John (‘Tig’) Tiegen spoke at a military appreciation luncheon in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 25. Tiegen survived assaults on US properties in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. Attendees listened as Tiegen shared his experiences as part of a six-man team defending the US State Department compound and the CIA annex, and by the end, many of us were weeping.
Tiegen shared information most corporate media have buried since 2012 when the country was approaching a presidential election. Before he finished, he dropped a bombshell.
Even if you followed hours of congressional testimony and read articles in media about the attacks that day, you would still learn new information from Tiegen’s presentation and from his answers to questions at the end.
As indicated in the film, Tiegen said the chief of base gave what amounted to a ‘stand down’ order by ordering Tiegen and others to wait to attempt to rescue staff at the State Dept. compound once the attacks began. The base chief has denied this account. However, considering all the spin fabricated by the Obama administration and then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Tiegen comes off as far more authentic than bureaucrats and appointees.
As the series of attacks progressed that night, there was “more coordination,” said Tiegen—“quite a bit larger force.” One attack would be countered, and another would arise. It was like “whack a mole.”
In the end, help came from a remarkable source. “The same people we overthrew came and saved our asses,” said Tiegen. Gaddafi loyalists actually retrieved US Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ body.
According to Tiegen, Stevens’ body was not mutilated or tortured, upending claims by some media on both left and right. And those at the compound and annex knew it was “a terrorist attack.”
Once the attacks were over, Tiegen and the others were held in Germany. They were not able to attend the memorial service for their fallen comrades. Part of the service is shown on a video Tiegen includes in his presentation. It is at that point, with coffins emerging from the plane and a military band playing the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’, that it is almost impossible to not weep.
Why did the US government fail to act sooner as the attacks began? Tiegen said Mrs. Clinton went to bed, and so did the president. The joint chiefs of staff went to a party. The attacks continued until the wee hours of the morning.
Afterwards, as Tiegen heard media report on the attacks, he said, “It started at 9:30 at night. Who protests at 9:30 at night?”
From the beginning, he knew the attackers were terrorists.
Why wasn’t help sent? Therein lies a bombshell most of us never thought of.
“I don’t think they wanted us to live,” Tiegen said.
A collective shudder went through the room when he said that. The implication of course is that dead men tell no tales.
According to Tiegen, the film 13 Hours based on the book by the same name is mostly accurate. The book was written by Michael Zuckoff, “with the Annex security team.” Tiegen said some of the explosions in the film were actually louder than they were in the attacks.
Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) hosted the luncheon to honor those who serve or have served in the military. When he introduced Tiegen, Yoho cited US problems with the “entanglement of foreign policies that have run askew.”
Tiegen said he speaks out about what happened because official accounts were “dishonoring the deaths of the ambassador and four Americans.” He also emphasized Ambassador Stevens didn’t get his post because of a large donation to a political party—Stevens dedicated his life to civil service.
After Tiegen finished his presentation, the entire audience rose to their feet, clapping for a very long time.
US properties have been attacked under a number of presidential administrations. With Benghazi, for many Americans, the fabrications by Mrs. Clinton and her staff are a reminder that some in government will not hesitate to lie and when they do, it is a disservice to those who place their lives on the line and to the American people as well.
Mike Morell, acting director of the CIA when the Benghazi scandal broke, admitted to Congress he changed talking points that would be distributed to the public. Morell has since declared, “I will do everything I can to ensure” Mrs. Clinton wins the White House.
One of Morell’s colleagues at the CIA is running as an independent in the 2016 election, serving as a spoiler on behalf of Mrs. Clinton.
To date, Americans have been given no valid reason for our country’s engagement in helping to oust Gadaffi in Libya. The country remains a quagmire of unrest.
Learn more about Tiegen at his website.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Oct. 26, 2016)
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