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CIA Contractor Tells Personal Story of Benghazi at OCUPAC Dinner
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:35 AM

Former Army Ranger and CIA security contractor Kris Paranto was the keynote speaker at a dinner in Tulsa hosted by the Oklahoma Credit Union Political Action Committee. Paranto was part of six-man security team credited with saving more than 40 American lives during the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on a U.S. State Department facility and clandestine CIA outpost in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

The Ranger gave his detailed accounting of the ordeal that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and others. Paranto said the harrowing incident was the result of a well-planned and coordinated attack by anti-American forces, not a random demonstration as initially reported by the U.S. State Department.

Frustrated by what he termed a cover-up, Paranto and his teammates decided to recount their first-hand experience and collaborated with author Mitchell Zuckoff to write the 2014 book 13 Hours, which was later adapted for film. Following release of the book, Paranto said, all of the Rangers were stripped of security clearance and dismissed from the CIA.

State Sen. A.J. Griffin was one of several state legislators attending the Tulsa dinner. She called the evening inspiring, and said, “Hearing Kris tell his story of Benghazi reminded me that one of the things that makes America great is the selfless, heroics of our people.”