Mark Geist & John Tiegen | Battle of Benghazi | 2016 Republican National Convention
John Tiegen, and coauthors
of the book “13 Hours.” [Applause.]>>Thank you so much.
>>Thank you.>>Thank you.
Thank you, America, for showing us the dedication that should
have been offered by Hillary and her State Department to those
who helped save their asses. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>September 11, 2012, 9:35, 9:
9:40, we got a call the U.S. consulate had been overrun.
We immediately got our gear ready to go.
Got the vehicles ready. And we had on three separate
occasions we got told to wait by the chief of base Bob and we got
told to stand down. Next thing we know, we hear over
the radio saying if if you guys don’t get here, we’re all going
to die. Stand down.
The embassy is under siege. We’re not waiting.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] As the three of us moved on the
consulate, the first thing you see is the main village is
engulfed in fire and smoke, you know, and just pouring out.
Moved up to the steps of the consulate.
Off to my right eye see them pulling a body out of a window,
limp body and ended up being Sean Smith.
He was already dead of smoke inhalation by the time we showed
up. Myself and — continued to move.
We went in. Just — the fire was blasting in
our face. The smoke just obliterated our
sight it was so thick. We tried to get on our bellies
to see under the smoke. No luck.
Little while later, talked to someone who came out the back,
searching. After a few minutes, went and
helped the state department guys get the classified information,
get them ready to go in their armored vehicle.
And all of a sudden we end up getting counter assaulted.
And at that time, instead of the State Department security agent
s agents’ job helping us to defend
the U.S. consulate, they took off, which left the six of us to
defend the consulate. You know, I got out, went up on
the roof of the villa. Made it to the gate.
The guy who initiated was with an RPG.
His third shot he was coming out out.
I got him over the top of the para put.
I left gone with a 10-round volley and he dropped.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Was gone for about five minutes.
We got word there were going to be another 100 or so terrorists.
Good old Hillary was watching. It came to a point where we had
to make a decision. At that time we didn’t even know
that if they were even there or dead.
We had a responsibility to the other personnel at the Annex.
So we had a tough decision. And we head today the Annex
Annex without the ambassador.>>You know, as the team were
back at the Annex took up our fighting position because we
knew they would be following up and coming to our place.
But you know we were ready for them.
We started seeing movement outside of our compound.
Then all of a sudden something came flying to the wall, had
sparks, it landed between Tig Tig and I and exploded.
That’s when they opened on us. But we also unleashed some hell
on them. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>The first wave had about 20
terrorists. They went away with a whole lot
less. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>That first initial fight is
kind of always 40 years older than I am, he pulled out hid med
med kit, grabbed some gauze by his ear.
It looked like tampons. But sorry.
I look at him. Is that allowed much?
>>Tig came right here and stuck his gun right near my left ear.
I can’t hear out of it to this day.
>>You should have moved. [Laughter]
>>You know, soon after that we got word that the support team
for Tripoli by Glenn Doherty had landed at Benghazi airport.
Thank the airport security of the United States.
Ought to try to land in an airport in a country controlled
by a militia who you don’t go who their loyalty is to and you
got a bunch of guns and a bag of money.
Thank Godness it talks.>>Mine doesn’t.
You know, round 1:30 in the morning, you still have the U.S.
ambassador still missing. Still we got movement coming to
come up again on our east side. I get on the rail radio and said
hey, Bob, are they going to secure the perimeter?
Again 1:30, about 3 hours into the attack, and we get the
answer, no. Good Intel.
At that point, a vehicle actually came out of the dark
darkness, a guy jumped out of a vehicle and immediately drew his
arm back. All I saw in the old age with
the eyes, he ended up — we put three rounds into him and he
dropped like a sack of potatoes. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] You would take that guy out,
another guy would pop up, then another guy would pop up.
>>You know, it’s kind of like the arcade game down at the main
strip, you always go play whack an whack a mole?
A guy stick his head out, another came out.
Another stick his head out and you shoot at him.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>A little bit after that we
got a call call the ambassador was located at the hospital in
Benghazi. There was no way for us to
determine if this was valid, if he was alive, if he was dead.
You know, we don’t know if it could have been a trick for us
to spread our defense and pretty much just kind of screw
everybody else over at the consulate.
But we decided to stay put again again.
>>You know, at this time I had moved to where I was at, Tig and
got up on the roof. I was up there with Tyrone.
During the down time, me anti antirhône started talking — me
and Tyrone started talking about events that night.
Tyrone had told me about earlier that night when Tig had saved
his life because he got lost in the building over the e consul
consullality. And he started — consulate.
He started yelling out for Tig Tig with total disregard for his
own safety after having just come out of a smoke-filled room,
went back in and pulled Tyrone out.
[Applause.]>>It was during that, you know,
he was talking about his kids. All of us had a lot of young
kids there, every one of us that was there.
And, heck, jack had just found out his wife was pregnant.
