“There never was a stand-down order,” said the base chief known as Bob, speaking publicly for the first time. “At no time did I ever second-guess that the team would depart.”
Nor, he said, did he say anything that could be “interpreted as equivalent” to an order to stand down.
In a lengthy interview with reporters from The Washington Post, Bob provided new details about the attacks and his interactions with J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who perished in them.
The account from the CIA base chief adds a critical and previously missing voice to the public record on Benghazi, an attack that even three years later remains so politically charged that Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), a Republican presidential candidate, made it the center of his closing remarks during this week’s GOP debate.