Bolton: Administration's 'Passivity' Sends Signal, 'You Can Kill Americans With Impunity'

By Susan Jones | November 16, 2012 | 7:11 AM EST

Former U.S. Amb. to the U.N. John Bolton speaks at a “Perils of Global Intolerance” conference in Sept 2011. (PJTV Webcast)

( - Two months after the terror attack in Benghazi, there's been "no retribution, no retaliation, no visible action by the United States against those who murdered four American citizens," and that sends a dangerous signal, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton told Fox News on Thursday:

"Now, maybe there's something the administration has in the works, one of the rare national security secrets they've been able to keep. But the signal in the Middle East and beyond is, you can kill Americans with impunity. And that is a lesson, once learned, it's going to cause consequences that reverberate down the years."

Bolton said he expects a lengthy investigation into the attack in Benghazi as well as the administration's misleading public response to that attack.

"I think people are kidding themselves if they think this is a flash in the pan," Bolton told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Thursday night. "There's just too much involved here, and the administration's passivity before, during and after the September the 11th attack, and frankly, the passivity that they've displayed once the Petraeus-Broadwell affair was uncovered, is just inexplicable."

Bolton says the important thing to remember is that Americans, both government officials and private citizens, "remain at risk" throughout the Middle East.

"And until we fully understand, as a nation, what happened on September the 11th, we can't possibly take adequate steps or formulate policies to protect Americans who might be at risk."

"I have never seen this as political," Bolton continued. "But the notion that you can passively wait for an internal State Department review board or passively wait for an investigation that the CIA director may be compromised to play out over weeks and months -- it just doesn't hold water.

"These are issues that effective leadership, real management in the executive branch, addresses immediately to prevent further tragedies or further loss of classified information."