My Review of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

My thoughts on “13 Hours” (the movie): (By the way, if you haven’t seen it, stop reading and go see it)

Stunningly eye-opening, and I pretty much knew the story already. Lot of emotions after the movie, none of them positive: anger (lots of it), frustration, confusion, sadness, more anger.

First, the movie itself.  Director Michael Bay was brilliant.  The cinematography was off-the-charts great.  There were a few scenes that really stuck with me – the first when one of the CIA Analysts is begging for air support – even just low-altitude flybys – and the camera pans to F-16s sitting on the tarmac with the cockpits open (clearly not going anywhere) and near the end of the movie when a Libyan transport C-130 arrives to fly our dead soldiers out and one of the characters says “It’s a Libyan transport plane.  Still no Americans.”

edit: Another interesting pair of scenes: twice in the movie in the middle of a gunfight, our guys happened upon Benghazi residents watching a soccer game.  During a gunfight.  What an amazing dichotomy of death surrounded by an attitude of “oh, just another Tuesday in Benghazi,” which they actually mentioned in the movie.  Part of me couldn’t help but wonder if there was an undertone of “oh, they’re just going to kill some Americans – just another Tuesday in Benghazi.”

There was no mention of Hillary or Obama, but they did mention the treasonous lie about a YouTube video that caused a demonstration.  They stopped short of mentioning that this administration carried forward that lie for days and WEEKS afterwards, even though we had a drone overhead during much of the fighting and that feed was seen real-time in war rooms around the world, including the White House.

The movie itself was brilliantly done.  Of note: most movies at the beginning will have a disclaimer of “based on a true story.”  Not this one – it said “This IS a true story.”

Maybe more important than the movie was the story behind the movie, and the mountain of lies surrounding it.  It seems there can only be two reasonable reactions to that movie and what happened over those few days in Benghazi. Maybe “reactions” isn’t the best word… conclusions? solutions?

1. Kill everyone who wants to kill us. Not most of them, all of them.  Every last one.  Note: not all the Libyans in Benghazi were bad guys. Some helped us, even saved the day. But it’s hard to see what happened there and not have the anger of a thousand white-hot burning suns. One common theme is “who are the good guys?” “If I’m pretty sure this guy is a bad guy, but he’s not a threat right now, can I shoot him?” “That guy is using his cell phone to get coordinates for a mortar attack. I really want to shoot him.” What happened in Benghazi really makes it clear that so many want to kill us only because we’re Americans. You mess with us, you die.

The issue with #1 is that there is no way physically to pull that off, even if we wanted to. ISIS is in nearly every country on earth, including ours. So even with nuclear weapons, there’s no way to kill them all. Besides, they don’t ALL want to kill us – there’s just no good way to tell the difference between those who do and those who don’t. So #1 is out.

2. Get all our troops out of these damn countries. If we can’t adequately provide for the security of our people, they shouldn’t be there. Period. It’s absolutely unacceptable to hire out locals to protect our people, many of whom have never been vetted whatsoever and we may not even know who they are exactly. Never mind the fact that when our guys asked for help we ignored them. Bring them all home, at least until we can figure out how to protect them. Safety is never guaranteed, but come on – we need to take care of our people, especially since we’re asking them to go to these places in the first place.

That’s my $0.02. Take it or leave it.

(By the way, I’m ignoring the obvious: anyone responsible for not sending help when our own people were begging for it should be tried for treason, or dereliction of duty when in combat or somesuch… but I’m assuming we all agree on that.  Add in the fact that there was a lie of a story about a damn YouTube video that Hillary told to the families as the caskets rolled off the plane, and now I’m back into “anger” again.)



5 comments on “My Review of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

  1. gnosisrosa says:

    What a great review and opinion piece Jeff! I haven’t gotten to see it but I will indeed see this, I read the book and that got me heated to know their story as they told it. I agree with your point of view about them needing to be tried for their treasonous acts.

  2. davidyamane says:

    Just saw the movie last weekend, so was happy to read your thoughts about it while it was fresh in my mind.

    My only complaint was the run time of 2 hours, 20-something minutes (IIRC). I thought the fat could have been trimmed to 1:45 or 2 hours tops. With the 40 minutes of trailers and ads at the start, I felt like I was at the theater for 13 hours!

    Keep up the good work.

    • Jeff Meek says:

      It was a little long. But honestly, had the movie been 9 hours, I’d have been glued to my seat the entire time. When we saw it, when the credits rolled, no one moved – it was a strange paralysis, afraid to disrespect the story or something.

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