June 12, 2013
The nation’s highest ranking military officer on Wednesday disputed the story of a top American diplomat who served in Libya, saying no military forces were told to “stand down” after attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
“They weren’t told to stand down,” Army General Martin Dempsey told the Senate Budget Committee. “Stand down, means don’t do anything.”
Dempsey said the four soldiers from the Special Operations Command for Africa were told by their commanders they would be better used at the Tripoli airport instead, where a flight might soon be arriving with U.S. casualties from Benghazi.
“They were told that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi, but was at Tripoli airport,” Dempsey told Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who pressed the General for details.