It takes a lot of nerve to say to somebody in the special forces, “You’re a liar.” Especially when you’re a Democrat politician and your allegiance is not to the truth so much as it is to seeing Hillary Clinton being elected President.
But that is basically what Democrats are saying about Kris Paronto, John Tiegen and others who were on the ground in Libya on September 11, 2012. The movie, ’13 Hours’ premiers this week and according to the men on the ground, a “stand down” order was given.
Paronto says he heard the exact words, “Stand down” when he and Tiegen were urging the base chief there to let them go and help the diplomats who were under attack.
Democrats insist however, it’s a lie:
“If the film portrays them as having ordered a stand-down, it’s clearly at odds with the facts,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), whose district includes Hollywood and who sits on the committee. “If the film portrays those who went to rescue people at the diplomatic facility as doing so in disregard of orders, that’s also plainly at odds with the facts. … It may make for good entertainment; it doesn’t make for a well-informed public.”
“I think all the evidence has been overwhelming that there was no stand-down order — everybody says that,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who serves as ranking member on the Benghazi committee and has read the book “13 hours” but doesn’t subscribe to the stand-down account. “[I]f they tried to allege that, it’s inconsistent with the evidence that’s shown, and people will view that as, perhaps … some exaggeration of certain points to make this [movie] more interesting.”
Paronto however, says despite all of the committee hearings, the findings are not valid because the guys on the ground were not interviewed:
“There are seven reports based off of what happened in Benghazi; I’ve been interviewed for one,” he said. “What kind of credibility is that? How can you get the information without interviewing the guys on the ground?”
That “one” was former House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers’ probe. But even his final report on the matter specifically said there was no stand-down order given. That report divided the GOP. And most of Rogers’ GOP panel members — including Benghazi panel member Pompeo — refused to sign the final document because they felt it did not tell the full story.
Now before anybody gets into thinking there was some diabolical plot with Hillary Clinton at the center of all of, don’t go there:
Paronto said he doesn’t necessarily believe the “stand down” he heard was nefarious or a command from on high from CIA leaders at headquarters. Rather, he said, the CIA supervisor or base chief was “very risk adverse” and probably did not know what to do.
The base chief, according to GOP sources, has consistently refuted this account, creating a he-said-she-said predicament that pits the lower-level contractors — all ex-SEALs, rangers or military officers — against people at the top.
The “people at the top” however, are all politicians. They’re the ones with the incentive to cover their asses and lie.
Not the ex-SEALs, Rangers or military officers.