tv Fox News Reporting FOX News July 1, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT
we'll see you next fox news sunday. september 11, 2012. that night u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans perished during eight hours of bullets, mortars, and flames. the political and bureaucratic smoke screen made benghazi, not just a tragedy, but a scandal. hello, from day one, fox news is investigating the big questions surrounding benghazi. how could americans be left so vulnerable in such a dangerous place? did their government leave them to die? did their president try to cover up what happened that night?
voters re-elected barack obama, but they aren't giving him a pass on benghazi. a recent fox poll showed more than 7-10 american voters want congress to continue investigating. congress has. and so have we. we begin with peter boyer, who finds one piece of common ground between obama supporters and critics. both agree that to understand benghazi, you must go back a few years. >> any clear-eyed examination of this matter must begin with this sobering fact. benghazi joins a long list of tragedies for america. hostages taken in tehran in 1979, embassy and marine barracks bombed in 1983. saudi arabia in 1996. >> she essentially said to understand benghazi, you have to understand a series of terror attacks that had occurred before. is she right? >> she is certainly right in terms of understanding the ideology that fuels these
attacks. >> andrew mccarthy, a former federal prosecutor who won a conviction of the blind shaikh that plotted to bomb new york city tunnels and landmarks in the 1990s. >> the motivating cause of the attacks, it is us against them. we are the them. >> reporter: the difference between the obama administration and its critics is the lesson that each has learned. through the '70s, '80s, and '90s, the united states dealt with terrorism as a crime. >> what we found, we were repeatedly attacked, and attacks became more audacious over time. >> reporter: and the result was the first september 11th attack. >> reporter: john boulton is a fox news contributor. >> it was that attack, tragically, that made us realize that we were in a war. and that the way to deal with international terrorism was to treat it as you would treat an
active aggression again the united states by a hostile power. >> reporter: but the rise of barack obama was part of an emphatic turning away of bush foreign policies. bush's global war on terror vanished from the presidential vocabulary. the middle east and all of its problems would be managed through smart diplomacy. >> thank you. >> reporter: obama began what his critics called an apology tour and in a june 2009 speech in cairo, he suggested bush's freedom agenda for the muslim world was a clumsy overreach. >> no system of government can or should be imposed by one nation by any other. >> reporter: and then came portentious stirrings from the middle east that caught obama by surprise. america stood by as iran's green revolution was brutally suppressed. then an uprising in tunisia,
followed by a popular revolt against mubarak. the arab spring would present the president with a defining foreign policy crisis. in march 2011, he addressed the american people from national defense university in washington. the president who wanted to pivot away from the middle east was now explaining why he was intervening in a civil war in labia. to stop a bloodbath, in a port city that most americans had never heard of. a place called benghazi. >> if we waited one more day, benghazi would suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscious of the world. i refused to let that happen. >> reporter: but saving benghazi from gadhafi was not the end of that story. at that moment, in a jail cell in southern california, a check kiting former meth cooker, named nakula basili nakula was working on a loopy scheme.
it employed a low budget, comically inept movie that nakula called "desert warrior." federal authorities would only allow an interview over the phone. >> what was your intent? >> just to send a message to the world, detail evil coming from the east. >> reporter: what was the nature of that evil? >>ith that terrorism culture. >> reporter: at the peak peak of obama's re-election campaign this coptic christian and his film became part of a smoke screen that obscured the truth about what happened on the anniversary of 9/11. one of the principle unanswered questions is where did the story of the muhammad video came from? >> reporter: is it imaginable that the president of the united
welcome back to "fox news reporting." we asked the white house for interviews with people involved in the administration with benghazi. we have been turned down. many administration officials have testified about the debacle or spoken publicly, like the president himself. the state department and congress have released unclassified investigative repo reports. from these sources and our own exclusive reporting emerges a timeline of disastrous decision and deadly consequences. we resume our story in the fall of 2011. october 20, 2011, libya.
