The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that HBO will be making a film about the 9/11 attack in Benghazi based upon the book Under Fire.
HBO has a very checkered history when it comes to films that touch on politics which might be cause for concern. However, I read Under Fire the day it was released so I can say that the source material does not engage in much political speculation. The authors suggest in passing that the CIA was running the show in Libya but offer no firm conclusions about what they were doing, just a few paragraphs about possible weapons smuggling and training of troops.
The book opens with a description of the very militant friendly scene in Benghazi prior to the attack, including the attempted assassination of the UK ambassador which led the Brits to pull out of the city. But most of its length is devoted to a moment-by-moment account of the attack from the perspective of the Diplomatic Security agents who fought like hell to keep everyone alive that night. There is some detail about the life history of each of the four men who died in the attack but if HBO sticks to the book, this will be an action movie with gun battles and a gripping car chase.
Earlier this month I ran an excerpt from Under Fire which revealed that a DS agent at the Benghazi mission that night called in a “terrorist attack” within minutes. On one of the few topics that has been a political football, Under Fire makes it very clear that this was never a spontaneous protest but a carefully pre-planned attack. The attackers knew the layout of the villa/temporary mission before they arrived.
Finally, since I’m mentioning that first report of a terrorist attack revealed in Under Fire, it’s worth pointing out once again how odd it is that leadership in Washington did not get the message for days or weeks. Rep. Kinzinger recalls Sec. Clinton “screaming” at another Member of Congress who dared to suggest it was a terrorist attack during a private briefing two days after the attack. How could she and President Obama not know for days what people on scene knew (and reported) instantly? In fact, if Rep. Kinzinger’s account is accurate it’s not just that they claimed not to know, it’s that they denied it was true.