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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

The newest trailer for 13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is out (see below), and as expected it looks brilliant. As equally expected, the film has been roundly criticized by the left as being anti-President Obama foreign policy or anti-Hillary (‘cuz, gosh, how could anyone think that?). Regardless of excoriation from persons on the left who just can’t to seem to grasp the appalling magnitude of an event like the murder of a serving US Ambassador, despite witless apologists glossing over the obfuscation, temporizing and even ludicrous explanations on the part of the US Department of State and other governmental entities, this movie promises to be incredibly popular.

One can only hope.

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The film is based on a book by Mitchell Zuckoff. The book was co-written by members of the Annex Security Team on the ground that night in the Annex and the Special Mission Compound. According to the intro by the author (a journalism professor at Boston University), the book is,

“…not about what officials in the United States government knew, said or did after the attack, or about the ongoing controversy over talking points, electoral politics, and alleged conspiracies and cover-ups…It is about what happened on the ground, in the streets, and on the rooftops of Benghazi, when bullets flew, buildings burned, and mortars rained. When lives were saved, lost, and forever changed.

The men whose experiences comprise the soul and spine of this book are well aware of the political storm surrounding Benghazi…They know that some Americans use Benghazi as shorthand for US government malfeasance or worse. They also understand that their explanations and revelations will be used as evidence to fit arguments and accusations in which they have chosen not to participate.

It’s not that they don’t care about those issues. It’s just not their purpose. Their intent is to record for history, as accurately as possible, what they did, what they saw, and what happened to them…during the Battle of Benghazi.”

The author is correct. This movie (which hopefully takes no liberties with the contractors’ stories), and presumably nonfiction book on which it’s based, will be (and should be) a point of discussion, though the entire matter has become so enmired in political chicanery, accusations and counter-accusations from both sides of aisle that will never receive the true, dispassionate dissection, analysis and administration of justice it deserves. First it was too political, now it’s old news. There is no way those ultimately responsible for the deaths of the Americans on the ground (vs. those directly responsible) will be held accountable.

In the absence of truth unvarnished by political outrage from either party we’ll have to settle for acknowledging the valor and sacrifice of our honored dead and those who strove to save them.

You can read the maundering and anemic findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the events that night at Benghazi here, but be forewarned it doesn’t really say or do more than wring some notional hands and suggest maybe somebody could have done better.

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The book is available here. It’s available in paperback, hardcover, Audible and Kindle. Here’s an excerpt:

“Tig leapt over the parapet and ducked low as he looked around the blackened roof. The sun still hung below the horizon and smoke still swirled, giving Tig only a few feet of visibility. ‘I need help up here,’ he called on the radio.

The first man Tig spotted was Dave Ubben, propped against the parapet ten feet from the northeast corner, conscious but dazed, a pistol in his right hand. Tig knelt next to Ubben and grabbed the gun, worried that while in shock and pain the DS agent might mistake Tig for someone who needed to be shot. He tossed the pistol to the side and pulled a headlamp from Oz’s medical bag. Tig flipped down a red lens cover to keep from painting a target for the attackers.

Tig saw that Ubben had suffered major injuries to his lower left leg and serious wounds to his left arm below the elbow. Tig pulled out both tourniquets from Oz’s medical bag. Just as Rone had demonstrated days earlier during the medical refresher course, Tig applied the first tourniquet to Ubben’s badly damaged leg. As he worked in the darkness, Tig accidentally raked his hand across the edge of one of Ubben’s protruding bones. The razor sharp bone sliced through Tig’s skin, but he’d worry about it later. As he worked, Tig offered a steady stream of assurances…”

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