Former U.S. Army Ranger Kris Paronto, who was at the U.S. consulate on the night of the 2012 Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, contested Hillary Clinton‘s version of events from the grave of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Paronto claims he and other security personnel were ordered not to intervene–a story that runs counters to House Intelligence Committee findings.
“It’s always humbling, it’s powerful and it’s also sad for me because we couldn’t get to him,” Paronto reportedly said of the attack that took the life of U.S. Ambassador Stevens. Foreign service officer Sean Smith and two CIA security contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were also killed.
According to the local ABC News affiliate in Sacramento, ABC10, Paronto made his comments prior to a speaking engagement in Grass Valley about his book, 13 Hours, which provides an insider’s account of what happened during the Benghazi attack
Paronto paid a special visit Ambassador Stevens’ gravesite in Grass Valley, where he answered questions about who was to blame for the deaths. “I’ve been asked whose fault do I think it is that he died…and I always say it’s our fault.”
According to ABC10, he said he said a base chief gave his team “stand down” orders and forced his team to wait.
Conversely, the House Intelligence Committee found that there was no “stand down” order or intelligence failure leading up to the attack, as some there have claimed, and that no security officer was stopped or delayed in the rescue efforts. It also found that no further military resources were available to provide the embassy with protection.
Paronto reportedly said that while he did not want to get politics involved in the situation, he also did not want to remain mum on the incident and be labeled as liar, which is why he and other officers involved spoke out in the book. A movie based on 13 Hours is slated to hit theaters in January.
He added: “…I just wanted to say I’m sorry.”