It is impossible to experience the gripping new film 13 Hours and escape this conclusion: Obama and Hillary Clinton have lied through their teeth, gums, and cheeks about Benghazi.
Despite Obama’s and Clinton’s recurring lies to the contrary, the deadly attacks of September 11, 2012, on U.S. diplomatic and intelligence facilities in Benghazi, Libya, had no connection with political protests. In director Michael Bay’s political-action thriller, which Paramount Pictures calls “a true story,” these two outposts get slammed ferociously by growing waves of well-armed jihadists who know exactly what they are doing. As if mocking Obama’s and Clinton’s lies, they do not drop their picket signs and then suddenly grab grenades, rocket launchers, and mortar shells. Instead, these killers skip the placards and head straight for the firepower.
(Spoiler alert: In this piece I discuss this film’s plot, although the facts here should surprise no one who has followed this controversy.)
None of Benghazi’s mayhem depicted in 13 Hours involves Innocence of Muslims, the anti-Mohammed Internet video that Obama and Clinton faulted for the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, State Department technical officer Sean Smith, and private security contractors and former Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. This disconnect reinforces the untruth of Obama’s and Clinton’s synthetic claim.
Beyond the lies that it illustrates, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi very effectively captures the heartache of watching deserted Americans suffer. The U.S. diplomats, intelligence officers, and security contractors in the film relentlessly ask for help. By telephone and walkie-talkie, they plead for a helicopter gunship to obliterate the Ansar al-Sharia radicals who repeatedly strike the CIA annex, near the torched U.S. consulate, where these Islamic terrorists murdered Stevens and Smith.
When no gunship arrives, the Americans personnel beg for, at least, a fighter-jet flyover. Such a tactic might have scared away or slowed the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists who assaulted the Americans in ever-larger and better-equipped numbers. The scream of an airborne F-16 would have given the beleaguered Americans a sorely needed reassurance that they were not alone – much as U.S. military jets comforted New Yorkers on September 11, 2001, by soaring into position and patrolling the cobalt skies above Manhattan’s smoldering sidewalks.
Even though such fighter jets could have been dispatched from Aviano Air Force Base in northern Italy or Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, the Americans in Benghazi waited and waited and waited in vain for any U.S. aircraft to show up.
Obama and Clinton still should pay for this.
Clinton’s lies continued that September 14, during the solemn ceremony in which the smoke-infused, battle-scarred bodies of these American public servants returned home for the final time. Although live drone footage from the raid confirmed that these Americans were murdered in an elaborate and carefully staged terrorist onslaught, Clinton said, “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”
Clinton knew she was lying to these bereaved families and the American public. So, her lies roared on. However, as the House Select Committee on Benghazi revealed last October 22, Clinton told her daughter the truth that night:
“Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an al Qaeda-like group,” Hillary e-mailed Chelsea at 11:12 p.m. on September 11, 2012 – even as the incursion raged on.
At 3:04 p.m. the next day, the then-secretary of state also spoke the truth to Hisham Qandil, prime minister in Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood government. She told him by phone: “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack – not a protest. Based on the information we saw today, we believe that the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al-Qaeda.”
And yet, three days later, she flat-out lied to grieving American citizens about “an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”
Even more despicable, the father of Tyrone Woods reports that Clinton told him within feet of his son’s flag-draped casket that the federal government would nab the filmmaker whose video, she asserted, killed the younger Woods. While Clinton denies these remarks, Charles Woods shared with Megyn Kelly of Fox News Channel this contemporaneous diary entry for that September 15, in which he documents Clinton’s words to him one day earlier at Dover Air Force Base:
“I gave Hillary a hug and shook her hand, and she said we are going to have the film maker arrested who was responsible for the death of my son.”
To disbelieve Charles Woods, as Hillary appears to, one must believe that he clairvoyantly foresaw these comments and jotted them in his diary, knowing just four days after Benghazi that these words would harm the former first lady four years later.
But this scandal remained covered up on September 15, 2012. Obama and Clinton successfully had deflected blame for the carnage and pinned it on a highly amateur Internet production. “There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy,” Obama deceived the United Nations General Assembly that September 25, a full fortnight after the Benghazi bloodbath.
Just as Hillary Clinton predicted, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies arrested Innocence of Muslims director Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
Obama’s and Clinton’s words likely encouraged Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to arrest Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Coptic Christian filmmaker who produced Innocence of Muslims. He was sentenced to one year at La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution in Texas, supposedly for parole violations tied to an unrelated bank-fraud case.
Having thrown Nakoula behind bars as, essentially, an American political prisoner, Obama and Clinton effectively swept this entire affair under a Persian rug past Election Day 2012. They concealed these hideous facts long enough to protect Obama’s core reelection theme. As he told the Democratic National Convention that September 6: “Al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
13 Hours highlights both the sickening truths that contrast with these lies and the gut-wrenching lack of help that these brave and dedicated Americans endured as filthy bands of militant-Islamic scum hammered them for more than half a day.
John Krasinski plays Navy SEAL Jack Silva in 13 Hours.
Cinematically, 13 Hours is riveting, intense, and highly suspenseful. The acting is strong all around, especially by James Badge Dale, as the late SEAL Tyrone Woods, and John Krasinski, best known as John Halpert on NBC’s comedy series The Office. Krasinski impressively expands his range and brings true grit and emotional vulnerability to his portrayal of former SEAL and security contractor Jack Silva. (For security reasons, this nom de guerre shields a real American warrior.)
Director Michael Bay maintains an unyielding pace throughout his film. He also will infuriate the P.C. police. Unlike Obama, he does not whitewash his villains as “violent extremists.” Bay confronts the fact that this event’s evildoers are radical Muslims. The audience hears the Islamic call to prayer during the movie. In one scene, several bloodthirsty killers take a prayer break. They bow toward Mecca in a nearby mosque, within reach of their propped-up machine guns.
Bay also features decent Libyans, such as a translator who gets pressed into action and stands loyally with the Americans as everything explodes around him. Just before the credits roll, Bay informs the audience that some 100,000 of Ambassador Stevens’s Libyan admirers rallied in his memory. Time and again, this motion picture illustrates how tough it is in such a confounding place to distinguish the good guys from the bad – especially when the villains casually blend in with everyone else.
Every American should watch 13 Hours, marvel at the bravery of our countrymen, and recoil at Obama and Clinton. Their weakness let radical-Islamic terrorists murder four honorable Americans, and their lies still stink up this horror show.
A version of this piece previously appeared on National Review Online.