In a one hour interview with Bret Baier on Fox News titled “13 Hours” we heard first person accounts from the brave men who fought there of what actually happened during those hours of the attack on the U. S. Consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. The three men were CIA contractors whose job as part of the annex security team was to protect CIA case officers and personnel at the annex.
Around 9:30 pm that evening they got a call from their team leader that the consulate was under attack. The three were ready to go within five minutes of that first call, but were told to stand down or wait three separate times. After repeated and increasingly desperate calls from within the compound for help and almost half an hour later, they disobeyed the stand down orders. Kris “Tanto” Paronto requested the support of a drone to provide eyes above and an AC-130 for protection and fire power, and he, along with Mark “Oz” Geist and John “Tig” Tiegen, headed towards the compound.
Their harrowing account of the events of that evening and early into the next day remove all doubt the stand down or wait orders resulted in the deaths of U. S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U. S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, along with CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. To watch the full interview, click here.
Speaking with a retired Special Forces officer after watching 13 Hours he agreed that the stand down order and the thirty minute delay cost the lives of U. S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods, and Glen Doherty. We could have gotten them all out safely if the teams were allowed to do the job for which they have spent their lives training.
We have the best military in the world. Our Special Forces operators are the most highly specialized and trained warriors on the planet. Time and again their missions have been heralded during this administration, going back to Vice President Joe Biden lauding Seal Team Six for the successful raid and killing of Osama bin Laden. I don’t recall any other time in our history when their actions have been made so public. Secrecy is integral to the success of Special Forces operations and missions.
Which leaves one to wonder, after hearing the account of what happened on the night of September 11, 2012, why weren’t our Special Forces teams sent in immediately to rescue the ambassador and the others? By all accounts this would have been a successful mission, and one the president could have capitalized on in the days before his reelection. If he really is all about the “optics” this should have been an easy decision for him. Instead he watched in real time as our people were murdered, knowing all he had to do was give the order to go in and our teams would have taken it from there.
There is more we need to know about what happened that night in Benghazi; not in Benghazi but in Washington, D.C. Both Sean Smith and Ambassador Stevens expressed their concerns about the growing presence of al-Qaeda in the area and requested more protection from the State Department on several occasions. There was a failed assassination attempt on the British ambassador and the Tunisian consulate was stormed by al-Qaeda terrorists in June, 2012. Why were their requests repeatedly denied? There is a reason our people were held back from immediately going in and rescuing Ambassador Stevens and the others on September 11, 2012. We must demand answers from President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Below is another great commentary from Bill Whittle of Afterburner titled President Coward. While I agree the actions of our president are the actions of a coward, I believe the actions of the president on the night of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi go beyond cowardice. Clearly something else was going on at the consulate the administration does not want us to discover. We must push our legislators to pursue this until we get the truth.