why people said it was a video when it was attributed to terrorism right away. do you see that happening? is there going to be subpoena power given? >> i hope so. we have never heard from the key players including ben rhodes who used to be spokes person for the nsc and was the political hack for the obama reelect. you have to understand this in
the reelect campaign. susan rice saying al qaeda has been decimated and the embassy was stable and secure. this was all in line with a reelection campaign rather than the facts surrounding the death of four brave americans. that is what is outrageous about this. >> i would look at this saying in the middle of a presidential election, i hope this doesn't come out the wrong way, but it was an opportunity to be presidential and show the leadership and what happens when american is attacked and what your response is how tough you can be. no? >> that is what mr. rhodes said was the highest priorty was to shore up the united states as a strong warrior who is the tide of decimated al qaeda.
and that is what so outrageous about this. the cover-up. and there was ample evidence including the survivors flown out the next day. and two weeks later the president of the united states goes to the united nations and says hate ful video and there was overwhelming evidence it wasn't true. and then the exchange with romney where the so-called moderator condemned his talk saying it was over a video which was false. >> thank you, senator mccain. >> we have to squeeze in a quick commercial but we will not leave the hearing. you will see it on the other side of this break. side of this break. .ow what he brings? any questions?
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>> is that correct? >> it was during the duty day here in the united states. >> i don't know if we could have saved the ambassador and aid that was with him the united states doesn't have the capability of responding not that we should not have on the ground the capability to respond to that attack. >> you would typically -- the greatest desire for whatever situation you are going to be in
to have adequate security. >> i know we have over a hundred post and there were about 14 listed. sort of the danger or high risk list in benghazi was one of them. isn't that correct? >> you would have to look for the state department for that. >> someone failed to have the proper protections where the post at risk. every post doesn't have the same risk and every point we don't have the same risk. but that was one of the major ones. the timeframe didn't allow us to save the ambassador because they came in and attacked. it wasn't an attack or demonstration in the street. i believe we had enough time to save the two former navy seals
that were trying to protect the post. they were killed at approximately 5:15 and it started at 9:40. i have been to italy, turkey, spain, and stew gart and i was informed if we had an incident we could respond -- we had the capability of responding in a short order to save american personal particularly an ambassador or american citizens from points. and north africa isn't the toughest spot. there are places deeper in africa that are tougher to get to. but i believe we could have saved those two if someone took action. do you think we have the ability to do that? >> presently or at the time?
>> at the time. >> it didn't happen that way. and others have discussed i believe those two individuals were not saved. mr. isa went to interview people and our military personal were not given the co ahead or the assets and no one responded to go in and save the two individuals who lost it. approximately do you think we
had the capability of saving them? >> do i think we had personal and time and distance and do i think we had those together -- i am not in operation. >> again, we had that capability, i believe. i was told even before this if we had an incident that we could go in and rescue or save or resolve the situation. and did you believe we had that capability? >> if capabilities were on hand, then they could be employed. >> the general from virginia is recognized. >> thank you. you were not in the operational command at the time of the tragedy? >> not in a chain of command.
i was serving in the staff role at that point in time. >> so you were not making decisions? >> that is correct. >> i don't know if you are familiar with the house armed service committee issued a report on february 10th and i want to quote from it and see what part you disagree with because my friend from florida suggested we should have done something from, for example, italy. or spain rather. in talks with general ham and dempsy they verbalized two actions. two ships in spain were ordered to deplay. one for tripoli and one for benghazi. and training in croatia was asked to move to italy and wait for instructions. and third a special operation
unit in the united states was dispatched to the region. this was order 2-4 hours after the attack. is it your opinion it could have been done sooner, more of it should have been done or you deny it happening? >> my belief has to do with we should have continued to move forward with whatever forces we were going to move forward with. the timeline and what happened there was in the operation channels. what i am looking at is the future and how we chose to respond in the future needs to be along the lines of the military feeling empowered to take action under the authorities it has. so that it can move forward and do that when the capabilities exist. >> i want to read you the conclusion of the chairman of the committee. buck mccann. who conducted former briefings and saw that report.
