The attack on Benghazi in 2012 was more than a tragedy — it was a likely-criminal case of negligence on the part of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Barack Obama administration. The event, which was memorialized in the blockbuster hit 13 Hours, continues to be a contentious issue among Americans.
On New Year’s Eve, Benghazi survivor Kris Paronto reignited the controversy by tweeting that Clinton and Obama left him, his team, and 30 other Americans to die during the 13-hour, seemingly-pre-planned storming of the U.S. embassy in Libya.
Paronto’s tweet comes just a month after Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a key figure in the Benghazi terrorist attack, was found not guilty of murder.
Left to Die
It all started with a simple New Years greeting. Paronto wrote, “Happy New Year everyone! This is the time to put trouble and past mistakes behind you, but remember to learn from them so they’re not repeated, and start with a clean slate,” and thanked his followers for their support, sharing the post on Instagram and Twitter.
Baseball legend Curt Shilling, an avid Trump supporter, responded, tweeting his best wishes and encouragement to Paronto on Twitter on New Year’s Eve:
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) December 31, 2017
However, things quickly turned political when a user under the handle “@hatefulhairdresser” replied to Schilling’s kind tweet and claimed, “Trump cut their benefits and raised their taxes. Good job.”
Paronto, an Army Ranger, did not take kindly to @hatefulhairdresser’s tweet, and clearly articulated the people he believed were responsible for that tragic night in Benghazi. In response to @hatefulhairdresser, Paronto tweeted:
Hillary and Obama left me , my team and 30 other Americans to die soooo 😡🙄🙄…. nice try though shit show 🤡💩 @HillaryClinton @BarackObama #sociopaths #failures #zerointegrity #zeroleadership #snowflakes 😥😥 https://t.co/cObQ763p6f
— Kris Paronto (@KrisParonto) December 31, 2017
There is nothing in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that raises taxes or cuts the benefits of veterans or military members. In fact, most veterans and military members will receive a tax cut, as most of them fall into the middle-class or lower.
Reflections on Benghazi
Paronto’s tweet comes a month after Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a key figure in the Benghazi terrorist attack, was cleared of murder charges.
Paronto was furious, calling the verdict “disgusting” and “a travesty.”
First of all, let’s clear something up: Khatallah is being called the mastermind. He was part of the operation, yes. But to call him a mastermind, I don’t agree with that. He wasn’t the guy. I wouldn’t compare him to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and 9/11 like some have done.
The thing that bothers me about Khatallah is that he was a commander in the Martyrs of 17 February Brigade, a terrorist organization. The 17th Feb was supposed to help us and protect the consulate and were not vetted well enough. I told them they had a jihadist group there at the compound.
So Khatallah has ties to the group behind the attack — Ansar Al-Sharia — and we are still playing nice. What do they think? Are those terrorists going to see this news and be quaking in their boots? No, they’re going to laugh that we are trying them in a criminal court. He’s an enemy combatant. It’s sickening.”
The Army Ranger condemned the Obama administration for allowing the extraction of Khatallah to the U.S. and the political gamesmanship he perceived throughout the whole ordeal. Paronto claimed:
It’s a political charade of the Obama administration. We went and grabbed this guy. There are only two options when dealing with terrorists. Number one, you grab them, interrogate them until you get all the intelligence you can and then throw them in GITMO. Number two, you put them to death. I refused to testify because of how political this all was.
I told them, “If you want me to testify, you’re going to have to subpoena me.”
Paronto further criticized the notion of due process for terrorists in his interview — especially when they are not American. He said:
Ambassador [J. Christopher] Stevens didn’t get due process when he was burning alive and dying of smoke inhalation.
You do not let terrorists face a criminal court. You let the CIA or the military handle the issue. Interrogate, interrogate, interrogate. And you let the others face a firing squad.
This is a circus show for politicians. It is purely political. My recommendation to the extraction teams that go and get these targets in the future, the ones who would never give you a fair trial or any degree of humanity, don’t bring them back at all. Instead, put a bullet in their head.
Though the details of what specifically happened that night may never be fully revealed, Paronto was one of the few that survived that horrific ordeal, and his input should be prioritized by the intelligence community in their efforts to ensure something similar to Benghazi never happens again.
The Obama administration lied and covered up the details of the events surrounding that terror attack in Benghazi, but President Donald Trump can now finally get to the bottom of who was responsible for the death of four Americans.
It is the least we can do.