moammar gadhafi captured and killed in his hometown of cert. the u.s. keeps its embassy in tripoli, but sets up a diplomatic outpus in benghazi. the rebel strong hold president obama vowed to seay. the violence continues there says the state department's number two man . >> we had car bombings in benghazi. the assessment, this was libyan on libyan and not directed to foreigners. >> reporter: the villa on the west side of the city is moved into. a large residence, where a safe haven is built. you enter through a heavy metal grill with locks on it. security at the u.s. benghazi compound consists of five special security agents and four members of the march tirs
brigade. ani islamic militia group. a mile away is the annex. more security there. based in trup o ed id in tripol around, is a department of defense special forces team, with spacial forces capability. >> spring of 2012, an uptick in terror attacks in libya. and they seemed to be targeting werners. >> reporter: despite two security incidents every three days, wood and his team are slated to leave libya by summer's end. march 28, 2012, americans in libya send a cable to secretary of state clinton, requesting for security. april 6th, a bomb is tossed over the wall of the benghazi compound. no one is hurt. april 19th. a return cable, signed by clinton, says security would
actually be scaled back. clinton will later deny knowing about the exchange. june 6, an ied placed on the co compound's north gate. no one is hurt. and the newly named ambassa christopher steveens, asks to keep two security teams that the state department had ordered to be removed. his request is denied. june 11th, i convoi is ambushed in benghazi. he isn't hurt, two of his security squad are. the brits decide to pull out of benghazi. >> i conducted an investigation, and it was definitely a terrorist attack by skilled operators. >> reporter: and the skilled operators, wood realizes, is an increasingly dangerous enemy to america. >> last thing on our target list. >> reporter: june 25th.
stevens sends another cable, warning of aterte tedeteriorati situation. >> why would the state department say that this wasn't needed are are they were trying to tell a different story than was unfolding on the ground. >> william e. boyken. >> they live in a fantasy world. >> brings us back to hollywood. remember nikoula, that made the desert warrior movie? he renamed the film "innocence of bin laden." he advertises a premiere at the vine theater. steve cline is an antiislamic activist, who would become a spokesperson for the film. >> the fliers designed to get
the attention of the want to bes in southern california. they were baited, come watch this video about your hero. >> reporter: instead of a positive film about bin laden, they would be shown one that portrays him as a homicide, gay, child molester. >> we anticipated they would boil out of the theater and act angry. something of that nature. >> cline waited outside in a car with a video camera. >> dyed my hair black and mustache black. a lot of characters know who i am. no one came into the theater. i called up and said, it's a bust, nobody showed up. he was really disappointed and depressed, in fact. >> reporter: july 2 know, sam basile uploaded a trailer of the film. nikoula denies it, but he is sam basile. using an alias violates his
probation, but in hollywood terms, is he still a nobody that no one wanted to watch. july 6th. back in libya, americans are more concerned about terror attacks. but deputy assistant for diplomatic security charlene lamb says they shouldn't make a formal request for the extension of the security teams set to leave in august. >> lamb was discouraging to put it wildly. why do you keep putting this forward? >> august 8th. ambassador stevens sends another cable to washington. "what we have seen are not random crimes of opportunity, but rather targeted and discriminate attacks." less than a week after that cable, lieutenant colonel wood and his military sight security team leave the country. how did you feel about the security situation when you left? >> i didn't like it. and specifically for benghazi. >> reporter: still, stevens is
being pushed to increase the diplomatic presence in the city. >> secretary clinton wanted benghazi converted to a permanent consistent post. chris needed to report before september 30th, the end of the fiscal year. >> september 6th, charlotte, north carolina. the democrat national convention. >> today, without a single american casualty, moammar gadhafi is gone, and the people of libya are free! >> reporter: the same day, an egyptian american coptic christian activist blasts an e-mail to hundreds of journalists, promoting a 9/11 event with koran burning pastor terry jones. the e-mail includes a link to nikoula's youtube trailer. september 8th, cairo, a popular islamic broadcaster airs part of
the trailer. outrage ensues. september 9th. ambassador stevens gets ready to leave tripoli, he is warned that the martyr's brigade can't be trusted. stevens' movements are supposed to be secret, and local media is there, and that's cause for grave concern. on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11. coming up, america suffers another blow on another 9/11. after the break.
11, 2012, obama administration officials would claim that benghazi was a spontaneous attack many carried out by a mob, outraged over a youtube video. as are you about to see, nobody, but nobody, in libya, was thinking that on this fateful day. september 11, 2012. 6:43 a.m. deputy ghazi. a libyan police officer is caught photographing the inside of the american mission. the idea that a libyan cop might be casing the place rattles information management officer sean smith. around noontime, he messages a friend on the internet. "assuming we don't die tonight, we saw one of our police that guard the compound taking pictures." 12:11 p.m., cairo. u.s. embassy staffers release a statement about nikoula's video.
"we firmly reject those actions that use the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others. the cairo embassy surrounded by protesters, voicing a variety of grievances. >> the video was a part of a much larger demonstration that featured open brandishing of the al qaeda flag, chances of obama, obama. >> reporter: 6:45 p.m. the owe egyptian crowd storms the embassy. watching from tripoli, gregg hicks, number two man in libya, reaches out to his boss, chris stevens, in benghazi. >> chris, are you aware what's going on in cairo? and he said no. i told him that embassy had been stormed. and they were trying to tear down our flag. he said thanks very much.
>> reporter: no sign in benghazi of protests, over video or anything else. 9:00 p.m. ambassador stevens and sean smith retire in the main residence. four diplomatic security officers join them. including lead officer scott wickland. another officer, alec handerson is at the tactical officer center. >> the video was a non event in libya. >> charlene clam lamb is on dut. >> he alerted the special security agent. the embassy in tripoli, and the diplomatic security command center in washington.
>> reporter: armed attackers entered the main gate without warning or resistance. and hicks as a villa has someone run in. >> gregg, gregg, the consulate is under attack. gregg, we're under attack. >> the attackers set the main residence ablaze. and the safe haven filled with thick, dark smoke. more than a mile away, at the ciaannex, tyron wood and other agents get their weapons ready. >> mobilizing a response team there to go to our facility and provide reinforcement and to repel the attack. >> reporter: 9:59 p.m. an unarmed surveillance drone heads to the come pound, hicks called washington, just about 4:00 in the afternoon. >> i called the state department to record the attack.
>> did you report to anyone in washington there was a protest in connection to a youtube video? >> no, the only report that our mission made through every channel was there was an attack on the consulate. >> reporter: 4:05 p.m. reports that benghazi special alert mission was your honounde. >> i was notified of the attack shortly before 4:00 p.m. tom donlan was my first call. i instructed our senior department officials to consider every option to just break down the doors of the libyan officials to get as much security support as we possibly could. >> reporter: state department counterterrorism officer wants to immediately dispatch the u.s. foreign dispatch support team, on zest. >> on alert to do just this mission. you notified the white house of my idea. we needed to act now and not
wait. >> reporter: at the annex, the cia team is told to stand down twice. while an independent accountability review board, appointed by the state department, concluded the cia officers were "not delayed by orders from superiors." either way, the cia team leaves the annex bound for the compo d compound. what about help from the pentagon? 10:45 p.m. >> i asked the defense attache, is anything coming? >> reporter: the short answer, no. >> i said thank you very much. and we went on with our work. >> reporter: 10:54 benghazi. attackers are drove out of the compound. by that time, sean smith is confirmed dead. but nobody can find ambassador stevens. now 5:00 p.m. in washington. defense secretary leon panetta attends his weekly meeting with the president.
>> we ordered all available dod assets to respond. >> reporter: but none outside libya will. >> the quickest response option available was a security team that was located at the embassy in tripoli. >> reporter: the americans have no plane in tripoli. >> we agreed we would move forward with chartering a plane to fly a response team to benghazi to provide additional reinforcement. >> reporter: 11:10 p.m., benghazi. a u.s. drone armed with cameras begins circling with a come pound. five minutes later, a second wave of attackers arrives. >> the annex team withdrew from the facility, and the second wave of attackers took it over. >> did anybody leave anywhere to go to the aid of the people in benghazi libya before the attack ended? >> no. because the attack ended before they could get off the ground.
>> okay. >> but nor graham pointed out, this lasted nearly eight hours start to finish. >> there was an initial attack on the facility at benghazi. frankly, we thought that was the end of what had occurred there. and we had no intelligence that a second attack would take place at the annex, two miles away. >> coming up, the obama administration is tragically wrong about what's happening on the ground, and more american blood will spill in beng
as september 11th turns into the 12th, benghazi becomes a modern day alamo. a handful of brave americans facing terrible odds, with no help on the way. 5:30 p.m., washington. defense secretary leon panetta finishes his regular weekly meeting with president obama in the oval office. once back in the pentagon, he summons carter ham, martin dempsey and other senior staff to discuss benghazi. that meeting will last more than two hours. back in tripoli, gregg hicks has neither hope that help is on the way, nor time to dwell on it. >> we're on our own, we have to try to pull this off with the resources we have. >> reporter: by midnight, 6:00 p.m. washington time, the annex
is now under attack. >> the second phase of this, after the teams have returned to the annex, they suffer for about an hour and a half probing attacks. >> reporter: after a two-hour scramble, team tripoli secures that charter plane. among those aboard, glen dogherty. and there is a question why fest wasn't summoned. >> he reason was it was not time for the fest? too unsafe by the fest? >> how do you react? >> we live by a code. you go after those in peril that are in service of their country. >> reporter: the state department issues an internal ops alert that al qaeda-link ee answar sharia.
twitter posts are calling for attacks of the embassy in tripoli. >> we have to take care of ourselves. >> someone using wickland's cell phone redials hicks, the caller says the ambassador is at the benghazi medical center. >> we learned that he was in the hospital, controlled by shari'a. >> hicks suspects a trap. 1:15 a.m., libya. the american chartered plane arrives at the benghazi airport. there is a hitch. >> the tripoli team had to stay at the benghazi airport, because it had no transport and no escort from the libyans. >> reporter: the delay would give the terrorists time to set up anotherl lethal assault. 2:00 a.m., hicks gets a call from washington, where it's now 8:00 p.m. >> secretary of state clinton called me, along with her senior staff, all on the phone, and she
asked me what was going on? >> i spoke with trip ollie. talked with the then national libyan president, to press him on greater support. reaching out to everyone we could find to try and get an update about ambassador chris stevens. >> reporter: 8:39 p.m. washington. five hours after the attacks began, secretary defense panetta, wrapping up the two-hour meeting at the pentagon, officially authorizes a military response of sorts. >> first, we ordered a marine fleet anti terrorism secure team to prepare to deploy to benghazi. a second fast platoon, ordered to prepare to demy to tripoli. a special operations force, training in central europe, was ordered to prepare to deploy to siganella. >> prepare to deploy, prepare to
deploy, prepare to deploy. it's not deployment of going toward benghazi. >> why did it take almost 4 1/2 hours to start the clock to prepare to deploy? we had people being killed, ambassador missing. we didn't know when the attack was going to en, and the american military did not respond. >> reporter: so what about the house republicans' own interim progress report that concluded that department of defense officials and military personnel reacted quickly to the attacks in benghazi? i asked chaffetz about that. >> the joint committee says there were no helicopters, armed drones, nothing could save the lives of americans in benghazi? am i reading that correctly? >> the report is an interim report. what the military did and did not do is not yet complete. >> reporter: 3:00 a.m., tripoli, hicks gets a call from the prime
minister of libya. >> it was the saddest phone call i ever had in my life. he told me that ambassador stevens had passed away. i -- i immediately telephoned washington. >> reporter: 4:00 a.m. benghazi. 10:00 p.m. in washington. >> i spoke with president obama later in the evening to, you know, bring him up to date to hear his perspective. >> reporter: it's the only call between the two that night. >> the secretary of state should have been on the phone to the president constantly, saying we've got people at risk. >> reporter: at 10:08 p.m. washington time, clinton issues a statement. despite the months of security warnings in benghazi and claims of responsibility by an al qaeda affiliate, clinton links the attack to the anti muhammad video produced by nikoula.
