Susan Granger’s review of “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” (Paramount Pictures)
Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz said, “This new movie will relate the incredible bravery of the men fighting for their lives in Benghazi and the politicians that abandoned them,” while candidate Donald Trump rented an Iowa movie theater and distributed free tickets.
Problem is: while this $50 million thriller allegedly relates the attack on the diplomatic compound in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in 2012, the now-retired CIA station chief, identified only as Bob, denies he ever issued an order to “stand down.”
“There never was a stand-down order,” he told the Washington Post/Associated Press. “At no time did I ever second-guess that the team would depart.”
A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee found that the CIA and military acted properly in responding to the attack by Islamic extremists and determined that there was no delay in sending a CIA rescue team and no missed opportunity for a military rescue.
“No one will mistake this movie for a documentary,” stated CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani. “It’s a distortion of the events and people who served in Benghazi that night. It’s shameful that, in order to highlight the heroism of some, those responsible for the movie felt the need to denigrate the courage of other Americans who served in harm’s way.”
Based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s non-fiction best-seller, adapted by Chuck Hogan and directed by Michael Bay, it begins with “This is a true story” and is peppered with violent shootouts, firebombs, and an invented bus explosion.
Hunky John Krasinski plays a rugged Navy SEAL-turned-private security contractor, along with Pablo Schreiber, Max Martini, James Badge Dale, David Denman and Dominic Fumusa.
FYI: The real Benghazi contractors were the Global Response Staff, created by the CIA. And then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s name is never mentioned, although blame is implied.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” is a patriotic, action-packed 4. Just don’t expect accuracy or clarity.