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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Fact-Check

Starring John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber | based on the book '13 Hours' by Mitchell Zuckoff

James Badge Dale
Born: May 1, 1978
New York City, New York, USA
Tyrone 'Rone' Woods
Born: January 15, 1971
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, USA
Death: September 12, 2012, Benghazi, Libya (mortar blast)
Experience: Navy SEAL
Pablo Schreiber
Born: April 26, 1978
Ymir, British Columbia, Canada
Kris 'Tanto' Paronto
Born: March 2, 1971
Birthplace: Alamosa, Colorado, USA
Experience: Army Ranger
Dominic Fumusa
Born: September 13, 1969
Wisconsin, USA
John 'Tig' Tiegen
Born: October 2, 1976
Birthplace: Colorado, USA
Experience: Marine Sergeant
Max Martini
Born: December 11, 1969
Kingston, New York, USA
Mark 'Oz' Geist
Birthplace: Colorado, USA
Experience: Marine
Toby Stephens
Born: April 21, 1969
London, England, UK
Glen 'Bub' Doherty
Born: July 10, 1970
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Death: September 12, 2012, Benghazi, Libya (mortar blast)
Experience: Navy SEAL
Matt Letscher
Born: June 26, 1970
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA
Ambassador Chris Stevens
Born: April 18, 1960
Birthplace: Grass Valley, California, USA
Death: September 11, 2012, Benghazi, Libya (possible smoke inhalation)
David Giuntoli
Born: June 18, 1980
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Scott Wickland
Diplomatic Security
Christopher Dingli
Sean Smith
Born: June 1, 1978
Birthplace: San Diego, California, USA
Death: September 11, 2012, Benghazi, Libya (smoke inhalation)
At the time, we didn’t know if anybody was dead–obviously there was somebody alive because they were on the radio. That’s the only thing we’re thinking is we’ve got to get over there. They’re powerless right now. -John 'Tig' Tiegen, Breitbart, September 2014

Questioning the Story:

Is John Krasinski's character Jack Da Silva based on a real person?

Yes. In researching the 13 Hours true story, we discovered that John Krasinski's character was indeed based on a real person, a Navy SEAL whose name was changed for the book and movie to protect his identity. "The responsibility of getting this story right was the highest priority for all of us," says Krasinski, who was previously known for his role in the TV comedy The Office, "and because it's such a politicized issue and because it's such an intense story, the only way to do it is to go right to the source, so getting all that information for him and getting to know him was the most important thing. ... 'Jack' was a true gentleman who told me, 'Ask any questions, because I want to get this story out, and I want it told right.' That was a powerful engine."

To help transform himself for the role, Krasinski worked out with the same personal trainer who helped bulk up Bradley Cooper for American Sniper, another combat film we researched. -USA Today

The identity of the real Jack Da Silva is not known. The former Navy SEAL is portrayed by John Krasinski in the 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi movie.

Were the men really told to wait and stand down when they were ready to leave for the compound?

Yes. Despite the personnel at the U.S. diplomatic compound phoning and pleading for help, a fact-check confirms that the CIA security contractors were told to stand down. "We jumped up and got ready to go," says former Army Ranger Kris Paronto. "We were ready to go within five minutes." Fellow annex security team member Mark Geist, a former Marine, says that the CIA station chief, who is referred to as "Bob" in the book and movie, kept the men from responding for "almost 30 minutes." Eventually, they left without getting the okay. -The O'Reilly Factor

"It happened that night," says Paronto. "It happened. We were told to wait and stand down. We were delayed three times." How far up the ladder the order came from has been the subject of debate (a controversial congressional inquiry later concluded that no stand-down order was ever issued, despite the men who were there stating otherwise). -Special Report with Bret Baier

Why hasn't the identity of CIA Station Chief "Bob" been revealed?

During our investigation into the 13 Hours true story, we learned that the identity of "Bob" has remained concealed for safety reasons. "Wish we could put that out there," says former Global Response Staff (GRS) member Kris Paronto. "Whether we'd like to or not, it's still a safety issue. For his safety." -The O'Reilly Factor

The station chief, referred to as "Bob" in the 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi movie, gave the order to stand down, which the GRS operatives eventually defied, saving as many as 30 lives.

Did the Annex Team Members ask for tactical support to be called in?

Yes. As they were leaving for the main compound, Kris 'Tanto' Paronto, says that he requested support. "After I was leavin', I said, 'Well, get us an ISR,' which is a UAV, a drone, 'and get us a spectre gunship.'" The drone would have given them "eyes on" and the AC 130 gunship would have provided them with support in the way of firepower.

