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Benghazi team confirms getting stand-down orders

11 Sep

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Sep. 11, 2014 @ 06:51 AM

Two years ago today, on the evening of Sept. 11, 2012, Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Despite the obvious desires of the Obama administration and progressives for this tragic event to just “go away,” a few American heroes are working fervently to keep it alive.

Three members of a U.S. security team present during the Benghazi attack have now revealed they were indeed held back from immediately responding to the aid of Ambassador Stevens and information officer Sean Smith by a top CIA officer on the complex.

Prior to the release of their new book, “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” security contractors Kris (“Tanto”) Paronto, Mark (“Oz”) Geist and John (“Tig”) Teigen spoke candidly about the tragic events in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Brett Baier.

Paronto, a former Army Ranger, said the team was ready to move within five minutes of hearing news of the attack just before 9:30 p.m., but were held back by the CIA base chief, whom they only refer to as “Bob.” “Five minutes, we’re ready,” said Paronto. “It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we’re ready to go.” “It had probably been 15 minutes I think, and … I just said, ‘Hey, you know, we gotta – we need to get over there, we’re losing the initiative,” Tiegen said. “And Bob just looks straight at me and said, ‘Stand down, you need to wait.'” Paronto said the security team was getting calls from the State Department employees begging for help, until finally the team defied orders and headed to the complex nearly 30 minutes later. Despite repeated requests for air support, it never came.

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When asked if the ambassador and Smith would still be alive without the delay, the security team all agreed. Yes, they would still be alive.

“Ambassador Stevens and Sean, yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes,” Paronto said.

In a statement to Fox News, a senior intelligence official insisted that “There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support.” Brett Baier asked the men about the denial.

“You use the words ‘stand down,’ ” Baier noted. “A number of people now, including the House Intelligence Committee, insist no one was hindered from responding to the situation at the compound … so what do you say to that?” “No, it happened,” said Tiegen.

“It happened on the ground – all I can talk about is what happened on the ground that night,” added Paronto. “To us. To myself, twice, and to Tig, once. It happened that night. We were told to wait, stand – and stand down. We were delayed three times.” So why were these men ordered to stand down and why did this administration blatantly lie to Americans for so long?

President Obama has consistently avoided labeling Islamic violence against the U.S. as terrorism. Why?

In the face of terrorist threats from possibly the most ruthless group of radical Islamists the U.S. has ever faced – ISIS – Americans deserve to know.

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Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


30 Jul


Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has unquestionably earned his place among the great defenders of liberty that this country has had in the past few decades.

It’s been amazing to watch his meteoric rise as a top conservative voice in Washington over just the past few years. It was the initial Benghazi and IRS scandal hearings where he created a name for himself as a vicious interrogator and a relentless pursuer of the truth.

Conservatives can’t wait to see him use his role as chair of the Benghazi Select Committee to subpoena Obama and Hillary and depose them for “hours and hours” so we can finally expose the massive coverup that this administration has perpetuated since September 12, 2014.

Here’s a compilation video from Breitbart with some of Gowdy’s best moments and greatest zingers in pursuing Benghazi thus far. And you know there’s going to be a lot more to come in the next few months.

Note that the video starts on the most powerful thing I believe Gowdy has ever said. After you watch that bit, make sure to watch the rest as well, and to spread this video everywhere.
The jury has NOT forgotten, America has NOT forgotten, and we will NEVER forget Benghazi.

Amazing. This is why we love Trey Gowdy. He’s fearless, fiery, passionate, intelligent, and has a sharp wit that makes him always fun to watch. And how can anyone not love that Southern drawl?

There’s no doubt that Speaker Boehner picked the right man for the job and we’re in good hands with this investigation. Go get ‘em, Trey.

Mark Caserta: Conservatives must stand firm for justice

3 Jul


Jul. 03, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

The Obama administration has been so ridden with scandal, Americans are becoming desensitized to the muck and mire surrounding Capitol Hill. But scurrilous behavior and a blatant disregard for the constitutional functions of our republic can’t be ignored.

During the Obama presidency, headlines have been inundated by scandals involving dereliction by the Justice Department such as the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, the unwarranted surveillance of the media, and most recently the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Liberals may want these stories to just go away, but America deserves better.

But the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, the man charged with upholding our nation’s laws, Attorney General Eric Holder, has instead been grossly negligent in his duties to the American people.

