Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | Steve Malzberg Show | Brian Williams | helicopter | false claims | mistake

Ex-Army Ranger to Brian Williams: A Mistake? Say You're Sorry!

By    |   Friday, 06 February 2015 08:31 PM

"NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams is guilty of "stealing valor" for falsely claiming he was aboard a chopper downed by gunfire in Iraq in 2003, retired US Army Ranger Kris "Tanto" Paronto tells Newsmax TV.

And Paronto, a survivor of the 2012 U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, says Williams must admit he lied and not rest on a half-baked excuse.

"It bothers me quite a bit. Anytime that you're stealing valor — and that's exactly what he's doing — from those that have served or those that have been shot at or been shot down from helicopters, and then you're lying about it for 12 years, it upsets all veterans," Paronto said Friday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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"Why it took him 12 years — that says a lot about his character as well, which doesn't speak highly of it. Actually, it really upsets me as a veteran … There should be major reprimands for him," Paronto said.

Williams recanted his claim of being aboard a Chinook helicopter forced down by a rocket-propelled grenade, telling the military newspaper Stars and Stripes he was sorry he had incorrectly remembered the events.

"I would not have chosen to make this mistake. I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another," Williams told the newspaper.

"It wasn't even an apology. He's lying in his apology … His apology said he misremembered," Paronto told Steve Malzberg.

"It was silly. Basically he's not taking full accountability of what he did and he's trying to dumb it down a bit. But what he needs to do is come out and say he lied.

"If he can do that, then maybe his apology would be acceptable, but not as it is now because it's not a full apology. He's just trying to play on words and semantics."

NBC has launched an internal investigation into Williams' "mistake," which was called into question by American soldiers who were stationed in Iraq at the time.

Paronto said false claims by others involving warfare — including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who said he had served in Vietnam, and Hillary Clinton, who said she had landed in Bosnia under sniper fire — are in the same league as Williams' boast.

Paronto is co-author with Mitchell Zuckoff and others of "13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi."

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'NBC Nightly News' anchor Brian Williams is guilty of "stealing valor" for falsely claiming he was aboard a chopper downed by gunfire in Iraq in 2003, retired US Army Ranger Kris "Tanto" Paronto tells Newsmax TV.
Brian Williams, helicopter, false claims, mistake, apologize, Kris Tanto Paronto
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2015-31-06
Friday, 06 February 2015 08:31 PM
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