In an interview with The Daily Beast, 13 Hours star John Krasinski has expressed his disappointment at the American political class’ reception of his latest film. “I think it’s a shame that a movie like this would be used so much as a political football,” he said. Oh?
“Now, I’d be naïve to say that people weren’t going to take this politically,” he allows. However: “What I think is a shame—and actually I’ll go so far as to say a total dishonor—is to not at least acknowledge what this story is: acknowledging these six guys. These six guys need that acknowledgement, and they represent the men and women who serve all around the world.”
“I am actually slightly disgusted at the idea that applauding our military has become a political thing rather than universal,” he continues. “It’s universal. That should be an immediate acknowledgment, and then all the political opinions, conversations, and punditry is part of the process. I would never say we shouldn’t talk politically about stuff—as long as step one is acknowledging these guys and what they went through that night.”
As it turns out, the two soldiers who died during the “Battle of Benghazi” were private military contractors. As The Intercept’s Peter Maass puts it, the use of such contractors has been a “pox” on American military strategy since 9/11:
One of the contractors killed in Libya, Glen Doherty, was working for the CIA on a short-term contract as a “direct independent contractor.” He had formed his own company for this purpose, called Icarus, Inc., and had been required by the CIA to buy an insurance policy. But according to a lawsuit filed by his mother and other relatives (settled last year in a confidential agreement), the policy, bought from an insurer recommended by the CIA, was nearly worthless and the insurer refused to pay death benefits because Doherty had no children or spouse. Even the contractors are cheated in the new American way of war.
Also, the State Department—underfunded as a result of Republican-led budget cuts—was forced to outsource its security to a little-known British company, Blue Mountain Group, which hired about 20 local men, ill-equipped and poorly-compensated, to fight off the hundred-plus militants who would storm the compound. Maass continues:
When the attack began, the Libyan contractors mostly disappeared, along with the local militia that was supposed to provide another layer of protection. The bizarre upshot: A group of contractors hired by the CIA was called in to save the day partly because a group of contractors hired by the State Department had run away. It’s a bizarre twist. Maybe someone will make a movie about it one day.
“I don’t usually follow this stuff, but for this one, I took it personally for these guys,” Krasinksi said, addressing Republican attempts to leverage the film into a critique of Hillary Clinton’s handling of the attacks when she was Secretary of State. “We all put our names on the line to make sure we did justice to these guys.” Thank you for your service, John.