“I strongly believe if we’d left immediately, they’d still be alive today.” With those chilling words, one of the survivors of the deadly attack on the American compound in Benghazi once again raises the ugly specter of a “stand down” order having been given that fateful night two years ago. Multiple officials of the Obama administration have insisted no such delay was ordered.
Fox News is reporting that three men who were in Benghazi as the assault took place — a security team at a secret CIA base near the compound under attack — were held back from immediately responding. Who gave the “stand down” order that delayed the effort to help the trapped Americans, including the four who would be killed? The three survivors — telling their story publicly for the first time — insist the order came from the top CIA officer in Benghazi.
Their account gives a dramatic new turn to what the Obama administration and its allies would like to dismiss as an “old story” – the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Speaking out publicly for the first time, the three were security operators at the secret CIA annex in Benghazi – in effect, the first-responders to any attack on the diplomatic compound. Their first-hand account will be told in a Fox News special, airing Friday night at 10 p.m. (EDT).
The information that’s the basis for the Fox News special is contained in a new book, “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.” It’s one of two Benghazi books hitting shelves this month; the other is entitled, “The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know.” Their release coincides with the start of fresh hearings by the House Select Committee chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
In the Fox News report, the three survivors provide their first-hand, eyewitness account of what transpired on September 11, 2012 — and advance word is that much of what they say presents a very different view of events in Benghazi than the narrative put forth by the White House and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
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.
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.”
After a delay of nearly 30 minutes, the security team headed to the besieged consulate without orders. They asked their CIA superiors to call for armed air support, which never came.
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