Benghazi survivor speaks in Pampa

John “Tig” Tiegen, a survivor of the attack on Benghazi, Libya, spoke to a crowded room at the MK Brown Memorial auditorium Thursday, June 16.
With a dry sense of humor, Tiegen took about 45 minutes recounting his experience during the attack.
“We treated every day the same, with a high threat. Sadly, we were never sent to Sweden,” he told the crowd with a shrug of his shoulders.
While Tiegen told his experience, he did inform those gathered that “what you saw in the movie is what happened. I would say it was about 80 percent correct. Some of it was Hollywood, but that's what happened.”
On the night of the attack, Tiegen said he was told to “stand down, wait” by the Chief of Base, whom Tiegen only referred to as “Bob.” Tiegen recounted how, more than once, a call was given for lockdown and there was no response.
“At about 3:30 a.m., we received confirmation that the ambassador was dead. So six hours into this conflict and there was no U.S. presence, except us. That will get you to a low point,” Tiegen said.
Several times during the evening, the crowd responded to Tiegen by giving him a stand ovation.
The largest response from the audience came during the question and answer portion of the evening.
Pampa's Mayor, Brad Pingel read the question “how did it feel being betrayed by your county?”
“I didn't feel betrayed by my country. I was betrayed by administration,” he responded. The crowd cheered, leapt to their feet, and clapped for several moments. Some could be seen wiping away tears.
Another question posed by audience member was “how different was the movie from what actual took place?”
Tiegen responded with “The fire fight across the ground was exaggerated. Obviously, we were attacked and counter assaulted. Some of what happened was switched around to make it flow a little more. You heard me talk just now, there was a lot of back and forth, so much stuff going on at the same time. I didn't get shot directly in the chest, it was more of a ricochet to the side. It showed the linguist being left behind. He went home with us.” Later in the question answer time, Tiegen added that rumors of what was done to the ambassador were not true.
“All this stuff they said was done, he was tortured, stuff like that. I saw him, we wanted to make sure it was him. So I looked when they brought him back. He was wearing the very same clothes I saw him in that morning. Those things just didn't happen.”
The question was asked “what roll did Hillary Clinton play and who directed the stand down order?”
Tiegen cleared his throat before answering.
“I think Bob, for us on the ground at the CIA compound, gave that, it was just Bob. I just don't think the government can think that fast, move that fast, followup that fast. As for Hillary, you know she's a puppet... she's just for show. The compound had been attacked twice prior to that. They had been requesting more security since 2011. This was my third trip. If she didn't know what was going on by then, it's just incompetence, really pathetic leadership.”
Tiegen followed up these statements with “I think the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and Shawn Smith are on Lamb and Kennedy,” referring to Charlene Lamb and Patrick Kennedy.
“They were the ones all in charge to make sure the compound was secure. [Lamb] says she lost the paperwork in a shuffle or something. To me, well, if you want to fix something, then both of them should go to prison. That's what I think.”
When asked if he was aware of the request for additional security and if he could speak as to why the additional security was denied, Tiegen said “Before Stevens was even the ambassador, the Benghazi guys had been requesting security. It's hard to say. Maybe they needed more tvs at the other embassies. That's what they keep saying it comes down to. If you that damn stupid, you shouldn't have the job.” The crowd responded with another applause.
Tiegen made it clear that ammunition was not a concern during the attack.
“Hell, we could have been there months and still had ammo left. We had just got a food shipment in. The biggest thing that really got us is, we just got a brand new espresso machine and never got to use it.”
He also addressed if the survivors had been placed under a gag order.
“For who we worked with, for us, that was normal. They didn't want us talking to the media. If they did, we would lose our job. We were told we could talk to Congress, just like we were told we could talk to the FBI. We didn't really care to talk to them. They never talked to us... so that's not really an investigation. It was our choice. We didn't really get gagged.”
The next question was if any of the survivors speaking out have ever been pressured to censor what they say.
“They don't have the [guts] to censor us. It's just the three of us. The rest of the guys, they still do it.”
After speaking, Tiegen shook hands and signed books with several police officers nearby. Audience members stood in line to meet Tiegen get his autograph. Tshirts and books were for sale.
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