Benghazi is where the heroes died and afterwards the cowards lied. What a terrible mark on the American record. This week a new book “13 Hours” came out telling the story of the contractors on the ground who fought during the attack. This is the first account by someone that was involved. Their story is quite different than the one told by the State Department and the White House.
Theirs was an on the spot report of what really happen by those who lived through it, not some prepared talking points by a political appointee who will avoid the truth and obfuscate to protect their own skin and those above them.
Kris Paronto, Mark Geist and John Tiegen; part of the Annex Security Team, described receiving multiple “stand down” orders from “Bob,” the CIA Chief of Base in Benghazi, who delayed their possible rescue of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith and other staff by about a half an hour. The team members ultimately defied orders and rushed to the compound which was under attack.
Their story directly contradicts the story told by some very high ranking people including Hillary Clinton, that no one was ever given an order to “Stand Down”. The team stated that they heard the shooting and received calls from the State Department personal at the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi pleading for help. They picked up their weapons and told their superior they were going to help at which point they were directly told multiple times to “stand down”. The Department now says they were just waiting to assess the situation and see what weapons they might need. The heroes said they were ready to go and had what they needed. Finally after receiving more distress calls from the consulate they left on their own, thus disobeying direct orders.
In public statements soon after the assault, Obama administration officials claimed it was a spontaneous reaction to an offensive video, even though they were given intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda. These operatives state this video had nothing to do with the attack and everyone knew it. They said it was a planned attack.
Gregory Hicks, former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli has repeatedly expressed his frustration with the Obama administration’s description of the events that took place. Hicks has said his “jaw hit the floor” when he learned the administration was blaming the attack on a video. He never reported a protest, either. Every creditable source said planned attack not a protest. Yet the lies continued for a long time until they no longer could be supported.
The Obama administration has made it difficult for reporters to investigate Benghazi. Greta Van Susteren of Fox News said that it’s been “like pulling teeth” trying to get answers and that “the Obama administration’s behavior post-Benghazi has been weird; like they’re hiding something.”
Hiding something? Well yes total incompetence. No one was to blame; help was too far away and on and on were their excuses. With the anniversary of September 11, 2001, coming up next week, the left is undermining efforts to get to the truth about Benghazi and the lies that followed. Remember it’s only two months before an election.
Supporters on the left claim that there has been no cover-up, but key questions about Benghazi remain unanswered. Why were no military assets sent to help in a battle that lasted 13 hours? Why were so many people who were there required to sign new non-disclosure agreements? Why did the Washington, D.C.-based talking points outweigh direct reports from the field?
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) transcripts reveals that General Carter Ham, then-head of AFRICOM, had two drones over the site, the first was unarmed but a second drone was sent from Italy, but General Ham chose not to have it armed because he saw the mission as reconnaissance, not engagement. He later added, upon questioning, the second, unarmed drone arrived before Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were killed. The point being, had the second drone been armed, it might have saved their lives. Isn’t it funny how a General doesn’t know the difference between reconnaissance and fighting? But maybe he was watching a different channel.
The Annex Security Team, who were on the ground with their brothers-in-arms say there was a stand-down order. They added that there were multiple stand-down orders. This leads us to the conclusions that there were lies by the President and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
That some of our top military officials don’t have a clue on how to defend a facility under attack or were they too ordered to “Stand Down”?
Two years after the attack new revelations are still coming out. One year after Clinton’s testimony on Benghazi we still have very few answers about what happened. What difference does it make? I think it does make a difference to the American people whose warriors are sent to fight. Who expect help when needed and not be abandoned and left to die. It makes a difference to the families of the fallen.
Mike Young is a retired water and power executive who resides in Mesquite. Graduated from the University of LaVerne he has taught communications skills and technical subjects throughout the Western Hemisphere. In addition to writing and editing technical manuals, he has a book titled “Speaking for Effect”. He has received some of the highest awards and recognition from both professional and public organizations.