some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. the united states deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. back in benghazi, the seven-man tripoli response team finally gets to leave the benghazi airport, bound for the cia annex. >> within 15 minutes of arriving at the annex facility, they came under attack by mortar and rocket-propelled grenades. >> the accuracy was terribly precise. first mortar round was long, the next was short, the next three landed on the roof. killing glen and tyrone. >> glen dougherty and tyron woods become the third and fourth americans killed that night.tripoli, knows he has to send another plane to benghazi. >> people in benghazi had been
fighting all night, tired, exhausted. >> reporter: and a special forces team. >> go bring our people home. that's what he wanted to do. colonel gibson, and his three personnel, getting in the cars, he stopped. and he called them off and told me that he's not been authorized to go. >> how did the personnel react to being told to stand down. >> i will quote you lieutenant colonel gibson. he said this is the first time in my career that a diplomat uk has more balls than someone in the military. >> reporter: he later tells congress he was not ordered to stand down, but stay in tripoli, due to threats against americans there. and africon commander, carter ham, at the pentagon, declined to speak us with, but met with congressman chaffetz, about the
overall lack of military response that night. >> he told me, they had proximity, they had capability, but they were not ordered to go. and he was sitting as far as you and i were sitting. >> reporter: why were they ordered not to respond? >> that's the big question. i think a lot of levers that the president had at his disposal were not pulled. >> reporter: coming up, benghazi and the muhammad youtube video. was the administration trying to get out the truth or create a smoke screen? after the break.
back in the 2008 campaign, barack obama and hillary clinton famously sparred over who was prepared to handle that 3:00 a.m. emergency phone call. as we've seen, the call actually came after 3:00 in the afternoon, from benghazi, libya. now, four americans are dead. and a new election is just weeks away. chief washington correspond respondent james rosen reports. >> on september 12th, the nsa intercepts communications between two al qaeda terrorists claiming they participated in the attack, and libya's cia station chief report back to washington on the involvement of militants with al qaeda ties. finally, that same day, beth jones, a top aide to secretary of state clinton e-mails
vickphorvick f victoria nuland. i spoke to the libyan ambassador and i told him that ansar al sharia is affiliated with islamic terrorists. >> we told the libyans we know who did it, and it was these terrorists many. >> reporter: president obama links the youtube video to the murder of four americans in benghazi. >> we reject all of the religious intolerance. >> they thought they could get away with it. it is not the failure of american policy, or the american president. somebody that got out of control because of a video. it doesn't wash. >> reporter: clinton again links the video in the benghazi attack. >> the united states government had absolutely nothing to do
with this i havo. video. it has a deeply cynical purpose. to denigrate a great religion and provoke rage. >> i think she understands this. >> reporter: nikoula is surprised to find himself the center of the story, but is grateful for the publicity. >> i tell her, mrs. clinton, thank you very much. thank you very much. >> reporter: september 14, 2:30 p.m. joint base andrews, the bodies of the fallen arrive back home. >> we have seen the heavy assault on our post in benghazi that took the lives of thobrave men. 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 slain former navy s.e.a.l. tyron woods says clinton then approaches him. >> she mentioned that day, we're going to have that person
arrested and prosecuted that did the video. >> reporter: 13 hours later, cerrit cerritos, california, nikoula is hauled in on violation of probation. an initial draft of talking points about benghazi that administration officials and capitol hill lawmakers can use on the upcoming sunday shows. we know that islamic extremists with ties to al qaeda participated in the attack, and the talking points notes that ansar al sharia claimed credit for the attack, and cia warned about the worsening security environment in benghazi. september 14 and 15, after two days, 100 pages of e-mails, untold phone calls and meetings, the state department, cia, and white house agree on the 12th and vinyl versifinal version ofg points. all references from al qaeda and
warnings from the cia have been deleted. lastly, there is in the final talking points, no mention of the video. only a reference to earlier protests in cairo. 10:32 a.m., sunday september 16th, the president of libya's general national congress appears on "face the nation" and says benghazi attacks were anything but spontaneous. >> it was planned, definitely planned by foreigners. >> reporter: on the same day, susan rice, u.s. ambassador to the united nations, makes the round to all five talk shows and contradicts the libyan president directly. >> what sparked the recent violence was a very hateful, very offensive video. >> reporter: he was insulted in front of his own people, his ability to lead his own country was angry. i was stunned. my jaw dropped, and i was embarrassed.