he said quote i am pretty well satisfied that given with the troops were how quickly the thing all happened and how quickly it dissipated. we probably couldn't have done much more than we did. do you take issue with the chairman of the armed service committee in that conclusion? >> his conclusion he could not have done much more with the capability they executed it? that is a fact the way it is stated >> i am sure you can appreciate, general, there might be some for various reasons would like to disstort our testimony and suggest that you are testifying that we could have, should have done more than we could because we have capabilities we didn't utilize. that is not your testimony? >> that is not my testimony. >> if i understood you testimony, libya is a mess.
there is no government control and that is the environment at the time of benghazi. is that correct? >> that is correct, sir. >> and no amount of u.s. troops, security forces, was going to change that environment. is that correct? >> yeah, you are not going to change the fact that the central government can't exercise a writ. >> like my friend from utah, i went to tripoli and security at the airport was controlled by militia. has that changed? >> i am not aware. >> does that make one uneasy about security? let's hope they are friendly. but it is painful, obviously, transparent symbolism of the lack of any central authority.
do you want to comment? >> i agree with you. >> i just think that is always important. the testimony you provided, which i appreciate, but people can play politics with a tragedy all they want. the fact of the matter is at the time of the tragedy and even to this day libya is a very unstable situation post-revolution. and the object is to do the best we can to try to change that dynamnic that creates security for us and also for their own people. fair statement, dr. worry? >> absolutely.
a lot is on the libyan shoulders. this is a country that needs to reach broad agreement from factions before they can receive outside help. there is a lack of partnership on the other side and you need that. i think much of this is taking time. libyans are moving forward. they are writing a constitution. they held elections in 2012 that by all accounts were transparent and fair by all accounts. and they remain very pro-american which is in contrast to many other countries in the region. >> thank you very much. i want to thank you for our testimony. it is very enlightening.
>> what purpose does the general from florida seek recognition? >> on march 11th, more than 60 members sent this letter to the president saying it had been a year and a half since the benghazi attack and nothing was done to bring people to justice and i would like that to be part of the order. >> without objection. the gentlemen from utah is recognized >> thank you for being here and thank you for your service and god bless you. what was your rank and title on september 11th, 2012. >> general of the united states air force and the director deputy of knowledge development j 2. >> where were you the night of september 11th and 12th? >> i was at my home until
recalled to a joint operation center in germany. >> you were in the room? >> yes, sir. >> you were able to see, hear and feel what is going on in the room >> we work toward understanding >> were you ever interviewed by the accountability review board? >> no, sir. >> your prime responsibility was to a try to as you say the last sentence of your testimony, the attacks -- the j2 was focused on attribution and what do you believe they were attributed to? >> extremist islamic group. >> al qaeda? >> we felt it was a group affiliated with al qaeda. >> aqim -- were they involved?
>> the ais is who he most looked at all of the groups. >> how quickly did you become to the decision al qaeda was involved in this attack? >> very, very soon. when we were still in the early hours of this activity. >> was it a video? >> no, sir. >> was it a video that sparked a protest? >> no, sir. >> what i want to get out, mr. chairman, are the facts at the time. that is what the white house keeps talking about. the cia station chief is quoted as saying not an escalating of protest.
do you agree? >> absolutely. it was an attack. >> beth jones at the state department says that she told the libyan ambassador, this is september 12th, i told him that the group that conducted the attack is a affiliated with islamic extremist. end quote. would you agree or disagree? >> i would agree. the timing i don't know. but the content, yes. >> the scandal that is here that some chose to ignore is a phony scandal is that fact the cia station chief and the person sitting in front of us, the head of intelligence, they come to the conclusion it is an al qaeda group and you have the department of state telling the libyans who it was. none of them thought it was a video. none of them.
the military, the cia, the cia station chief, the state department -- all of them. the facts at the time mr. chairman, the facts do not point to a video. that only comes from the white house. what was going on in the room, general? our people are under attack. there are people dying. what is the military doing? >> desperately trying to gain situational awareness in an area where we had a dearth of it. >> were they moving to the sound of the gun or sitting around waiting for the state department and hilary clinton to call them up and say do something. >> we sent a predator drone overhead. >> did we do enough? your professional opinion. i know you care about this. what was the mood in the room?
