13 Hours

16 Nov 2015

Category: book

Tags: book, good, military, nonfiction

I forget what movie I was at when I first saw the preview for this upcoming movie, but I was pretty excited when I saw it. There was a lot of talk about the Hilary Clinton email garbage which made the whole investigation into Benghazi seem to be lost in the background. After seeing the preview, I came across 13 Hours in an airport book store which surprised me as I did not know it was a book before I heard about the movie. This made it onto my reading list and I just got around to it thankfully in time before the movie hits theatres.

I knew very little about what happened in Libya on September 11, 2012 so this book was one of those enjoyable occasions where I got to read a nonfiction book about something that both interests me as well as that I know virtually nothing about. The media coverage for the past half year or so has focused so much on Hilary Clinton that the actual events that took place during those 13 hours seems lost. I knew that some people died but I did not know who, how many, or why. After reading this book I have a much better understanding of what happened, although as you would also find out after reading, we still do not really know the full details of the why.

That should be ammended to say we do not know necessarily why the compound in Libya was attacked in the first place, but we do know that there were some critical mistakes and decisions that led to casualties in some respects but also decisions that led to more people being saved than otherwise.

Some other facts that came out of this book that I found particuarly intersting is the interplay between the different official government agencies and contract operators. If you want to know a detailed account of what happened on the ground this is the best way to find out. If you are looking for some answers to political questions or really detailed analysis of the causes or consequences of the attack then this is not the book for you. Overall it was a well written narrative if not a bit repeatitive at times. I would have liked to have a bit more discussion about the aftermath, but that really was not the purpose of the book so I should not fault it for that.

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