Benghazi security personnel say they were told to “stand down”

Tonight at 10:00 Eastern Time, Fox News will present a program, hosted by Bret Baier, called “13 hours in Benghazi.” Baier’s report will be based on a book by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team that will be released next week. The book is 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi.

Fox News has presented a preview of the program. Three security team members who were on the ground in Benghazi say that shortly after the attack began they were ready to enter the fray, but the top CIA officer in Benghazi told them to stand down and wait.

Eventually, they engaged anyway, but half an hour was lost. The three express their belief that had they been permitted to start fighting right away, they could have saved Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith.

This claim is speculation. But the allegation of a “stand down” order raises a pure question of fact.

Today, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf denied that the security team was told to stand down, but acknowledged that they were told not to enter the battle yet because they were under-equipped. I don’t see a big difference between these two accounts. In any event, the security team thought it had what it needed to make a difference in the fight without waiting.

I look forward to watching “13 hours in Benghazi.”

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