>> reporter: on september 25, the president addresses the united nations. >> the crude and disgusting video that sparked outrage throughout the muslim world. >> reporter: two days later, nikoula arrested and held without bond. the hunt for perpetrators makes scant progress. the obama administration wants to send the fbi, but they are unable to gain access for a critical two weeks. the libyan president, angry over susan rice's false account over the attack orchestrated the delay. >> a friend of mine told me he was still steamed about the talk shows, and that negatively affected our ability to get the fbi team quickly to benghazi. >> reporter: election day, 2/3 of american voters called benghazi troubling. yet, barack obama handily wins election to a second term in the white house. the next day, a judge sends
today more than half of american voters say the benghazi scandal weakened their faith in their government. what happened in benghazi and response to it may have sparked a even wider debate over the war on terrorism. >> it's not possible for americans to deploy a team of special forces to capture every trift when such an approach may be possible there are places where it would pose profound risk to our troops and local civilians. >> may 23, 2013 another
address by the president at the national defense university. >> we lost americans to terrorism in beirut and in lebanon and world trade center. >> reporter: reciting the long litany of attacks he reveals the lesson he's learned about terrorism. >> dealt with smartly these threats need not rise to the level we saw on the eve of september 11th. >> reporter: he announces plans to take the nation after the war footing we've been on since that day. >> this war like all wars must end. that is what history advises. >> all wars must end, well that is true usually after someone wins. >> reporter: bush era un ambassador believes the speech provides a moment of clarity, are helping etch plain the importance of benghazi. >> america's lack of attention, lack of preparation. it's lack of willingness to
respond as demonstrated by benghazi these are inducements for terrorists. >> make no mistake our nation is thrill threatened by terrorists we have been tragically reminded of that truth but we have to recognize the threat as shifted from the one that came to our shores on september 11th. >> is it dang trous down play the threat outside of the u.s.? >> there is nudging in the speech that suggest that had we're down playing anything. >> pj crowley served under president obama. >> we have to figure out in dealing with this challenge we'll confront this in the context of war. >> reporter: the problem, as bolden seize it is that way america dealt with terrorism before september 11th is what brought us september 11th. he said it brought us ben gaz yes as well. >> i'm afraid that what would have to happen to get them to
wake up to reality is another major terrorist attack. >> so america is at a cross roads we must define the nature ask scope of the struggle or else, it will define us. >> september 11th, 2001 has defined america for the better part of a generation. all of the legacy of benghazi be? as we saw in years before 2001, the lesson the nation take ways like at tack on september 11th, 2012 can make a difference for every american. that is all for tonight. thanks for watching.@í0x;ñt
this is the fox report. tonight, waiting for a break. in a heat wave that's turned out to be a killer. and the national football league said no to promoting obama care. now the white house is enlisting a new group of people to push the president's landmark health care law. is it in trouble? thousands of libraries across the country suddenly morphing into recruiting centers for the obama administration. it is the next big phase of taxpayer funded health care. fox report. why an army of librarians is on the public front line of this