The CIA station chief in Benghazi held up the rescue of Ambassador Chris Stevens and an American technician during an attack on the diplomats there, according to the New York Times, which, along with other media outlets, obtained a copy of a book detailing the event.
The new book, which is due out next week, is titled "13 Hours" and was written by Mitchell Zuckoff, a professor of journalism at Boston University. Zuckoff wrote the book with the input of five commandos who were former members of American Special Forces teams hired by the intelligence agency as private contractors. There are three commandos credited by name -- Mark Geist, Kris Paronto and John Tiegen -- and two of the commando-authors used pseudonyms.
The book says the station chief issued a "stand down," hoping that Libyan militiamen would carry out the rescue so as not to expose the CIA base.
According to the Times, a diplomatic security agent said to the commandos: “If you guys do not get here, we are going to die!” The commandos left the base on their own despite the chief’s stand-down order. Two of their team died that night, the men say. Ambassador Stevens and the technician both died in the attack.
The book is the first detailed account of the Benghazi attack from security personnel. The incident was the subject of controversy during the last presidential campaign -- Mitt Romney argued that President Obama had been slow to identify it as an act of terror -- and it is certain to dog Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, if she decides to run for president in 2016.