So he had a newborn baby coming. None of us at that point knew if
we were going to make it home or not.
And this is getting on to about that time in the morning, about
5:30 when the sun starts coming up.
You see that change off on the horizon where it’s really dark,
that dark is starting to turn light.
And you’re hearing the morning prayers from the minute ar ets
in the — Minarets in the distance.
About the time they called for prayer, we thought, hey, the
next attack is going to begin. At that time when we heard over
the radio that Glenn and the TP TP from Tripoli had made their
way to the Annex and were just getting red to pull in.
When they did, instead of going inside, Glenn he came up on top
of the roof. He wanted to get in the fight.
So he joined us up there. Tyrone introduced Glenn because
I had never met him before. First thing that come out, it’s
good to have another gun fighter up on that roof.
He had kind of turned and started walking away from me.
It was about that time the final attack started.
A rocket grenade hit the back wall and small arms fire opened
up north right in front of him. A mortar hit on top of the outer
perimeter wall and the State Department guy said that he was
hit, took some sh sh rap shrapnel up in his forehead.
We opened up some fire. Ty opened up with a machine gun,
I opened up with my rifle. That’s when the second mortar
hit. Hit about 50 feet to my right.
The explosion kind of knocked me back a little bit and as I stood
back up, I kind of noticed that Rone was in a fetal position to
my left at my feet. I went to grab my rifle and
started shooting and that’s when I first noticed I was injured.
My left arm about 6 inches above the wrist was kind of hanging at
a 90-degree angle. It was then that the third
mortar hit. And as I glanced over to my
right, I noticed Glenn went face down on the floor out of the
fight. I tried again to bring my arm up
and grab my weapon, wanted to get back into the fight and it
just wouldn’t work. I couldn’t get it to hold on.
That’s when the fourth mortar hit.
Really the first time that I ever felt any pain that night.
It felt like I got stung by a thousand bees.
I figured at that time this hard headed marine ought to get to
some cover in case they drop another one on us.
Semperfy, thank you. So I dove for cover and then
everything went quiet. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]
God bless you. Thank you.
I pulled the tourniquet out. Started to get it on my arm but
I wanted to check on — so I crawled over to find a pulse.
Couldn’t find one. It was about that time I saw a
shadow come up on top of the roof was Tig.
Debris hadn’t even finished falling when he came up on that
roof.>>We were initially fighting on
the roof. You know, I’m standing there and
you know he’s saying Rone was laying pretty much.
When that first round hit the roof, it just went dead quiet.
The degree was so thick you could see the stars.
It just went pitch black, pitch quiet.
I started moving towards the building C and I get on the
radio and I said hey, you guys get up on building C.
Expect a response. But the team leader got on the
radio and said hey, we’re all right in here.
Of course you tell him to shut up.
Talking about the guys up on the roof.
Gets back on and said hey, got no movement.
Ran over there. First thing I do is I jump over
the parapet and first guy I see is a state guy.
He’s kind of leaning up against the ball.
‘s got his pistol out. His left leg just below the knee
was completely severed off. His left arm below the elbow is
completely severed off. I had to disarm him really quick
quick. Lucky he didn’t shoot me.
Maybe I got a medal if he would have.
But I got two tourniquets. Put a tourniquet on his leg.
Put a tourniquet on his arm. I’m asking for help from the
guys below in the building. The whole time I’m also hearing
kind of something behind me kind of a weird sound don’t usually
hear that in combat. But I unloaded.
As I started going across, you know again I can hear the
whimpering. The next thing I know it’s Oz.
He’s kind of sitting with his back against the wall playing
with his wrist kind of like this this, hey, dude, you need to
quit doing that, it will make it worse.
>>I was trying to put it back in place so it would stay there.
>>Yeah, I didn’t have any super glue.
He had his tourniquet out. I grabbed his tourniquet.
I got his tourniquet on his arm, stood him up and said hey, man,
can you go down the ladder by your?
>>I said hell yeah, because I new that Ty and Glenn still
needed help. Somewhere in the back of my mind
I was still hopeing they were alive.
So I walked over to the ladder that went down and kind of sat
up on the ledge and I’m sitting there looking down thinking,
okay, how am I going to get down off this thing?
I just survived two or three assaults on our compound and
three mortars landed on me and the next thing you know I’m
sitting there thinking my life I’m going to fall off the darn
roof and break my neck. Those aren’t the stories I want
my kids to hear how I died. If I go outy want to go out in a
blaze of glory. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] So I ended up hooking my gun on
the top rung of the ladder and thinking I will swing my feet
down. Murphy’s law what can go wrong
will go wrong. Right as I slid my feet.
I fell off the ladder. Luckily I caught myself with my
good arm, pulled myself back up. Got myself together and went on
down the ladder. Turned to walk around to the
front of the building meeting one of our other guys went out
and he walked me in and laid me down on the floor.
