13 Hours


The words "A Michael Bay Film" do not generally conjure up images of white-knuckle drama and powerful, deeply emotional storytelling. When Michael Bay releases a new film, it's generally assumed that the new movie will essentially be the result of an idiot-savant goofball film director pointing his camera at whatever is exploding the hardest, along with hot girls displaying ample curvature and cleavage thrown in for eye-candy.

You sort of expect Michael Bay films to be the theatrical equivalent of pantomime opera- grandiose, over-the-top in every way, ridiculously silly, and yet strangely appealing, sort of like a slow-motion clown car crash.

His latest film, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, defies every last one of those expectations. (Except the one about massive explosions. There are LOTS of explosions.)

I saw this movie yesterday. I walked out of the theatre practically shaking with rage. No film I have ever seen has had that effect on me- not even the pile of horripilation that was Social Justice Wars: Return of the Mary Sue.

Neither time nor additional reading have diminshed that anger. If you pay even a modicum of attention, this film will make you furious. And rightly so.

It was not that the movie was bad. Just the opposite, in fact. This is one of the best action movies I have ever seen. It is full of superb performances, a plot that would be unbelievable if it were anything other than a true story, and exceptionally strong characterisation.

Based on a book that chronicles the entire attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, the film grabs you from the first frame and holds you in your seat with a brilliant, powerful story of heroic courage against impossible odds. Despite the 144-minute runtime- 2 hours and 24 minutes- the story never, ever slows down. Even the brief quiet spells in between intense combat sequences are used to maximum effect, by humanising the brave men who fought and bled to protect their fellow Americans that terrible day.

The story of the consular attack in Benghazi is fairly well known by now. On 9/11/12, 11 years after Islamic fundamentalists killed over 3,000 people in a single day on American soil in the name of their "god", a mob attacked the American consulate in Benghazi itself in what intelligence agencies quickly realised was a coordinated, planned attack by the forces of Al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Sharia. Two men died within the first six hours of that attack- Sean Smith, an information management officer with the consulate; and Christopher Stevens, the charismatic, idealistic ambassador who was both well-known and well-respected in Libya and who apparently believed completely in America as a force for good in the world. Before the ordeal was done, another two Americans would be dead- former Navy SEALs Tyrone "Rone" Woods and Glenn "Bub" Doherty- and two more would be seriously wounded.

But, thanks to the incredible heroism of six former military operators then working as private security for that CIA outpost, thirty Americans were evacuated out of Benghazi by Libyan armed forces.

Two of their brothers, two Navy SEALs, died that day, so that their fellows could live.

Such a story would be tragic enough if that were all there was to it. But what makes this particular story so outrageous, so difficult for any patriot to accept at face value, is the fact- borne out in both documentary evidence and eyewitness testimony- that both the consular staff and the staff of the secret CIA facility just a mile away from the consulate repeatedly sent out calls for help from any friendly forces in the area.

Other than the GRS personnel at the Mission compound, and the reinforcements that arrived with SEAL Doherty, the American government and military DID NOT send help.

And that is what makes people like me, who love this country and what it represents, positively incandescent with fury. One terrible thought kept stabbing into me like an icepick in the brain as I watched this movie:
The government of the United States of America, the most powerful nation on Earth, LEFT THIRTY-SIX OF HER OWN OUT THERE TO DIE.
It wasn't as if the chain of command did not know what was going on. Within minutes of the start of the attack, in which something on the order of 60 assailants attempted (successfully) to storm the consulate, an unarmed unmanned surveillance drone was diverted from other duties to provide real-time intelligence about the attack on the consulate. Subsequent sources and testimony reveal that a second drone was later diverted to provide realtime information to AFRICOM in Germany and to the Pentagon and the White House.

The excuse that America couldn't send rapid-response teams into harm's way because the chain of command didn't know what was going on is pure grade-A unadulterated BULLSHIT. They knew. THEY KNEW, AND THEY DID NOTHING.

No land-based F-16s from Italy, and no carrier-launched F/A-18s, flying overhead to deliver sonic booms to "put the fear of God and America" into the people assaulting either the consulate or the CIA outpost.

No helicopters sent in to rescue the American personnel and security team trapped in the outpost, surrounded on all sides by hostiles.

No help at first, other than six incredibly brave and heroic men who ventured out- against orders- into a confused mess of a situation hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, and through their efforts managed to save the remaining consular staff and then the CIA staff at the Mission compound.

If it was Michael Bay's intention to get his audience angry, I'd say he damned well succeeded.

Mr. Bay is studiously apolitical in this film. He never, ever names or shames anyone in the US government's structure; other than lines like, "POTUS is being briefed" and a few shots of the WHite House, the Pentagon, and AFRICOM headquarters, you never get the impression that anyone in the US government ever got involved.

And yet you get the distinct impression that Mr. Bay positively seethes with rage about what was allowed to happen, and how the story of that horrible night was covered up. As John Nolte said in his review:
Director Michael Bay’s riveting, heartbreaking, and infuriating “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” opens with five simple words: “This Is a True Story.” What it should have read was, “This Is a True Story The Media Has Covered Up For Years.” 
God damn these people to Hell.
Mr. Bay, to his immense credit, never goes into the politics that surrounded the events of Benghazi within minutes of the story breaking- other than to have one of the characters state that the story being trotted out in the media is that a spontaneous "protest" outside the consulate suddenly turned violent due to some stupid "YouTube video". Beyond this, the film concentrates quite simply on what happened that day, and leaves it at that.

It is left to the viewer to draw the only conclusion possible.

It is exactly as Andrew Breitbart once said. The media is the enemy.

They covered up for this President. About the best that can be said about Obama is that he is a conflict-avoiding man who does not want to risk American lives in shows of power. But I draw a different conclusion: he is a coward, morally and temperamentally unsuited for the job of leading what was once the greatest nation on Earth, and absolutely unworthy of being given the monumental responsibility of the role of Commander-in-Chief, to command heroes like SEALs Doherty and Woods.

They covered up for Hillary Clinton. She lied for ten days after the event to the American people, openly and repeatedly, claiming that the attack was started by some obscure Internet video released months earlier, even though the CIA's OWN ANALYSIS said otherwise. And this is now the woman that the mainstream media considers to be Barack Obarmy's heir-apparent?! A woman so devoid of character and morality as to lie to the father of a slain Navy SEAL about the reason why he had to bury his own son?!?

This is a woman who should be in prison for what she has done. And she is THE MEDIA-ANOINTED FRONT-RUNNER FOR PRESIDENT OF THIS COUNTRY.

If ever there was an indictment of the American system of politics, if ever there was something that every red-blooded American should be ashamed of, that is it, right there.

Go and see this movie. Go read the book upon which it was based, as I am doing right now. Honour the men who did what was right, and paid a truly terrible price for it. And recognise, once and for all, that we are at war- and that our enemies will stop at nothing to deny the truth.

Comments

  1. why do I get the feeling that this is the stake that is going to be driven into the heart of Hitlery's presidential hopes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have my doubts. The Hilldebeast has proven to be extremely resilient in the past against similar lapses in her own judgement- not least because of the extraordinary political machine that she and her husband have built around themselves.

      But it does appear that the results of her own stupidity, narcissism, and incompetence are piling up. The electorate's judgement of her trustworthiness appears to be tanking.

      Delete

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