I’ve decided it is time to give you a break from the Yellowstone pictures. The new year brought a renewed interest in getting through my ever growing reading backlog. First book out of the gates comes at a perfect time as are country is in of the midst of assessing the integrity of politicians competing for the White House. Obviously integrity wasn’t a criteria in the previous two elections, but one can only hope people will do the diligence expected out of participants in one of the greatest rights (and duties) we have living in a democracy. Against the liberal media’s best attempts, the story of Benghazi made it to print and even a recently released movie. 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff is the account from the heroes that took matters into their own hands to defend their countrymen from an attack at our US Outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Specifically it is the account of Mark “Oz” Geist, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, John “Tig” Tigen, Tyron “Rone” Woods, Jack Silva. Dave “DB” Benton, Glen “Bob” Doherty, David Ubben and Scott Wickland who came to the aid of the outpost while it was being attacked and then eventually the attack on the CIA Annex. Rone, Doherty and IT expert Sean Smith gave the ultimate sacrifice that night while politicians schemed against and lied to the American people. It was bad enough with what little came out in the news at the time, but downright disgusting after reading this account. Hillary so famously quipped “What difference does it make” when questioned on Capitol Hill. I only wish they would have allowed the family of those three killed to answer… to answer why it matters that a politician decided it was more important to lie to the American people as to the cause of the attack … of course, the media failed to latch on to that little tidbit on the basis she told her daughter the real story that night.
From a book perspective, I thought as a whole it did not live up to the other military books I’ve read in the past. When you read Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell or any of the Dick Couch books on the special forces, you get the feeling you are there with the subjects of the book, feeling what they feel, assessing the same inputs and wondering what you would have done in a similar situation. The first part of the book is filled with odd tangential statements that felt more like filler than message carriers. This feeling carried for about 2/3rds of the way through the book at which point our heroes made their way back to the Annex. There was actually very little about Ambassador Stevens due to them losing contact with him in the burning safe haven. Even the tragic death of Sean that night was handled in a subdued manner – again.. the narrative just didn’t bring me into the situation well. This changed when the story made its way to the Annex conflict where Rone and Doherty lost their lives and Oz was badly injured. I was not aware of the details of the Annex, so Mitchell brought me up to speed on that – even on the whole “stand-down” concept which everyone stateside has been trying to deny. Call it what you want.. they were ready to help, they were in the car to head into harm’s way and they were told to wait to the breaking point when they opted to take decision making into their own hands. The other scary part of the recount was the 17 February Brigade – from what I can tell a local militia that was contracted to provide security for the Compound. I do not recall whose brilliant idea that was, but it was clear the heroes did not trust them, nor could they readily tell them apart from the terrorists that were attacking them – a dangerous combination for sure!
Most of the pictures didn’t really add much to the book, with the exception of one picture of Stevens’ body being hauled out of the burning build – truly haunting. All said, see the movie or read the book. You owe it to yourself and to the CIA operatives, security protection agents and others whose lives were forever changed that night – some giving the ultimate sacrifice and others suffering physical and emotional debt.
Hit the jump to see what I took away from the read!