Three members of a U.S. security team in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, have told Fox News that there was indeed a “stand down” order on that fateful night and that it came from the CIA agent in charge.
The attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans is old news and a phony scandal, if you ask the Obama Administration, but the testimony from the three security team members in a Fox News special airing this weekend sheds light on the depth of lies about the events of Benghazi coming from the White House.
The three security contractors — Kris “Tanto” Paronto, Mark “Oz”) Geist, and John “Tig” Tiegen — were based at the secret CIA annex (not embassy) in Benghazi as first responders.
In their interview, they said that when the attack began at 9:30 p.m., the team suited up immediately for combat and was ready within five minutes to storm the compound less than a mile away.
“Five minutes, we’re ready,” said Paronto, who is a former Army Ranger. “It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we’re ready to go.”
But the team was told to wait by the top CIA officer in Benghazi, whom the team identified only as “Bob.”
Tiegen said, “It had probably been 15 minutes I think, and … I just said, ‘Hey, you know, we gotta– we need to get over there, we’re losing the initiative.’ And Bob just looks straight at me and said, ‘Stand down, you need to wait.'”
After a half-hour delay, the team defied orders and went to the compound anyway. They asked their CIA bosses to call for air support, but none ever arrived. The team members all agreed that if they hadn’t been delayed and if they had gotten the air support, then Stevens and the other three murdered Americans might still be alive.
Paronto said, “Ambassador Stevens and Sean (Smith), yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes,” Paronto said. “I strongly believe if we’d left immediately, they’d still be alive today.”
The Obama Administration, and even the House Intelligence Committee, have said there was no order to stand down and no one was stopped from going to aid the people at the compound during the attack, but the security operators say otherwise.
“It happened that night,” Paronto said. “We were told to wait, stand– and stand down. We were delayed three times.”
The team members in the Fox special also rejected the idea that the attack had any relation to an anti-Muslim YouTube video, as the Obama Administration and the president had insisted long after it became public that Benghazi was a planned assault by terrorist mercenaries.
As Agent Mulder used to say, “The truth is out there.” Hopefully the testimony from the security team will bring us closer to one day getting all the truth about Benghazi.