All Things Soldier: The Benghazi Brain Melt

7-1-2016 1-35-04 PMRecently I subjected myself to viewing 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, an extraordinarily difficult movie to watch for a number of reasons. As is always the case with films of that genre, the language is predictably dreadful, and I understand why guys in those kinds of situations get to the place where they use it. I am not saying it’s ok, I am just saying I understand it. I have been around them, either before they go out, or after they come back from missions, and sometimes “golly” or “darn” just don’t support the depth of what they experience.

The violence portrayed is what it is, and most likely it is not as bad as what actually happened. But what is different about 13 Hours, as opposed to other films about the life and actions of the Special Forces teams such as those portrayed in Lone Survivor or American Sniper, is that 13 Hours does a superb job of portraying the maddening frustration of our Personal Security Detail teams in not being able to save Ambassador Chris Stevens, not being able to get clearance to go help, not getting support that could have turned the tide. It is heart breaking to imagine what they went through.

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It exposes the fill-in-the-blank disastrous actions, or more importantly, disastrous inactions of our State Department during the watch of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for the President of the United States. If she wins, she would be the Commander in Chief, and I cannot begin to get my head around what that would be like for all of our soldiers, and most especially for the Special Forces.

It is stunning to me that this woman is not already behind bars, but yet another statement was made recently by Mrs. Clinton that I don’t think can be rescued or reframed by those who would claim that her other famous boo boos were taken out of context. The fact that it happened on the heels of my having seen 13 Hours put it solidly into the realm of the surreal, and much more difficult to endure while keeping a civil tongue in my head.

Here is what she said: “Libya was, uh, a different kind of, um, calculation. We didn’t lose a single person.” “We didn’t lose a single person?” Wasn’t Ambassador Stevens a person? What about Glen Doherty? Sean Smith wasn’t a soldier, but he was an Information Officer, and by most people’s definition, an IT guy is a human being, even if you wrongfully label him a geek. Tyrone Woods had a one year old little boy, and had been a SEAL, as had Doherty.

I don’t have any ability to even guess what it was she was thinking, or perhaps, more importantly, what she wasn’t thinking when she made her statement, but I will do my best to resist what I have come to call the “Benghazi Brain Melt.” It is the strategy that if you just drag something out long enough, or obfuscate skillfully enough, eventually everything will go away, and you won’t be held accountable for your actions. While I have a sickening feeling that she will skate and avoid prison the same way her husband did, I am comforted by the deep conviction that she will have her day of reckoning, and that Someone much more just than am I will not cave in to her current command that “It’s time to move on from Benghazi.”

Hopefully we won’t have to wait until then.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

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