Marine recounts Benghazi attack experience in Madera

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In 2012, Marine Sgt. John Tiegen and six others left their compound a mile away when they learned the US compound was under attack. (KFSN)

A US Marine, who was in the middle of a firefight in Benghazi in 2012, shared his experience Wednesday in the Valley.

"I look at the chief of base on the front porch and I say, 'Hey, we need to get over there," Marine Sgt. John Tiegen said. "He looked at me and said, 'Stand down, you need to wait.'"

Tiegen's Benghazi account commanded attention at a growers luncheon at Sierra Valley Almonds in Madera.

In 2012, Tiegen and six others left their compound a mile away when they learned the US compound was under attack.

"I immediately grabbed a grenade launcher, went up there and launched three rounds," he recalled. "That dispersed the guys. We moved down and the first thing you see when you go into the compound is the main village is completely engulfed in flames."

Tiegen co-authored a book "13 Hours" which was then made into a movie.

The attacks left four Americans dead including US ambassador Chris Stevens.

Tuesday's final Benghazi Committee Report did not reveal any wrong-doing by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Time to move on," Clinton said.

"For me, it was never a headhunt to go against Hillary," Tiegen said. "For me, it was just about finding out what happened that night."

Tiegen said American security abroad won't improve until people are held accountable for their mistakes.

"Some of the loopholes are even scarier than I thought," he said. "At our highest levels, it's so disorganized that it's scary."

Tiegen said he and his fellow security contractors wrote the book, in part, to help family members who lost loved ones know what really happened that night.

The CIA has called the "13 Hours" movie "a distortion of the events."
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