Benghazi showed us a difficult truth. Once upon a time, the CIA left no man behind. The Agency took care of its own, even in the face of disapproval from the public or from other government organizations. Right or wrong, the Agency did everything it could to protect its employees.
And the leaders in the United States Government backed those decisions, anxious to protect Americans overseas.
That was the CIA that saved Dick Holm; that went into the Congo not once but twice to rescue him.
In 1964, Dick Holm was a young CIA officer. After a two-year tour in Laos and Thailand, Holm was assigned to the Congo, to collect intelligence and support Belgian operations in the country.
On September 11, 2012, CIA-affiliated officers stood on a roof in Benghazi for seven hours waiting for help from the U.S. government. None came. Eventually, they could no longer hold back the terrorists, and they lost their lives.
Charles Woods and Glen Doherty, part of a Global Response Staff that provides security for CIA officers overseas held off hostile attackers at the US Consulate in Benghazi for seven hours on September 11. For seven hours after Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith were attacked, they manned machine guns on the roof of the CIA annex and defended US territory and personnel. They called for help but were ignored.
While the public still does not know exactly what happened in Benghazi, we do know that US government leaders did not deploy forces to rescue Americans stranded on a rooftop taking enemy fire. We know that for seven hours, those men called for assistance were ignored.
We don’t know where leaders were on September 11. We do know they were not on a rooftop in Benghazi and they did not send help, despite seven hours of requests.
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- Judy Chaffee
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