And I was sitting there and they were looking at me, told them,
hey, you need to get my clothes off because I know I got a bunch
other holes in me. I know there’s a bunch of wounds
to be treated. Finally they got the clothes off
me. We found out there were 20 or 30
other holes. Most weren’t bleeding too bad so
we got them plugged and ready to go.
>>After I got Oz up, you he kind of mumbled a little bit
because he didn’t have a cane to walk across the roof anymore.
But mainly I went over to where the next guy was, rone, flipped
him over, immediately checked for a pulse.
His throat moved just a little bit.
I didn’t get a pulse. So I immediately ripped off his
body armor. Lifted up his shirt and did what
we called a hook else feel, put outen outen your mouth you’re
trying to hear or see their breath in the stomach moves at
all. Didn’t get anything.
I got the flashlight. Checked for a pupil dilation.
And there was nothing. So at that moment, I knew he was
gone. Oz, he just went down.
So I knew the next call would be for him because — so I had to
announce are r an rone’s — announce ron’s gone gone.
Moved over to the next guy which ended up being Glenn Doherty bub
bub, again same like Oz, never worked with him, never met him.
Rolled him over. Same thing.
Checked for a pulse. Looked, listened.
Pupil dilation. Same.
Nothing. I immediately went over to Rone,
got all of his weapons and stuff like that.
Kneeled down and said a prayer over him.
Went over to bub and grabbed and kneeled down and said a prayer
over him. At that time we all got off the
roof. You know, we knew wed to get out
of there. We had to get everyone outside
of there because there was nothing we had that could defend
against mortar attack. And the fact that a building
just got hit by a 300-millimeter mortar and didn’t collapse while
everybody inside didn’t die. It definitely wasn’t the
construction of the building.>>It was the grace of God.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>Once we got all of us, the
wounded, stabilizeed, we secured the dead, made sure we didn’t
have any critical information left behind and that’s when we
made our way to the airport. To get there, we ended up having
to enlist the militia. Happened to be Gaddafi loyal I
didn’t say thes, those are the ones that Hillary wanted to get
out of Libya. Those are the ones that helped
Americans get to the hospital and get to the airport.
[Applause.] When we got there, we loaded up
the personnel. I made my trip in the back of a
pickup. It’s kind of like a Toyota.
Came over to me I was sitting on a gurney and grabbed the gurney.
That’s when I walked into been been gaz, I’m going to walk out.
[Applause.]>>That was the same that the
guys down, but this was one of the planes that Glenn didn’t
make it back on. The plane actually secured
actually someone I had just met that day.
Again I don’t think it’s really a coincidence.
We got an overwatcher with us that night.
We got everybody loaded up, headed to Tripoli.
And then we had to turn our task because we didn’t get left
behind, we stayed behind because they couldn’t hold everybody.
Again, the Gaddafi loyalist millishia accepted up and said
hey, we can go get the ambassador.
They came back returned with the ambassador’s body.
Myself, Tonto and one of the Delta Fi’s checked, made sure it
was him. Looked him over.
You know, he was wearing the exact same clothes he was
wearing that morning when we went to call him and we went
over because there was a threat on a local — well there was a
threat on a government compound. He was wearing the exact same
clothes. He had black soot on his
But there was no sign of mutilation.
It was obvious to us he died of smoke inhalation.
And all those rumors about that happening to him and our whole
government not doing squash right away is a bunch of bull
crap. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] .
[Applause.]>>At that point, you know we
didn’t know how we would actually get out of there.
Several minutes go by. Starts rolling down the runway,
we think this might be for us. Kind of comes a little bit
closer but then does a U-turn, pulls off to an area, see all
the pilots get off. We kind of stand there for a
little bit. Well one of the team members
that came down from Tripoli and the linguists that came down
from Tripoli went over there and took about 15 minutes and they
kind of the pilots to take us back up to Tripoli.
Again, Americans to leave Benghazi, we didn’t leave an
airplane but we left flown by — the first U.S.S. we saw wasn’t a
jet. It was a medical transport bird
that took us all to Germany. About 5 p.m. on September 12th.
At least 20 minutes after siege, right?
>>20 minutes, right.>>Yeah.
That night there were more than 30 American lives saved that
night. It’s because Americans never
give up. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] We refuse to lose.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Benghazi’s been a four letter
word, but it’s about politics. Benghazi was about opportunities
opportunities. Opportunities taken when we
defied standdown orders and opportunities squandered when
Hillary failed to protect her people on the ground.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Had she done her job that night,
had she done her job that night, we wouldn’t have had to
Sean, ambassador Stevens would be alive today.
Now, — [Applause.]
Now, we as Americans, we have an opportunity.
That opportunity is to elect someone who will make this
country safe again. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] We have to elect someone who
will have our backs. Someone who will bring our guy
home. Won’t leave anybody behind.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] We have to elect someone who
will lead with strength and integrity.
And I believe that person is Donald Trump.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] (chanting USA!) Let me know.
We’ve done our part. The vets did their part.
Now you do yours.>>God bless you.
Thank you all.