"I was expecting at least some kind of air support," says former Marine Sergeant John 'Tig' Tiegen, "even if it was just a fly-over by a jet or whatever." -Special Report with Bret Baier

Did they really defy orders and leave without getting the okay?

Yes, and as the GRS operators have indicated, the decision likely saved 30 lives. "We were never given the OK to go," says Kris Paronto. "That final straw for us to go, at least it's my opinion and how I felt, was when one of the DS agents said, 'Hey, they're starting to light the buildings on fire. You guys need to get here.'" -Special Report with Bret Baier

A U.S. consulate building in Benghazi, Libya burns as a result of the attack on the night of September 11, 2012.

How many lives were saved because the team defied the stand-down order?

"We're the ones who saved five American lives at the consulate because we left when we did," says former Marine Mark Geist, responding to the assertion that a stand-down order was never given. "We saved another 25 lives at the annex. We can debate all day long why the order was given or why ['Bob'] held us back. We can debate that, but the facts are the facts. We were there. No other congressman was there that I saw, and we made a decision to go and we saved lives. But people are out there sayin' that we are lyin'. On national television they're accusing us of lying for a book. This book was written for the story that wasn't being told and to represent the lives of the individuals that died." -Hannity

How did Ambassador Chris Stevens die?

The death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens is still plagued by controversy. It appears that Stevens got separated from Diplomat Sean Smith and DS Agent Scott Wickland inside the main consulate building after an attacker's rocket-propelled grenade started a fire. The smoke made it hard to see each other. Overcome by smoke inhalation, Libyans supposedly found Stevens unresponsive and clinging to life inside one of the rooms. According to some reports, Libyan civilians carried Stevens from the room, put him in a private car and rushed him to the hospital, where he passed away from severe asphyxia from smoke.

However, many have questioned what happened to Ambassador Stevens, especially after he was taken from the consulate. Were the Libyans who discovered him indeed trying to help him? Photos of a man believed to be Stevens, taken after he was pulled from the building, have called into question whether Stevens was tortured after he was discovered. For example, the photo below reveals a possible injury to Stevens forehead. The official autopsy report as to exactly what caused Steven's death has not been released by the U.S. Government.

Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) is pictured with Ambassador Chris Stevens (right), who lost his life during the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: State Department

Is Hillary Clinton ever mentioned in the 13 Hours movie?

No. The movie never mentions Hillary Clinton's name. It does show that security at the diplomatic compound was insufficient and signs of trouble were ignored, in part due to government ineptitude. In the least, the 13 Hours movie implies that those in government are often sheltered from reality, and as a result, failed to protect fellow Americans in an unstable region. The contrast between out-of-touch "thinkers" and those facing the threats directly is certainly apparent. "We hired the brightest minds from Harvard and Yale to do their work," the station chief tells the contractors on duty. "The best thing you can do is stay out of their way."

Did Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty really die from a mortar blast?

Yes, like in the 13 hours movie, Tyrone 'Rone' Woods and Glen 'Bub' Doherty were on the roof of a CIA annex building along with fellow members of their team. They were protecting it from waves of militants who were approaching through a field nicknamed Zombieland. After five hours, the fighting paused and mortars suddenly began to fall around the men, hitting Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. "I thought they were vaporized in front of my eyes," says Kris Paronto. "My heart dropped. We've just lost half our team." Mark 'Oz' Geist's left arm was almost completely blown apart, but he kept shooting. At dawn, friendly Libyan forces rolled up in 50 armored vehicles.

Tyrone 'Rone' Woods (left) was fatally wounded by a mortar blast while defending the CIA annex. James Badge Dale (right) portrays Woods in the 13 Hours movie.

Did former Navy SEAL Glen 'Bub' Doherty also help to rescue Captain Phillips from Somali pirates?

Yes. In researching the 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi true story, we discovered that Glen 'Bub' Doherty, a former Navy SEAL who was operating as a consulate security guard in Libya, was also involved in freeing Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates in 2009. "He shot through a little tiny window with the boat going up and down from fifty yards away," says father Ben Doherty, "and killed a pirate without touching the captain. He was good."

"13 Hours" Interviews & Related Videos

Expand your knowledge of the 13 Hours true story by watching the featurette below featuring three of the real GRS operators who helped to save lives during the Benghazi attack.

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