>> it was desperation to gain situational awareness and be able to do something to save people. >> did they actually do it? these three actions we talk about. a fast team -- they are not trained to go into fights. the other force is coming from the united states of america. we had assets there in europe. did they actually go to the sound of the gun? did they go into benghazi? >> no, sir, those assets didn't. >> why not? >> there was looking for the state department and the sense of deference to the desire of the state department in terms of what they would like to have. >> did they ever tell you to go save the benghazi people?
>> not to my knowledge. >> we didn't run to the guns. we had americans dying. we had dead people. we had wounded people. and our military didn't try to engage in that fight. would you disagree with that? >> the gentlemen's time is expired but the gentlemen may answer if you think you didn't get enough time to answer fully. >> four individuals died. we didn't get there in time obviously >> could we have? >> the gentlemen's time has expired go ahead. >> we may have been able to, but we will never know. >> because we didn't try. >> we now recognize the gentle lady ms. norton. >> thank you very much, mr.
chairman. this hearing is interesting. it seems to be based on the notion there were unintended consequences after the intervention into libya. well, let me begin by saying that is the nature of the beast if one is talking about the middle east. it is interesting to note that in contrast that when we intervene in iraq where the consequences were indeed -- where we could have prevented by letting the monitors on the ground continue to look for weapons of mass destruction, we just went in willy-nilly. we didn't anything like that in libya. and in iraq, clearly one of the unintended consequences would have been renewed conflict
between the sunni and shih but we went in head first. perhaps the more catastrophic war of the 20th century by the united states of america. many of us were doubtful about libya and many democrats followed republican colleagues who argued very forcefully for intervention in libya. democrats were quite split on it. senator mccain who i think should be quoted here, he was the republican stand bearer in the 2008 presidential election and a leader on foreign policy. he had in 2011, some critics
argue we should be cautious about helping the libyan operation warning we don't know enough or the victory could pave the way for an al qaeda takeover. both arguments were hollow he said. dr. ross, how do you respond to that argument? >> i think with respect he was incorrect. we didn't know enough about the rebels at the time >> do we know enough about them now in syria? as i said in the beginning and i agree we didn't know enough and even if we did one wonders if that would have moved us one way or another as we saw the dictator in power. it seems senator mccain was saying if we didn't intervene the war might have dragged on even longer and that al qaeda
would have been strengthened. do you agree that is a risk? >> i do agree. i think if the war grabbed on you would have seen the de facto partition of libya and holding on to certain area and the country might have become a magn magnet for jihadism. >> were the rebels seen as pro-western? why do you think senator mccain praised them? >> they were support of nato's help. by and large they remain pro-western. there are splint ers and fishers
but i think he was accurate. >> effort -- i will let voters know there is a vote at 10:55. we will remain here for the first ten minutes of the vote and recess until approximately ten minutes after the last vote is called. meaning if you vote quickly and head back you will be here when we open again. we go to the gentlemen from ohio. mr. jordan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to pick up where my colleague was at. you had two statements that were telling. the first is always mean to the sound of the gun.
that means something, doesn't it? >> yes, sir. >> you take seriously the airman, the soldiers, the sailors, the airman and the people you were an officer for, you take that seriously? >> yes, sir. >> you could not do that september 11 because you say we were waiting for assistance from the state department. you could not react in the way the military always does. is that accurate? sgr >> from my perspective yes. >> you have been in the military for 33 years and all over the world. has there ever been a situation prior to this where you could not react in the normal customary way? >> no situation. >> first time in your 33 years you could not do what the military does: round to the
sound of the gun. >> yes, sir, for me. >> and why was that the case? what had the state department done in your time at african command? what was the culture and climate and what happened where you could not what you normally do? >> this was a command that was created to be a bit different. it was created to work with an inner agency environment -- >> i get that. that is in your testimony, too. but what -- we have soldiers down. you have people under attack. you knew as everyone knows it was a terrorist attack. so you run to the round of the gun then and what specifically had the state department done or said that prevented you from
doing this? we know this is unique but when it happens you react the way the military does. but you could not. what did they do or prevent you? >> they didn't come forward with stronger request for action. >> so in previously in your time dealing with libya, when there was a situation they would say let's do this. and now they are not giving you guidance. >> with odyssey guard were we were there to support the state department in setting up and establishing the embassy in tripoli. the work done relative to libya was one where the state department is in the lead. >> who at the state department did you and the officers above
you, who did you directly interface with? >> in varying circumstances but for me i had interactions when i was in italy working with odyssey guard and we talked on occasion with ambassador cretz. >> anything else at the state department? >> briefing over the summer. andrew shiparo and ambassador john johnny carson was engaged >> and this is shipara who was senior advisor for hilary clinton and political military affairs. >> that is correct. >> and currently part of beacon gold stratgies?
