Soldiers, when committed to a task, can’t compromise. It’s unrelenting devotion to the standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it’s been done.
Today, while many were observing the Martin Luther King Day Holiday, I went to see a movie. As a historian, I am drawn for the most part to movies that depict historical events and enjoy determining afterwards the level of Truth or fiction each contained. So, on this day, I chose to go see 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
As this movie was based on a book by the same name written by three of the survivors about an event not long in the past, I and many go into the movie with some knowledge of the events of September 11, 2012. Many may not remember, as their memories get hung up on the Month and day this event shared (Coincidence?) with the Darkest day in American History. Others, due to their blind allegiance to one political party and it’s personalities or doctrine, will refuse to entertain the thought of viewing the movie. I sincerely hope, however that the majority of Americans WILL go to see this movie, as it is very Damning evidence against the current Administration, and by association one of the prominent candidates for President in the 2016 election.
In short: 13 Hours is the story of a 21st Century Siege of the Alamo. It took place in Benghazi, Libya in the months following the ouster of long-time leader Mohmar Khadaffi. As often happens in third-world countries following the removal of a ‘strongman’ type leader, the Nation of Libya essentially disintegrated into chaos as competing factions, including the beginnings of the group now known as ISIS fought for control. In this violent and unstable environment, the U.S. State Department sent Ambassador Chris Stephens to represent the people and government of the United States.
As part of his official duties, the Ambassador travels from Tripoli to Benghazi to meet with local officials. On the night of September 11, 2012, the facility where the Ambassador was staying was attacked by Terrorist Militants, and the Ambassador was killed. During the attack, the compound asked for assistance from a nearby CIA annex, as well as the U.S. Military and State Department chains of command. Other than CIA Security contractors, no assistance was approved or sent. After evacuating the consulate facility to the CIA annex, it too came under attack resulting in the deaths of two of the Security contractors.
As with information that has come out since, the movie points out quite plainly, that these Men did not have to die. Between the refusal of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to upgrade the compound security and provide extra security, and the to this point un answered questions as to when the President was told of the attack, the Ambassador and all Americans in Benghazi were nearly condemned to death. In the end, only the skill, bravery, and sacrifice of the security contractors (all former U.S. Special Forces members) enabled the majority of Americans to survive the night.
Why did Mrs. Clinton not approve of the measures to increase security that the Ambassador asked for? Why did the President do nothing? Where were our leaders when our representatives in that country were in such dire need of assistance? In my mind, it was the most shameful failure of the U.S. Governmental apparatus since at least the failure to protect the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran in 1979. But that’s not all: does the inaction not give aid and comfort to the enemy? If the enemy operated without fear of attack or reprisal, is that not comfort? Is it not aiding them in their aim to take out the American representative by not providing for adequate defense?
From U.S. Code:
18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)
Citizens of the United States: We must WAKE UP! This type of action by those WE elect to Lead, Serve and Protect our Nation must NEVER be allowed to happen again! The Men and Women of the Armed Forces and other Agencies must be able to expect competent Leadership when they are in Harm’s way. If we don’t see that is done, fewer will volunteer to serve and protect us and our way of life.
“When I was young I was giving myself to something bigger. That something bigger is gone now.” – Jack Silva, former Navy SEAL in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
If the future of this Nation matters: Read the book 13 Hours and see the movie. Then do some honest soul searching. Let the Truth of what you discover impact who our leaders should be. Only if we ALL do this kind of honest reflection can we return this Nation to the respectable state it deserves.
Chris Stephens – United States Ambassador to Libya
Glen Doherty – CIA Security Contractor, former Navy SEAL
Sean Smith – U.S. Department of State IT Contractor
Tyrone Woods – CIA Security Contractor, former Navy SEAL
Wall of Stars: CIA Headquarlers, Langley, VA. Although many of the names are secret, the final two stars on the wall as of this photo are for Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero