Three security operators who were at the CIA’s annex in Benghazi on the day of the terrorist attacks that killed four Americans told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Thursday’s “Special Report” that they were told to “stand down” and wait before going to the U.S. Consulate on September 11, 2012, and that this delay cost U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens his life.
One of the operators, Kris Paronto, reported that “Bob,” the CIA’s base chief in Benghazi told them “you guys need to wait,” and another, John Tiegen, said “Bob” told him “stand down, you need to wait.” When asked if they would have been able to save Ambassador Chris Stevens and Navy SEAL Sean Smith had they not been delayed in getting to the consulate, Paronto responded “yes, they would still be alive.”
Baier reported that a senior intelligence official told Fox News, “There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support,” which the three officers denied.
Baier added that “a senior intelligence official does allow that the security team was, in fact, delayed from responding while the CIA’s top officer in Benghazi tried to rally local support. The official points to the Senate Intelligence Committee report that stated the committee found, ‘no evidence of intentional delay or obstruction by the chief of base or any other party.’”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett