Pinned down by snipers in Benghazi

20May13

“I was pinned down by sniper fire.”

No, I’m not quoting a Soldier or Marine who served in Iraq. I’m not talking about the incident I personally experienced in Afghanistan, where a sniper barely missed me. These aren’t the words of a Vietnam veteran describing one of the most terrifying incidents of his life.

So who spoke these words? It was actually someone who has never encountered the dangers faced by our troops. It was spoken in a joking, dismissive manner, on a television show. The person who uttered this phrase was our esteemed former First Lady and Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton.

Clinton to Jay Leno: “It’s so great to be here, I was worried I wasn’t going to make it. I was pinned down by sniper fire.” Har har, yuk yuk.

Mrs. Clinton spoke these words as a humorous way to address an absolutely unforgivable, blatant lie she told earlier. In a transparent attempt to convince voters concerned with national defense that she somehow understood what it was like to be a soldier at war, Mrs. Clinton claimed that she had been under threat of sniper fire in Bosnia.

“I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

She made this claim more than once, and stuck to it when challenged. The comedian Sinbad had been with her on the Bosnia trip and firmly refuted her story. But she still held on, until video surfaced. Only then did she laughingly back down from the claim.

Mrs. Clinton showed, with her stupid, pathetic lie about snipers in Bosnia, that military issues mean little more than political points to her. Her claim had nothing, nothing, to do with the brutal reality of bullets being aimed by an enemy who has chosen you personally as his target. I’ve been under sniper fire. It’s not something you forget or “misremember”.

Afterward, she gave these explanations: “I say a lot of things — millions of words a day — so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement.” “I have been in the public eye for many, many years, and this is something that I think happens to anybody.”

Well, that’s good to know. I guess that time I claimed to be a Special Forces Recon Ranger Delta SEAL who was awarded my 12th Medal of Honor for heroism at the Battle of Fallujah in Afghanistan during the Vietnam War, I simply misspoke. It was just a misstatement. That sort of thing can happen to anybody.

I like to think I’ve made an honest effort to be moderate. I refuse to join either party, although I lean right. I have no problem calling out a republican for being a moron or defending a democrat who is being unfairly targeted (for example, I thought the Monica Lewinski thing was ridiculous; the only reason that became a national issue rather than a private problem is that republicans made it one). As I’ve said before, I’ve known way too many good republicans and democrats to classify either party as all idiots, all cowards, all liars, whatever. I have plenty of liberal and conservative friends. I take them as the individuals they are.

But sometimes, like this past month, it’s hard to maintain that moderate stance. What’s making it extremely difficult now is the left’s steadfast defense of Mrs. Clinton’s actions, or rather failure to act, during the Benghazi attack. Liberal commenters on the Huffington Post, which is NOT a far-left, fringe publication, are in a wagon-circling frenzy. As far as they’re concerned Benghazi is a non-event, notable only as more proof that republicans are vicious liars out to get Hillary Clinton at all costs.

HP published “Campaign 2016 begins in Benghazi” on May 8th. This article exposes the “real” reason for the Benghazi furor: republican terror at the thought of “President Hillary Clinton”. It absolutely could not be righteous anger over the needless deaths of two brave men, who called repeatedly for help that nobody bothered to send, over six hours after the first shots were fired.

“13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush’s Watch Without a Peep from Fox News” appeared on HP May 9th. This article lists thirteen attacks on diplomatic facilities that occurred during George W. Bush’s presidency. Author Bob Cesca briefly describes these attacks, notes the lack of Benghazi-like anger in response, and concludes the only possible reason anyone would make a big deal now is to unfairly target the democratic party. Mr. Cesca doesn’t get a basic truth: many of us aren’t angry that an attack occurred. We’re angry at the pathetic way it was handled.

As a soldier, I made a conscious decision to risk and if necessary lose my life rushing to the aid of other soldiers who needed help. So have hundreds of thousands of other troops. In my twenty-plus year career, I had to back that decision with action one time. Others have done it many times. We expect that level of dedication from each other, military leaders and elected leaders.

“I would rather die trying to save my fellow soldiers than live knowing I abandoned them.”

I understand Ambassador Chris Stevens willingly took a dangerous job in a dangerous place. I understand measured risks, and have taken many myself. I know our diplomatic personnel can’t wrap themselves in body armor and barbed wire if they expect to gain the people’s trust. I know attacks will occur in some countries no matter what we do. I understand that the situation was confusing. I understand mistakes being made. I don’t expect perfection from anyone making life and death decisions; I just expect them to make the best decisions they can, based on what they know at the time.

I’m not angry the Benghazi attack happened. I’m angry the State Department utterly failed to respond to it.

And the depressing thing about this whole disgusting affair is that I shouldn’t be surprised. Why would I expect Mrs. Clinton, who shows no understanding of warrior mentality, to make a warrior’s decision? And on an even more depressing note, why would I expect liberals in general to care that she left two of our best troops without help, for hours?

“But airplanes couldn’t have gotten there in time.” Oh yeah? Did we have a schedule telling us “this attack will end at exactly this time”? Did we have any way of knowing how long “in time” was? Did we ask any of our NATO allies to send planes from closer airbases? Did we ask the Libyans if they had aircraft that could fly over Benghazi? Did we make any attempt at all to save those men’s lives?

And if any of you liberal military geniuses who never served a day in uniform scream, “But airplanes couldn’t have dropped bombs anyway because of collateral damage”, please swim back to the shallow end of the pool. Airplanes making low-level passes and dropping flares are a deterrent. It’s called a show of force. Our planes do it all the time in Afghanistan, because it works. America is the most airstrike-happy country in the world. Muslim insurgents know this. They’re probably not going to fire a mortar in the dark and risk getting a daisy-cutter down their throats.

This tears me up. Mrs. Clinton lied about being under sniper fire and kept lying until she was trapped by video. No worries, the left tried to make her President and did make her Secretary of State. And the left still supports her now, after she utterly failed to handle the “2 a.m phone call” and told transparently stupid lies about a video causing a protest that somehow turned into an assault with machine guns, RPGs and mortars.

This is a pattern. Representative Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut tried like hell to stay out of the Vietnam War by getting five draft deferments, then managed to join the Marine Reserve. Like almost all reservists at the time, he never deployed to Vietnam. Then he made numerous speeches where he said “when we came home from Vietnam”, “when I was in Vietnam”, “we Vietnam veterans”, etc. He got caught in his lies while he was serving as a senator. So what did the left do? They reelected him.

Last year a former Soldier named Ken Aden ran for office as a democrat in Arkansas. He falsely claimed for years to have been a Green Beret. After being hounded by real Green Berets who tracked down that documents proved he was lying, he finally admitted it and backed out of the race.

One democrat’s response? “It is better to vote for the worst Democrat than the best Republican,” [Pope County Justice of the Peace Gordon Thornsberry] said. “America will be ahead. I’m giving people permission to vote for ’ol Aden.”

Well, damn. The left keeps insisting they’re serious about defense. They cherish the military. They play videos about their love for the military at national conventions. They claim to have the utmost respect for our troops. And then they blindly defend lying losers like Hillary Clinton, Richard Blumenthal and Ken Aden. They don’t call out those who make up pathetic falsehoods about military service for political gain. They give people who pretend they’d never leave a man behind a pass for abandoning warriors in battle.

When I say I’m trying to stay moderate, I mean it. Many of my relatives are democrats. Some of them served in WW2. I served with democrats in Iraq and Afghanistan. They can’t all think what happened in Benghazi doesn’t matter.

I refuse to join either party because die-hard democrats and republicans are like warring ethnic groups in the Balkans. Their party is totally innocent and always has been. The other side is pure evil and always wrong. I can’t deal with people who refuse to acknowledge what’s wrong on their side and right on the other. So, all you minions who are blindly standing behind Clinton just because she’s a democrat, get this: I don’t hate her guts because I’m republican. I’m not republican. I don’t hate her guts because she’s a democrat. There are good democrats.

I hate her guts because I’m a soldier who pledged my life to defend my country and my people. I knew I might die carrying out that pledge. But I also knew that no matter what happened, no matter where in the world I was, my country would move heaven and earth to save me. I knew that brave men and women would accept the risk, gear up and march toward the sound of my guns.

When men who were hit, bleeding and scared called on me to come to their aid, I did it. If I was hit, bleeding and scared and screaming for help, I knew someone else would be there. That’s not bravery or heroism, and it damn sure isn’t politics. It’s a promise.

On the morning of September 12th, 2012, two very brave former SEALs called in that promise. They had more than lived up to their end of it. They had every reason to believe their call would be answered.

What arrived in Benghazi? Nothing. No teams of Special Forces. No low-flying fighters. No helicopters. Nothing but mortar rounds, fired by insurgents who were absolutely unchallenged.

When I imagine Hillary Clinton with the phone in her hand listening to reports about the Benghazi attack, I can see the “This is going to make us look bad before the election” thought bubble. I don’t see her saying, “Do whatever you have to in order to keep our people safe.”

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe Mrs. Clinton is still so traumatized by sniper fire that she froze when she heard about the Benghazi attack. Maybe she actually had a crystal ball or Gypsy fortune teller on her staff who looked into the future and told her, “The attack will end in exactly seven and a half hours. Don’t bother sending help.” Maybe the talking points were translated by an Eritrean Foreign Exchange intern who inadvertently removed all references to terrorism. Maybe Susan Rice just decided on her own to appear on five talk shows and say, “All this crap was caused by a video.” Maybe.

But there’s also this possibility: Hillary Clinton is a lying party hack who cared more about democrat reelection chances than the lives of former SEALs Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Whether you’re democrat, republican, independent, libertarian or whatever, that should bother you as much as it does me.

Available in print and as an ebook from Amazon.com and Tactical16.com. Available electronically from iTunes/iBooks and Barnesandnoble.com.

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31 Responses to “Pinned down by snipers in Benghazi”

  1. Well said sir! As an independently-thinking voter, i agree with everything said in this article. Way to say it like it is.

  2. 3 kevin

    So a 50+ year old President of the United States getting a BJ from a nineteen year old intern in the White House wasn’t a problem for you? It was our fault it became an issue at all?
    It appears our values are vastly different.
    Even so, as my elected representative, I had/have the right to vehemently and publicly disagree with those acts. Even if you don’t care about what he did, you can’t blame me and mine for the ensuing storm. Our opinions are as valid as any other citizens’.
    Any act by a public office holder, including sitting still and doing nothing, will be controversial and raise tempers and debate. That’s how it should be.
    Heh. Send you daughter or neice to his office to apply for a job. Then we’ll know if you’re serious or not.

    • We didn’t elect a pope. We elected a president. Should he conduct himself better than that? Yes, he absolutely should. Does that mean I’m going to get into a moralistic rage over his personal conduct? Nope. All I care about is that he handles those 2 am phone calls the right way. Who he wakes up next to when the phone rings isn’t my business or concern.

      You get as mad as you want about it. Make it an issue if you like. I don’t care. All I want a president to do is be a good leader. I didn’t marry the guy.

      Oh, and there are plenty of people I wouldn’t want my daughter working for. That has no bearing on whether those people would be good presidents. Nice attempt to make this a personal argument though.

      But seriously, thanks for commenting. Not everyone has to agree with me. I appreciate your opinion.

      • 5 Cory

        I loved your post, and agree wholeheartedly, except for this reply.

        While there is a lot of outrage over Clinton’s cheating with his underlings over the years, I think it’s misdirected- the real scandal, and impeachment itself, was over perjury. Lying under oath an independent prosecutor is unforgivable for anyone holding a public office. The extra charges of obstruction of justice and witness tampering were also made- mirroring the same charges that caused Bill to lose his license to practice law while he was governor.

        While I don’t agree with the premise that Clinton’s sexual affairs should be made public for the sake of scoring political points, the special prosecutor was originally brought in to investigate other more serious scandals, including Whitewater and misusing FBI files for political purposes. Starr happened to catch Clinton committing perjury during the course of this investigation, even on an unrelated question pertaining to his relationship with Monica Lewinksy. Since it was the only truly provable thing to pursue a perjury charge, the republicans took off with it since it was the only thing they had concrete evidence (semen stain).

        Granted, there were far worse things that had the potential to send the first couple to jail- the lying about “sexual relations” was just a mere distraction.

        I’m disappointed that people have a very short memory, especially when it comes to the Clintons. Sadly, Benghazi will be a distant memory by the time 2016 rolls around, and I’m afraid there’s a significant possibility that the woman you believe lacks a warrior’s mentality will be elected commander in chief.

        Keep up the writing, and I’m looking forward to your new book.

      • 6 Douglas

        We didn’t elect a pope, but we did elect a president who took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. The issue over Monica Lewisnky is not that it was a clear cut incident of sexual harassment; rather that he lied under oath about it. Bill Clinton committed perjury while in office. That is why he was impeached; not the sexual harassment. The news media did their damnedest to ignore the criminal behavior and try to make everybody think it was just about sex. I hate to nitpick, but that is a fairly substantive point.

        I will be sharing this article with my friends. It is important to understand the fundamental issues involved in the administration’s response to the Benghazi attack. They abandoned Americans in peril because of the potential political repercussions. Actions like this and numerous others taken by the administration can have a very negative effect on our own military and our allies. This administration has repeatedly shown that it will not back up its own statements and policies and that it will not stand with our allies. I am greatly worried about those serving in the military now. They are expected to go out and do their duty even though they understand that, if justified by political expediency, their commander in chief might just leave them to their fate. And what of our allies? Can any of them feel comfortable with the Obama administration? They have seen what we have done to our allies like Israel and the UK. They have seen Obama promise swift response to provocations only to backpedal after the ‘red line’ has been crossed. We are getting to the point where the government of the United States cannot be trusted. This will only embolden our adversaries at a time when we are weakening our military.

      • 7 leclercq2013

        “I didn’t marry the guy”…giggle…

        BTW, whenever I went to the US consulate in Frankfurt/Germany, it was protected like a fortress – even long before 9/11. Last time I was there in 2003, you couldn’t bring a cell phone, and an intimidating Marine guard in the entrance hall was watching your every move (at least it seemed that way to me). From what I’ve read so far, the Benghazi consulate had no Marine guards. I’d like to know who in the State Department takes the decisions regarding the protection of consulates and embassies in general. You can’t clean up this mess if you don’t find out who takes the decisions and why. Even if it doesn’t make the four victims come back to life, it would be crucial to defend these institutions against all future attacks.

        • Some reporting I’ve heard said that only Hillary could have authorized the ambassador to be at an embassy or consulate that lacked a certain level of protection. The democrats are correct when they say we need to improve security to prevent future tragedies; however, that doesn’t mean we should ignore all the failures that led to this attack.

          The line that keeps being offered, “We need to focus on the future, not worry about the past” is like Bill Clinton saying to Hillary, “Let’s not worry about what I did with Monica, let’s focus on making sure it doesn’t happen again.”

  3. Hi Chris, I share your disgust and outrage over the unspeakable lying and abandonment of American citizens in their hour of need. Today, listening to all the “scandalous” news coming out, I feel sad and weary down to the bones.

    These scandals, as a result of both national parties is why the private lives and conduct of those elected to office matters. It is not to make moralistic “holier than thou” judgments”. Rather it is a means to measure the integrity of an individual by observable conduct, rather than relying on “I’m wonderful, just ask me” political campaigns.

    While remaining faithful to one’s wife is no guarantee of integrity in office, private conduct, especially when no media is present, brings indicators of how a person views others. The first people I would want to talk to in considering a person’s integrity are the “unseen” people, housekeepers, former classmates, mechanics, etc. How future representatives treat the “little people” who have no pull is an excellent indicator of character.
    In both military and law enforcement, we have directly observed those who ambitiously run others over, stab backs and more to achieve power.

    I have had both the fortune and misfortune to have had both poor leaders of voracious ambition as well as highly honorable leaders with impeccable integrity. In both cases, private conduct reflected the public leadership.

    Currently, I would estimate that very few of our elected representatives could pass a background check for a security clearance, yet they are the ones making decisions with their finger on that nuclear button and responsible for the lives of every American.

    There just seems to be something wrong with that. It also gives food for thought as to the choices voters are making with those who represent the American people and the nation. There are quite a few out there that complain about affirmative action and the lowering of standards to achieve the goals of affirmative action. Seems like that is just what is happening with our representatives. Instead of being the best and brightest among us in all categories, it has come down to who can lie the best.

    • Juli, Douglas and Cory,

      You all make excellent points. I didn’t go way into it in my post because it wouldn’t have been directly relevant to the point I was trying to make, but I also have a serious problem with President Clinton’s perjury. Specifically, I have a problem with the fact that he talked to the entire nation as if he were a lawyer trying to trick a jury. “Oral sex isn’t sex. Why would anyone think it is? I mean, what is ‘is’?”

      The original issue though, shouldn’t have become what it eventually became. When Bill Clinton was asked about it, he should have just answered, “It’s none of your damn business.”

      Some great leaders and personalities in history have had significant personal failings. Not many of us regular Joes can claim sainthood either. I fear that our Puritan mentality can needlessly force good leaders from important positions (think Petraeus) and replace them with morally pure but inept and incompetent fools (think Hillary Clinton).

      My stance can be explained this way: if my family calls the police because someone is breaking into our home while I’m away, I want the cop who responds to be smart, brave, dedicated to protecting the innocent, well-trained and tactically proficient. Period. I don’t care if he/she is a good spouse, gay or straight, liberal or conservative, etc. What they do in their personal lives isn’t my concern; what they do as a cop is.

      Again, thank you for your comments, and I definitely see your points even if I don’t fully agree.

  4. 🙂 Chris, bless your heart, Hillary Clinton is as far from morally pure as night is from day! In fact, in my opinion, she is even worse than ole Bill is! That she could stand in the presence of the families of those killed in Benghazi and lie with such impunity, as well as influence the incarceration of the sap that did “the video” demonstrates an almost sociopathic sense of “morals”.

    Based upon what I’ve seen so far, she has absolutely no sense of shame or empathy with those who’ve lost their loved ones. I see a person that views “little people”, meaning those who aren’t politically important to her, as cannon fodder and that, more than marital fidelity, is what I’m referring to in a moral sense.

    • Aha, good point. I should have said “morally pure about sex”. And I’ll bet she’s so good at lying, she actually convinces herself it’s true. So she still feels morally pure about the lies she’s told.

      • Yep, much like the sociopaths wreaking havoc on those around them doing financial cons and other forms of predation believing that the inhabitants of the world are there for the pickings to serve them as they deserve, being the center of the universe and all. 🙂

  5. Just thought of this, I wonder if Petraeus would have handled his initial comments on Benghazi differently if he hadn’t had the sword of Damocles over his head on his own affair. Makes me wonder how many in various government capacities have been bribed or influenced because of their private conduct.

    • I think you might be on to something. . .

      I’m pretty sure Petraeus knew he better stay invisible and silent if he didn’t want to get smashed about Broadwell. Unfortunately, he got smashed anyway.

      Just a gut feeling, I have no way to prove it.

  6. 16 Aesop

    Sinbad kept faith with those he used to serve alongside as an airman in the USAF.

    Just as Shrillary keeps faith with the Bill Ayerses and Jane Fondas in the antiwar(rior) movement that she serves beside, then and now.

    • Sinbad was an Obama supporter during the 08 election. He had some pretty cutting comments for Hillary when she tried to run with the sniper story.

  7. Chris, you lay all this on Hillary but there were others involved in this mess. Who ordered the commander of NATO forces to stand down? Who ordered Sec of Defense Pannela to stand down? Some how the buck always stops somewhere else than where is should AT THE TOP. From what I have heard and read all those things happened, It had to have come from the top.

  8. 19 prospector0980

    Chris, why are we just talking about Hillary? There were others involved in this mess and the cover up that has followed. Who told the commander of the armed forces in the region to stand down? Who told the sec of defense to stand down? There were many forces available to help these men and yet none were deployed. Hillary didn’t do anything she was told not to do, she was just following orders. I believe that our President Obama had a real time direct feed on that compound. He could see what was happening and let it happen. He hoped that this attack could be covered up until after the election and with the help of the press it was. Liars and cheats, no HONOR among any of them.

    • Prospector,

      I hear you. There are two reasons I focus on Hillary:

      1) She was the primary point of responsibility. She received the call about the attack and had authority to send additional resources; and

      2) I’m still in active duty in the military and have limits on what I can say.

      I have my suspicions about who is ultimately at fault. But no matter how high responsibility goes, Hillary took the call, knew what was happening, didn’t send needed help, and lied about it.

      I absolutely agree, among those who chose to leave those men to die there is no honor.

    • 21 RandyGC

      Hillary didn’t do anything she was told not to do, she was just following orders.”

      Sorry, that excuse became permanently invalid at Nuremberg. But just because it doesn’t absolve her, is no reason to not hold the person giving those orders accountable as well.

      Unfortunately, the fact that any one of those men in Libya was worth more, and had done more for this country than the entire congress, pres, VP, SecDef and SecState put together, is not as important to the American public as which of the dancing idols is going to be voted off the island this week. So the odds of proper accountability are probably zilch.

      Chris, thanks for laying it out. You’re one the folks that often says pretty much what I’m thinking, but in a much more concise and intelligible manner.

      • Randy,

        You made some concise and intelligible points with the comment you just wrote. Keep them coming.

        You reminded me of something a good friend wrote several years ago, after a terrorist attack overseas: “Someday these terrorists will hit a really important target like an iPod factory. Then the public will really get pissed.”

  9. 23 Dave L.

    Don’t forget that the “We love the military” video they featured at the Democrat convention in 2012 showed Russian ships.

  10. 25 joe bailey

    I am getting so sick and tired of all the B S coming out of this admin. It all points back to Obama

  11. 27 M. A. Baxley, Jr.

    I put forward this: Some Democrats are not Democrats… but Democratic Socialists! I agree with you, Chris, some Democrats are good, and some Democrats are, well… Just as some Republicans are good and some bad. I will stick to the party that will NOT muck with the U. S. Constitution. How each party deals with my individual liberties determines how I deal with them.

  12. 29 Angela

    Great article Chris. Yet, you failed to mention Hillary’s “what difference does it make” comment when being questioned. Another example of her lack of remorse or personal decency regarding the slaughter of fellow Americans. I’m not understanding why there is not more outrage over this incident. Whether one is a Democrat or Republican should not even been considered. Facts are facts. Wrong is wrong.

    • Hillary’s stupid comment during that hearing was her attempt to deflect the nation away from investigating the failures that led to the Benghazi tragedy. Her response was something Bill, after being caught with Monica, asking, “What difference does it make why I did it? All we need to talk about is how to avoid this kind of thing in the future!”

      I don’t think Hillary meant to imply the deaths didn’t matter. She did mean to imply the reason didn’t matter. Either way, she’s worthless as a leader and the entire nation should be disgusted with her.

  13. 31 MJ

    Point 1: A platoon on the ground +/-2 hours. If they wanted troops to respond ask soon as possible. That is what QRF is there for.
    Point 2: Military/former military are upset because if you are in charge, you are responsible for all that happens or fails to happen.
    Of late our political leadership believes only in how important they are, and the three year old mentality of not taking responsibility for their actions/ or lack of.


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