National Security

Could a Movie Derail Hillary Clinton for Good?

"13 Hours" is the story of Benghazi from the eyes of those on the ground.

Paul Albaugh · Jan. 19, 2016

Benghazi. Four Americans killed. A film with the recurring theme of a fading superpower that trades on its still-existing military power while trying to figure out its purpose. A movie depicting men who were denied everything yet gave everything they had to protect their fellow Americans.

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” is the title of this newly released movie and it tells the story of what happened during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate from the perspective of American fighters on the ground. According to The Washington Post, Paramount insists the film is “not political,” but the Post argues that it is political — even though former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not mentioned by name and Barack Obama is mentioned only in passing. The Post has a point, but that’s only because Obama and Clinton politicized the attack from the beginning.

Further, while the movie does not directly attack the Obama administration, it does show the general incompetence, corruption and sluggish bureaucracy in Washington. And it shows what our guys on the ground went through having been abandoned by Obama and Clinton.

National Review’s David French, an Iraq war veteran, notes, “The Benghazi controversy is the story of three great failures — the failure to either fortify or evacuate Benghazi when threats increased, the failure to adequately protect and support American personnel during the attack itself, and the repeated lies told the American public after the attack to minimize both the nature of the jihadist threat and the scale of the administration’s incompetence.”

As we have known from the start, the attack in Benghazi was not because of a YouTube video. Obama and Clinton lied in blaming a video because Obama desperately wanted to cover up his administration’s failure to recognize the escalating threat to American security in Benghazi and the Middle East generally, as well as the failure to respond to the attack with military force.

Further, Obama and Clinton lied in order to secure Obama’s re-election. And now, Clinton, whose role with Benghazi among other scandalous activities should disqualify her from even being able to run for president, is still the leading contender for the Democrat nomination. That is absolutely appalling.

Equally appalling is that there are several Democrat politicians who have essentially accused our Special Forces who were on the ground in Benghazi of lying. That’s right, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) are accusing Kris Paronto and John Tiegen of lying about the order to “stand down.”

There is ample evidence from multiple testimonies that a “stand down” order was given. The CIA officer who was in charge at Benghazi denies having given the order as the movie alleges. Security operators interviewed by the author upon whose book the movie was based said the CIA chief did give a stand down order. Did he or didn’t he, and if so, was he directed by Washington?

When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if she had plans to see the movie, Clinton replied that she was “too busy campaigning.” Yet she isn’t too busy to appear on the Jimmy Fallon Show, the Ellen DeGeneres show or to be interviewed by YouTube stars. She even had the audacity to mention that she had given testimony before Congress about Benghazi for 11 hours — as if the number of hours was a point in her favor.

So we have another lie. She isn’t too busy; she doesn’t want to see the truth. Perhaps she is using the two-hour time slot to come up with more lies for when she’s questioned by potential supporters. Her hopes that her role in Benghazi would fade have not turned in her favor.

On a final note, the movie illustrates some policy challenges for Republicans, too. National Review’s Stanley Kurtz writes, “13 Hours ends by noting that Libya has become a failed state and a training ground for ISIS, subtly pointing the finger at Hillary’s misjudgment on the Libya campaign in a way that most Republicans so far have not.”

That’s because some of them favored intervention.

Republican candidates had better be clear on their vision of foreign policy. They must make it known whether the United States will or won’t be in the business of removing dictators (like Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi), and whether America’s national security must be at stake before making such a move. And if we do remove a dictator, there should be clearly defined strategic objectives and follow-up actions in place.

Obama’s policy of removing Gadhafi with no strategic objective in mind was exactly wrong, as evidenced by the continuing turmoil there. And he undermined our objectives in Iraq by prematurely withdrawing. Republican candidates need to seize the opportunity to zero in on the failed foreign policies of Clinton and her former boss. If there is ever a chance to beat the Islamic State, then we must first beat Clinton.

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