Benghazi survivors ungagged: CIA delayed rescue team & nixed air support

On September 11, 2012, Muslim terrorists attacked the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans:

  • U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens
  • State Department Information Officer Sean Smith
  • Ex-Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods

chris-stevens1Clockwise from top left: Amb. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods.

A gag order was put on 33 surviving Americans. In the words of USAF retired Colonel Dick Brauer, co-founder of Special Operations Speaks, on March 1, 2013:

The FBI has interviewed the survivors, but they refuse to release that information to Congress, let alone the American people! And despite the efforts of Senators Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, who have been on the front lines of the Benghazi scandal, the Obama Administration is point-blank refusing to allow the representatives of “we the people” any access to those firsthand accounts. At this juncture, President Obama is hiding the injured survivors in a heavily guarded wing of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. And those not currently needing medical treatment are supposedly legally barred by non-disclosure agreements from even admitting they were present during the attacks – something that should have been fixed by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012.

Now, three survivors — security operators at the secret CIA annex in Benghazi — are speaking out publicly for the first time in a Fox News special, airing tonight (Sept. 5) at 10 p.m. (EDT). As security operators, they would be the first-responders to any attack on the consulate.
Fox News reports, Sept. 5, 2014, that security contractors — Kris Paronto,  Mark Geist, and John Tiegen — gave their first hand account of what they saw and did that night. (Their account is also written as a new book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, by Mitchell Zuckoff with the CIA Annex Security Team.)

1. The CIA delayed the security rescue team for 30 minutes

Word of the attack on the diplomatic compound reached the CIA annex just after 9:30 p.m. Within five minutes, the security team at the annex was geared up for battle, and ready to move to the compound, a mile away.
“Five minutes, we’re ready,” said Paronto, a former Army Ranger. “It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we’re ready to go.”
But the team was held back. According to the security operators, they were delayed from responding to the attack by the top CIA officer in Benghazi, whom they refer to only as “Bob.”
“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,’” said Tiegen. “And Bob just looks straight at me and said, ‘Stand down, you need to wait.’”
“We’re starting to get calls from the State Department guys saying, ‘Hey, we’re taking fire, we need you guys here, we need help,’” said Paronto.
After a delay of nearly 30 minutes, the security team headed to the besieged consulate without orders.

2. The Obama administration refused to send armed air support

The security team asked their CIA superiors to call for armed air support, which never came.
Now, looking back, the security team said they believed that if they had not been delayed for nearly half an hour, or if the air support had come, things might have turned out differently.
“Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes,” Paronto said. Tiegen concurred, adding, “I strongly believe if we’d left immediately, they’d still be alive today.”
In a statement to Fox News, a senior intelligence official insisted that, “There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support.” (See “Former Ambassador: Benghazi “Stand Down” Order Came from Obama“)
Tiegen and Paronto say they were ordered to stand down: “No, it [stand down order] happened. It happened on the ground– all I can talk about is what happened on that ground that night. To us. To myself, twice, and to– to Tig, once. It happened that night. We were told to wait, stand– and stand down. We were delayed three times.
In a statement to Fox News, a senior intelligence official did allow that the security team was delayed from responding while the CIA’s top officer in Benghazi tried to rally local support.
Asked about the infamous YouTube video that was blamed for the violence in Benghazi, Paronto laughed at the suggestion that the video played any role in the events of that night, saying he did not even know of the video until he was out of Libya and on his way home. “I didn’t know about the video ‘till I got to Germany,” he said. “(I had) no idea about any video, no. No, sir.” (See “Benghazi smoking gun: White House email orchestrates propaganda blaming terrorist attack on a video“)
The Fox News special will be re-aired Saturday at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. (EDT), and Sunday at 9 p.m. (EDT).

A reminder:

  1. On September 23, 2012, on CBS’s 60 Minutes, specifically referring to the Benghazi attack and the killing of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans, correspondent Steve Kroft asked Obama “if recent events in the Middle East give you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the ‘Arab Spring’.” Obama replied, calling the recent setbacks “bumps in the road.” (See “Obama went to bed after being told about Benghazi attack as it was happening”)
  2. On Jan. 23, 2013, testifying before Congress, Hillary Clinton (who was Secretary of State at the time of the Benghazi attack and, therefore, responsible for Amb. Stevens and Sean Woods) fumed at being grilled about the White House blaming the attack on an obscure anti-Muslim video, saying “What difference at this point does it make?” (See “Independent review of Benghazi attack faults State Dept” and “Obama administration lied about the Benghazi attack from the beginning,)
    To Hillary:
    What difference does it make?
    It does make a difference, because it’s about nothing less than THE TRUTH.
    See also:

H/t FOTM’s josephbc69

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5 years ago

Are these some of the men who were hidden in hospital(s)? If not, what has happened to them, and is this continuing saga going to be the “whole truth”?

Auntie Lulu
Auntie Lulu
5 years ago

Every time I see pictures of the four men who were left behind–to be sacrificed for some unknown reason, I find myself crying. I feel a tremendous shame because my government . . . DID NOTHING! Thank you for this post, which keeps us up to date as to the treacherous dealings at Bengazi.

5 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Eowyn

What we are witnessing in Libya, Syria and Iraq with the Islamic crazies, the Saudis and the Kenyan goat herders son is the reconstitution of the Ottoman Empire. They are doing it right before our eyes.

Reply to  Auntie Lulu

It is absolutely shameful, but it is not “for some unknown reason”….
The overthrow of the Libyan government was simply one piece of the broader agenda to destabilize and restructure the entire Middle East, which itself is a piece of the overall agenda to consolidate power around the entire globe into a single, unified system.
This agenda is what really drives the people who are running things at the highest levels. It’s pretty straight-forward.

5 years ago

Every member of this appalling mal-Administration deserves to be publicly flogged, then solitary confinement to the end of their creepy days, IMHO.

5 years ago

No words (that I can post here)…

5 years ago

The Resident refused air support because by then he knew his Muslim brethren were in possession of over 1,000 shoulder fired surface to air missiles. Apparently at least one of those shoulder fired missiles found it’s way to Afghanistan and was used against the Chinook helicopter carrying SEAL Team 6. Anybody thinking that a rocket pod grenade fired at a distance of 300 yards at a helicopter in pitch blackness that hit it was just a lucky shot can keep their doctor if they like their doctor. That was no rocket pod grenade “lucky shot”, that was a heat seeking… Read more »


[…] Dr. Eowyn’s article first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds. […]

5 years ago

Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this most significant post. I, too, cry when I see their pictures and think of their loved ones. Americans must not forget what happened here and must not forget the king’s response and Hilary’s response – cavalier, cruel and contemptuous.