Sunday, January 17, 2016
"13 Hours" Worth Seeing
I don't often promote movies on this blog, but I highly recommend going to see "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi." The movie is the screen adaptation of the real-life events as recounted in the book bearing the same name describing the attack on the off-the-books diplomatic outpost and CIA mission in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012, which claimed the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his communications assistance, Sean Smith, and two contacted special force operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
The mainstream media has not been giving this movie the same hype it gave to "American Sniper," the mostly-fictional account of the life of a special forces sniper, Christopher Kyle, a movie I refused to watch because it was nothing but a CIA propaganda movie. The movie's director, Michael Bay, avoided politicizing the movie, which would have been easy enough to do. You won't hear the names of President Barack Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned once during the two-and-half hour movie, although their glaring lack of leadership in this fiasco should loom permanently over their heads
It tells the story through the eyes of the heroic, highly-trained, contracted special operative forces who undertook themselves to save the lives of those at the diplomatic mission after the local CIA chief gave them a stand-down order. This is the most controversial element of the movie. Top military officials and the CIA deny any stand-down order was ever given. I believe the guys on the ground forced to defend the two facilities which officially didn't even exist over the brass in Washington who were obviously more concerned about covering their butts than defending the lives of Americans under attack.
Unfortunately, despite their valiant efforts in risking their own lives the special forces could not save the lives of Ambassador Stevens or Smith, although they were able to successfully rescue several of the State Department personnel based there against great odds. Incredibly, their efforts were hampered by nobody sharing the intelligence a U.S. military drone, which had arrived relatively quickly on the scene, was sending back to the brass in Washington, who apparently were enjoying the make-shift, live snuff film the drone provided to them too much to find the time to dispatch a rescue team to assist the endangered American personnel.
The only back-up the Benghazi team received was provided by a small team led by Glen Doherty, who was based in Tripoli where he was helping the U.S. government recover dangerous weapons that had fallen into the wrong hands somehow during the allied efforts to overthrow Gaddafi. He had to commandeer a private jet to make his way with his small back-up team from Tripoli, only to be held up for hours at the Benghazi airport. His team arrived just in time for the final and most sustained assault on the CIA annex, which claimed his life and his good friend, Tyrone Woods. I think our government fully wanted all of the Americans in Benghazi to perish so they wouldn't live to talk about their highly-secretive mission there, which was not in the least bid noble, unless you believe providing arms to radical Islamists to wreak havoc throughout the Middle East is a noble mission.
It is truly a remarkable story about how this small group of off-the-books contracted military operatives, none of whom should have ever been in the place they found themselves thanks to our country's awful foreign policy, were able to prevail against all odds. The most memorable line of the movie to me was at the end when the second plane arrived to take the remaining special forces and the bodies of the four Americans lost in the battle back to Tripoli. It was a Libyan plane. "And still no Americans," quipped one of the men. I was also reminded of that infamous Hillary Clinton ad from the 2008 presidential campaign--the "It's 3 a.m. and the phone is ringing." Both Hillary's and Barack's phones were ringing before they went to bed in Washington, D.C. on that fateful night of September 11, 2012, but they both chose to sleep in the comfort of their homes rather than lead at that critical moment while hell rained down on their fellow Americans in Benghazi.