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Exclusive: Benghazi Secret Soldiers Discuss ’13 Hours’ And The Frustrating 30 Mins They Were Told to 'Stand Down'

Lost in the politically-obsessed headlines of the September 11, 2012 Benghazi terror attack are the six heroes who stepped up that night. Thankfully, the new film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi offers audiences a detailed account of how this courageous group of security contractors refused to take “stand down” for an answer when it came to defending the U.S. consulate. The film, from Paramount Pictures and Director Michael Bay, comes to the big screen this Friday.


I was in Miami last week for the 13 Hours press junket, where I sat down for some compelling conversations with three of the surviving soldiers on duty that night, as well as star John Krasinski. Below are my interviews with Annex Security Team members Kris “Tanto” Paronto, Mark “Oz” Geist, and John “Tig” Tiegen. They discuss in detail the emotional roller coaster they experienced after the CIA told them to wait as the U.S. consulate came under siege. In addition, one soldier says the Benghazi Select Committee has justification to investigate why our leadership failed that night, and that the families of the four men who died deserve better answers.

Kris "Tanto" Paronto

“Inside you’re just getting tore up…By the time we left we figured we were just going to be cleaning up dead bodies.”

Mark "Oz" Geist

“I just wanted to turn and go over there…You could hear the desperation in their voices.”

John "Tig" Tiegen

“A lot of anxiety and anger.”

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