A Benghazi hero who supports President Donald Trump's decision last week to "take out" Iranian General Qassem Soleimani is challenging those on the Left who suddenly sound like fans of the late terror leader.
John 'Tig' Tiegen – the most experienced Annex Security Team member at the American Diplomatic Compound in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2011 – began by telling OneNewsNow about the two common layers of protective details immediately responsible for guarding American embassies and consulates around the world.
It is the "host" country's responsibility, he explains, to protect the outer perimeter of the facilities where diplomatic representatives may be working. Historically, security agents or Marine Corps personnel are assigned with protecting the diplomats and their staffs found within the inside perimeter.
On December 31, 2019, Tiegen says, "the Iraqis let the protesters walk right through the outer perimeter [of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad] with no intention of stopping them." They did not "breach" the walls of the embassy, which significantly separates this incident from what happened in Benghazi, he adds.
Since the targeted strike against General Soleimani, Tiegen admits, embassies are probably a bit more at risk – and he expects some retaliation to occur. Although Iran "appears to be standing down," Tiegen believes Iran will not stop plotting.
"[Iran] has been plotting to attack the United States since 1979," he says, noting the siege of the embassy. "[And I] was expecting Iran to do something more spectacular [in response in retaliation of Soleimani's death.]"
While the world waits for what may happen next, Tiegen continues to believe in President Trump, trusting he is prepared for any further action against the U.S. in the Middle East.
"The previous administration did nothing whatsoever in response [to the attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya]" the former contractor with the CIA's Global Response Staff points out. "[Benghazi was a] vulnerable, high-threat environment, because they had five security guys for two American personnel on an eight-acre compound that wasn't really fortified."
Not a single American force was ordered to assist Tiegen's security team during the 13 hours of combat that cost the lives of four Americans on September 11, 2011. He maintains that "blood is on the hands of the previous administration" for the tragic deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives – former Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
To this day, Tiegen believes the ambassador should have been moved to a safer location – but no such attempt was made.
Contrary to the failures of the Obama administration, he offers, "[the Trump] administration knew something was going to happen [in Baghdad] prior to the protests [and] they pulled all the staff out, including the ambassador."
"For anyone to compare the [Baghdad incident] to Benghazi is a joke," Tiegen says. "It's like comparing curling to hockey. Just because they're both on ice doesn't mean they're the same thing at all."
The experienced Marine Corps veteran regards the precision attack on Soleimani as very important to America's national security. He cites the example of Soleimani's involvement in introducing EFPs (explosively formed penetrators) to Iraq. The Quds Force supplied them to the insurgents, showing them how to use them. This weapon is responsible for maiming and killing countless numbers of American soldiers and allies, according to Tiegen.
Targeting people like Osama bin Laden's son, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Qassem Soleimani is an important tactic to maintaining national security, according to the former embassy security team member.
"Taking those figure heads out disrupts the system" – and potentially subdues the threat of terrorism for years to come, he adds. "Hitting key leaders disrupts the system more than taking out a low-level insurgent who doesn't disrupt their command and control [and] if you keep hitting them, it makes it hard for them to recover."
And Tiegen is frustrated that some on the Left are extoling the supposed virtues of prime targets like Soleimani, describing them as "scholars and poets" who have "gracious character."
"[The Left] is trying to make their followers hate the right – and hate the president even more – just for political points. The division they are causing in this country is massive," he adds.
Speaking of the recent death of Soleimani, the former security contractor agrees with the "[Trump's authorization] to take out a person who was a mass killer, who had a massive reach, who was responsible for thousands of deaths – including deaths in his own country – and who was plotting more attacks."
Putting the dead terrorist leader "on a pedestal while trying to bury Trump … makes absolutely no sense," he concludes.