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No Benghazigate Answers Here
One would think that a book that claims to tell "The Untold "Story of the Attack in Benghazi" would factually tell that story. Well, as is often said, "One would be wrong."
In other words, the authors are saying: "What you are reading is fake but true."
The authors should also have said that that disclaimer similarly applies to much of the action, details, and conversations that they recount in their chronicle of the events before, during, and after that horrible night.
The most egregious example of the book's poorly-plotted and fictional narrative comes when the authors reveal (p. 131) that Tyrone Woods "calmly removed the contents of his medic's bag and wondered what was next."
Mr. Woods could not have told the authors that because Mr. Woods died a year ago in the attack.
The book is replete with equally-made-up tales of the thoughts and doings of the characters in the story and in anecdotes by anonymous interviewees.
Most of the principal actors in this literary work were present in Benghazi that night, and if they told their tales to the authors, then those authors have the scoop of the last millennium, because the tales of the Benghazi survivors have been told by those survivors to no one else (save to official debriefers and, perhaps, a very few congress folk or staffers.)
Much of the first third of the book is pure mush about the security bureaucracy of the State Department and other agencies, and much of the storyline is joltingly interrupted by confusing and inappropriate digressions.
For example, as the shooting begins (p. 175 ff.) we are told about people elsewhere doing other things. In other places, the recitations of events are interrupted by comparable non sequiturs.
The middle third of the books purports to be an account of the intrusion into the compound, the initial deeds of the intruders, the ensuing assault on the main building (containing Ambassador Chris Stevens, Communications Specialist Sean Smith, and Agent "A"), the various face-to-face, bloodless gunfights (what I have called--Immaculate Confrontations) with other security agents and rescuers, the embattled departure of Mr. Smith's body, the survivors, and rescuers from the compound, the running battle enroute to the Annex, and the battle at the Annex.
Much of what is written in that section comports with official and unofficial reports, testimony, and theories, but much of it is unadulterated creative writing.
The most egregious example of dreamt up doings is the saga (p. 125) of the intruders' toing-and-froing with fuel-filled canisters. It is, in a word, laughable!
Why Messrs. Burton and Katz, who have very impressive credentials, would write such a romance is an extraordinarily perplexing question that begs to be answered. They claim to have no agenda, but that is absurd on its face.
I have no idea what that agenda could be, but it is certainly not to convey unimpassioned and factual details about the incident.
I have spent countless hours reading about Benghazigate spurred initially after reading about the "Immaculate Confrontation."
I haven't ever been in a firefight, but I didn't need to have been in one to realize that a heavily-armed and large group of men cannot have had numerous, bloodless shoot-outs with heavily-outnumbered defenders. But that's what officials and reporters said we should believe.
Some of things that I wrote about what happened have proven to be incorrect, but I stand by almost all of it.
I still believe that if the official version of the "Immaculate Confrontation" is demonstrably a lie, then much of the rest of the official version is also untrue.
That proposition holds for this book, too. If Tyrone Woods' thoughts and the bizarre descriptions of sloshing canisters are presented as facts, then what statement in the book can be presumed to be true? I can't think of one.
That said I don't know if what's in the final third of the book sheds light on the deceits in the official versions, for I've put it on the shelf, since I have better things to do than to read fictional accounts of serious matters.
I bought the book. I read most of the book.
You don't have to waste twenty bucks and a few hours on it.
Order in a pizza, open a beer, and watch a game on TV: You'll find real action there on the screen!
The author is retired, his profile may be found on LinkedIn, and he may be argued with at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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