Back in the day when I was a defense contractor I was approached with a TDY (temporary duty) opportunity in of all places, Afghanistan. I got the pitch about how great life could be spending 6+ months at the ‘palatial’ Bagram Airfield. When I asked about security and the probability of my getting kidnapped, I was reassured the United States Government would do everything within its power not to leave me behind.
And I had always believed that…until Benghazi happened.
Two years ago Americans like myself watched in horror the US Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi, Libya (AKA ‘Consulate’) was set ablaze due to an attack on the night of September 11th, 2012. That horror turned to heartbreak, devastation and anger when word got out four Americans were dead: Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. At first the Obama White House blamed the attack not on terrorism but a You Tube video. And as the facts of what happened began to come out, it became clear these brave Americans were left to die despite repeated calls for help.
In case you didn’t know, Christopher Stevens was the first US ambassador killed since 1979 during the Carter administration.
Bret Baier of Fox News aired a special this past weekend to highlight the release of a new book about Benghazi called ’13 Hours’. However, the real draw of this special were three survivors of those 13 hours of hell who bravely left the CIA Annex to rescue Americans trapped at our consulate in Benghazi as it was being attacked. Three former CIA Security Contractors,Mark “Oz” Geist (Marines), Kris “Tanto” Paronto (Army), and John “Tig” Tiegen (Marines) are reported to have been told a total of three times to ‘stand down’ and not go assist at the consulate in Benghazi. According to these guys, allegedly a high-level CIA official named ‘Bob’ gave the stand down order. One of those contractors, John Tiegen, was the first to discover the bodies of Ty Woods and Glen Doherty. I could just tell you what happened but I suggest you watch him tell the heartbreaking story.
I am just an ordinary American citizen. And I am much more inclined to believe those brave ‘boots on the ground’ CIA contractors who defied orders to save those Americans in the US Consulate, than government mouthpieces more interested in saving their political and military careers. The likes of Mark Geist, Kris Paranto and John Tiegen were concerned with saving American lives when this government turned its back on our fellow Americans in Benghazi. I, along with many other Americans, are very grateful these men defied that stand down order. They epitomized what most Americans believe—that we do not leave our own behind.
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