A lot went right in Benghazi, Libya on September 11th, 2012. The majority of Americans whose lives were at great risk during and after the attack on the State Department compound were safely evacuated on the 12th. The rescue was pulled off with little military support, save for one unarmed Predator drone overhead, which offered additional situational awareness to those on the ground, and two Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) operators who took the initiative to get into the fight.
Sadly, the ultimate success of this evacuation isn’t owed to good leadership from the top down. It was good leadership from the bottom up. A few good men, former and active Special Operations soldiers, took the initiative to push back and take charge. At the CIA Annex, GRS agents ran up against a risk-adverse CIA chief of base (COB) more concerned with careerism than helping his fellow Americans under duress. He held the agents back, which may have contributed to the death of a U.S. ambassador. A new book, 13 Hours: The inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi, provides more detail surrounding the COB’s stand-down order than SOFREP originally reported in Benghazi: The Definitive Report back in early 2013.
“I strongly believe if we’d left immediately, they’d still be alive today”. -Excerpt from 13 Hours
Ironically, the chief of base would later receive an award for his actions, according to one of SOFREP’s CIA sources.