WASHINGTON — The testimony of nine military officers undermines contentions by Republican lawmakers that a "stand-down order" held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.
The "stand-down" theory centers on a Special Ops team of four who were stopped from flying from Tripoli to Benghazi after the attacks of Sept. 11-12, 2012, had ended. Instead, they were told to help protect and care for those being evacuated from Benghazi and the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
The senior officer who issued the instruction and the detachment leader who received it said it was the right decision and has been widely mischaracterized.
Transcripts of hours of closed-door interviews by two House panels were made public Wednesday.