correct? >> that could be where he works. >> did the general urge the state department to take a specific action. did you or the general urge the state department to take specific action on september 11th when you knew a terrorist attack took place. >> i cannot speak for anyone other than myself. that wasn't my place to encourage them to do that. >> you don't know if the general urg urged? >> it was dialogue over what action wanted to be taken. >> but the general, just like you, is trained into culture that says when you have seaman and airman under attack you respond. >> on location where i was located it was an admiral.
>> if i could have ten seconds. was libya different in state department interface with africom than the rest of africa? if so, how? >> other than the -- the answer is yes, it was different. and it was different because our other engagements were we were engaged militarily where we were supporting what the military strategy and the policy of the united states. we work would a counter terrorism focus. this was the first activity that didn't start out as a counter terrorism effort that employed military power since it had stood up. >> mr. lynch or ms. duckworth? the general lady is recognized.
>> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for mr. lynch as well. given the atrocities that were committed there is no question the people with libya are better without him. but after 40 years of ruling we have a delicant transition here. you testified overwhelming the leaders are turning away from violence and there is greater corruption with the united states. can you explain in more detail what their willingness or is how the willingnes to cooperate is manife manifesting itself and what can we do? >> again, i think it is significant that some islamic
who were foes of the united states, they are in the parliament and in ministry and meeting the diplomats and the ambassadors there. they look at the area where we can help as applying what we know in democracy and how you run a parliament. i was there before this change. people had no role in their own self-governing. it is all new to them. they had no experience in anything we have from a local level. they are sending delegations to learn how to run a town counsel, federalism examples, how do you
oversee a budget. just basic things and the united states has an important role. there is a need for security. the former prime minister came and asked for united states help to train the new libyan army. we stepped up along with turkey, britain, italy and morocco and we are prepared to help in that respect. but again, i would also say engaging with the people of libya. when i talk to the united states diplomats they say libyan society is vibrant. there is an educated class. there is young people. a thirst for being open. we are training their media and reaching out to youth groups and women. and i think these are valuable areas. the country does have a terrorism problem but i urge policymakes not let that be the
only lens through which we view the country. >> can you speak about the police force. are they asking for help the train police forces or other allies? >> much of the training is going on in italy and the turks are involved now and many are stepping up and training the police. it is happening in other countries for security reasons. >> are there additional risks to consider? for example, a risk dedisarmorment? as the united states helps libya move forward i want to minimize risks to our nation and to our citizens as well. any risks we should be keeping an eye on as we try to help them
move forward? >> absolutely. when we train the new libyan security forces we want to do a thorough vetting of these individuals to make sure we are not imparting training and equipment and we do this in a number of states. there are also risks involved. they are stepping in to help train the force but they are asking what the unintended consequences are down the road. we don't want a military that steps in and stops the democr democratic process or goes back to the old ways. i think border control is a huge area. the european union is heavy involved in this. the united states needs to push the europeans to take on more of the burden. much of their security is directly impacted by what happens in libya.
>> thank you very much. i yield back. now to the gentlemen from michigan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for your service and willingness and desire to be here. i recognize the fact that you led as a commander but you were under command as well. and the frustrations. you mentioned that you employed quote limited boots on ground and in the implied time frame was commendable. what does the implied time frame mean?