13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi delivers subliminal history lesson about September 11, 2012

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi delivers subliminal history lesson about September 11, 2012


Jocelyn Acevedo, News Editor

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi retold the unfortunate time in American history where the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by Islamic militants.The United States ambassador John Christopher Stevens died on this night. This took place September 11, 2012; the eleven year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The movie told the story from the perspective of the U.S militants involved. Two CIA militants guarding the ambassador’s compound needed rescue as they came under attack. Six former military operatives, guarding an annex compound one mile away, had to assemble a fast rescue. The Office’s John Krasinski is the only familiar face playing real life Jack Silva. Behind him are five soldiers Kris Paronto, Dave Benton, John Tiegen, and Mark Geist.

The soldiers’ stay in Libya was a calm one, having little suspicion that something out of the blue would happen, let alone a raid on them. Sure, over the low, unprotected gates of the annex compound small IED’s or simple bombs would be thrown over, but that was expected from a failed state such as Libya. Considering this, nothing life threatening occurred that raised concerns.

It was 9:40 PM when the first attack began at the ambassador’s compound. 130 Islamic militants came equipped with weapons ready to take down the building. When they could not get in they set fire to the building in an attempt to smoke out the three men, ambassador Stevens and his two guards. They stayed in a safe room until the smoke was unbearable and called to the annex compound for help. The team of six militants arrived at 10:05 PM to the ambassador’s compound, rescued two bodies but could not find Stevens’. It was 11:50 PM when they returned back at the annex compound. Around 4:00 AM is when the annex compound “came under machine gun, rocket, and mortar fire”. After that, it was an eleven minute battle that must have felt like an eternity. A famous line from the movie coming from soldier Geist was advice to his team, “Kill them before they kill you.”

The combat in the movie seemed so realistic. Your eyes cannot help but dart all around trying to follow the intense warfare. I had to look off the screen just so my heart rate did not get up too high. It was easy to forget that you were not in the movie. I would recommend the movie to all because it will not disappoint. This was the most action packed film I’ve seen in a long time and truly depicts the attack better than any history lesson. This movie puts the effects of American Sniper and Lone Ranger to shame all thanks to the amazing director Michael Bay.

Back in the United States while this was occuring, little to no action was done to help the soldiers in Libya, an underlying message that was repeated in the movie. It was disappointing to see that discussions were occurring back home about sending more forces to Libya, but it was considered too dangerous and essentially an inconvenience. In real life, massive investigations were done on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I would not have understood the severity and importance of Clinton’s e-mail scrutiny if I had not seen the movie.

13 Hours is not propaganda attacking any other country, except our own. It is true that the movie was about the Islamic terrorists of September 11, 2012, but was made clear that it was a small group of extremists. This excluded the countless Libyans who greatly supported United States ambassador John Christopher Stevens and all of his hard work to help Libya. In fact, after the attack demonstrations in Benghazi and Tripoli were held condemning the violence with signs that read “Chris Stevens was a friend to all” and “Benghazi is against terrorism”.