‘Be on guard’: Demand truth about Benghazi

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Are you tired of being lied to yet?

My guess is no... because Americans seem to have developed an infinite capacity for patience with a federal government that is increasingly mettlesome, mendacious and menacing. 

Don’t care about the IRS being used to target and silence people because of their political persuasion? Unconcerned about a president who chooses to ignore laws he doesn’t like and who illegally invents laws that are convenient to his agenda? Slept through the invasion of illegal aliens that was sponsored and funded by the Border Patrol and Justice Department? Can’t be bothered to ask why carriers of the dreadful Ebola virus are being transported from Africa to various hospitals across the United States?

You are not alone. Literally millions of American citizens just like you have decided that as long as they have the necessities of life — good football on Sunday afternoons, Facebook (or Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter) on their cellphones, and an Obamacare ID card in their pocketbooks — they don’t need to take an active interest in something as remote and monolithic as the federal bureaucracy. That’s someone else’s job, isn’t it?

Well, no. It’s not. It’s actually the duty of any citizen. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1800, “It behooves our citizens to be on their guard, to be firm in their principles, and full of confidence in themselves. We are able to preserve our self-government if we will but think so.”

And we will lose our self-government if we think someone else will do it for us — which is why, on this September morning, four days before the second anniversary of the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that occurred on Sept. 11, 2012, I am writing once again to encourage my fellow citizens “to be on their guard, to be firm in their principles” and to be “full of confidence in themselves” but not in their government.

This last Friday night, an interview was aired which should convince American citizens once and for all that their government is not telling the truth about what happened in Libya two years ago. That’s been obvious to many of us for months, but despite the naming of a select committee by the U.S. House of Representatives to investigate what could have happened, what should have happened, and what really did happen in Benghazi, we still know precious little.

But as of Friday, we know a little more — and it’s not good. Thanks to a special report on Fox News by Bret Baier, we now have the inside story of the security team based at the secret CIA annex in Benghazi, about a mile from the U.S. mission where Islamic terrorists attacked and killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and Foreign Service officer Sean Smith. It was on the roof of that annex where, in the early morning hours of Sept. 12, CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were later killed by mortar fire.

Now, three security officers stationed at that annex have come forward to tell their story. Not to a government panel. Not to the president. Not to Congress. But on their own, as the authors of a book and as guests on a television show.

Don’t you think we should have heard their story before? It is one of the most mystifying elements of the lethargy of the American people that they have not demanded with one loud voice to know why these and other survivors of the attack have not been publicly questioned. Because questions, despite the assurances of the White House and the State Department, have certainly remained unanswered. 

It doesn’t matter how many kangaroo courts of inquiry are convened, the elephant in the room is still the lack of response by the United States to a clear and present danger.

So now, at last, we get part of the answer from Kris Paronto, Mark Geist and John Tiegen, who were in the CIA annex on Sept. 11, 2012, and have collaborated with author Mitchell Zuckoff on a book entitled “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.”

The security officers confirm that they got word of the attack on the mission compound almost immediately when it began at 9:40 p.m. local time, but what has never been known before is that their response to the mission was intentionally delayed.

Paronto told Baier: “Five minutes, we’re ready. It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we’re ready to go.”

Only they were told not to go. The top CIA officer in Benghazi, whom the three security officers refer to as “Bob,” delayed the team’s response by nearly half an hour.

Tiegen continued the story: “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.’”

Paronto says they were getting calls from the State Department personnel at the mission, saying, “Hey, we’re taking fire, we need you guys here, we need help.”

The order from “Bob” to respond to the crisis never came, so Paronto, Tiegen and Geist headed to the mission on their own, without orders. They also asked their CIA bosses to request armed air support, but it never came.

The 25- to 30-minute delay in responding may have been the difference between life and death for Stevens and Smith, the contractors agreed.

“Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes,” Paronto said. And Tiegen added, “I strongly believe if we’d left immediately, they’d still be alive today.” 

There is also every reason to expect that an early response would have resulted in a far different outcome for Ty Woods and Glen Doherty as well. The CIA annex might well have been evacuated long before the assault began if the ambassador and his aides had been rescued from the mission compound at the start of the crisis.

Unfortunately, based on everything we know about the American public, there is also every reason to believe that this new information will fall on deaf ears. Demanding accountability seems to be less important than protecting the political flank, no matter how many lives have been lost.

Got lies? The American public is buying.

But if you are ready to look for the truth, if you are ready to do your duty as a citizen of the country that Thomas Jefferson co-founded, then “be on guard” and “be firm in your principles.” Just maybe, you can make a difference. 

The Fox News special featuring Paronto, Geist and Tiegen will air again today at 6 and 9 p.m. Mountain Time. Please watch it, and don’t look for excuses why it isn’t true; look for reasons why you had to wait so long to hear the truth.

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