Consider Operation Fast and Furious, the infamous gun-walking program by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms that allowed guns to flow into Mexico in an attempt to track them back to notorious drug cartels.

The program was approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department and put thousands of illegally purchased weapons into the hands of drug lords. One of these guns was found at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2009. During Congressional investigations, Holder dodged questions, was inconsistent in his testimony and refused to comply with Congress’ subpoena for documents related to the operation. With bipartisan support, Holder became the first head of the Justice Department in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress.

Evidence also shows that Holder committed perjury when he testified under oath to Congress about the Justice Department’s investigation of Fox News Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen.

Last year in May, Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee that he was not involved in nor had knowledge of a potential prosecution of Rosen as a “co-conspirator” in alleged violations of the Espionage Act. But three days later, the Justice Department released documents authorizing such an investigation of Mr. Rosen, which required approval from the Attorney General. This proved Holder knew of the investigation. Holder has since placed a “gag order” on members of the Justice Department, prohibiting them from answering further questions about the scandal.

Holder is also grievously failing the American people by refusing to appoint a special prosecutor to independently examine the IRS scandal. Mounting evidence shows that IRS officials were directing the illegal practice of targeting groups based on political affiliation, which is a federal crime.

Holder is just a tool in the Obama shed for “progressively” changing America. It’s an indescribable shame that there are liberals willing to compromise the very soul of our nation to propagate their progressive agenda.

Conservatives must not falter during these tumultuous times.

As President Reagan warned, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”

My advice to conservatives: Become even more tenacious about demanding justice in the United States and speaking out against the progressive movement.

Only conservatives stand between our republic and those who would sacrifice it.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: IRS corruption meets ‘smidgen’ standard

26 Jun


Jun. 26, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

President Obama appears determined to eclipse his Politifact “Lie of the Year” regarding Obamacare with his position on the recent IRS debacle.

In response to a question about the IRS investigation during a recent interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, President Obama emphatically declared that “not even a smidgen of corruption” was involved in the IRS scandal.

In fact, the president has referenced it as one of a number of GOP fabricated “phony scandals.”

Really, Mr. President?

Not only do I believe this is quintessential partisan corruption for political gain, this incredulous journey has brought to light the conniving, liberal factions of the Internal Revenue Service and their abusive overreach into American’s lives.

In August 2010, the IRS circulated the first “Be on the lookout” list to its tax exempt screener and evaluator unit, commissioning minions to flag applications with key words such as “Tea Party” and “Patriots.”

In June 2011, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., sent a letter to then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman inquiring about IRS targeting of taxpayers who donated money to conservative groups, as well as information regarding audits of 501(c)(4) organizations.

In July 2011, the IRS responded to Chairman Camp’s letter with assurances “that the IRS’s actions in this area were in no way influenced by political considerations.”

In March 2012, during a hearing of the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, Commissioner Shulman was asked about reports that the IRS has been unfairly targeting Tea Party groups. Shulman responded, “I can give you assurance, there is absolutely no targeting.”

However, complaints were pouring in from conservative groups regarding questionable IRS application forms and difficulties securing tax-exempt status.

A March 2012 follow-up letter sent by Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darryl Issa, R-Calif., to IRS Exempt Organization Division Director Lois Lerner requested additional information related to the reports that conservative groups were receiving “extra scrutiny” from the IRS.

In April 2012, Director Lerner responded to Chairman Issa’s letter that “the ordinary course of the application process” was in place for securing tax-exempt status.

Months of investigation began exposing irrefutable proof that the IRS had unfairly audited conservative Tea Party organizations far more than others.

In February 2013, Lerner publicly admitted the IRS had indeed targeted taxpayers based on their political stance. Lerner then wrongly attempted to blame the entire perusal on two “rogue” front-line workers in a Cincinnati office.

In a May 2013 Oversight Committee hearing, after reading an opening statement asserting her innocence in the scandal, Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment. A “repeat performance” in March 2014 saw her held in contempt of Congress.

And now, with GOP lawmakers closing in on the truth, the IRS expects Americans to believe that Lerner’s emails from a two-year period during the scandal’s timeline have disappeared, along with emails from six other IRS employees, and that “unfortunately” the hard drives also were destroyed.

To deny this masquerade is a blatant, government cover-up would be simply nonsensical.

But for President Obama to deny even a “smidgen” of corruption exists in this IRS atrocity is, well, predictable.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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