Went to the movies yesterday. It was kind of rainy here in the bay area and a good time for some indoor activities so I went to see 13 hours - the secret soldiers of Benghazi. Interesting movie about some really brave Americans. The featured heroes were not soldiers, but contracted military security for hire to protect the secret CIA compound in Benghazi.
Its a timely movie because of the political situation during this election cycle, but the movie supposedly takes a non-political position about the events. Instead, it tears opens the vulnerability we have in terms of support for our people working in hostile outposts around the world.
Despite bragging rights about how great our air power is, it was not possible to get even a single flyover by a warplane over the compound. That war plane, even if it didn't have any weapons, would have likely stopped or delayed the later mortar attack which subsequently killed two more Americans. But distance, logistics, military procedures, chain of command issues, and incompetence proved emergency response was just wishful
It was also a fatal miscalculation by the State department and CIA that the overthrow of Gaddafi had been widely accepted and that the people in the country loved the Americans for engineering his removal. Gaddafi was removed because he wanted to exit the petro-dollar scheme and use Libya's own gold based currency for oil. The powers that be couldn't allow him to do that. Gaddafi, over his 42 year rein, took Libya from one of the poorest nations to one of the most prosperous before we engineered his removal. Some info here. He may have been a bad guy, but his way may have been the only way this part of the world could have been run.
With Gaddafi's departure and loss of his iron fist of control, the country became a mess with warlords and extremists fighting to fill the vacuum. The even bigger mistake was to let our ambassador go into such a situation without enough military and security support when all the other western countries had pulled out. Who will answer for these errors of judgement? Only time will tell, but time is what the guys in Benghazi had to cope with. 13 hours is a long time waiting for help.
The movie was great entertainment, but at the end, you just kind of left with a sad, empty feeling. Four bright Americans with their lives ahead of them were stuffed out. And as to the families, the questions are still unanswered.
My own question that still remains unanswered to this day is "Where the hell was Obama during this time?".