Viewers of Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate are buzzing about the fact that a trailer for Michael Bay’s controversial new film film about the Benghazi terrorist attack aired on the Fox Business channel prior to GOP front-runner Ben Carson’s criticism of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of the 2012 tragedy.
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” which is based on a non-partisan, non-fiction book by Mitchell Zuckoff – doesn’t hit theaters until January (the same weekend as the jingoistic blockbuster “American Sniper”) – but it has already drawn the ire of progressives for appearing to promote the debunked narrative that rescue efforts at the American embassy in Benghazi were stymied by White House bureaucracy.
An ad for the film, which portrays what appears to be a government official telling heroic soldiers to “stand down,” preceded an exchange with Carson over questions of his character. Carson deflected the issue in part by bringing up Clinton’s alleged obfuscation of the crisis in Libya at the time of the attacks. “I look at somebody like Hillary Clinton, who sits there and tells her daughter and a government official that ‘No this was a terrorist attack,’ and then tells everybody else it was a video,” Carson said. “Where I come from, they call that a lie.”
Bay’s film has been politically polarizing ever since its first trailer appeared back in July, with some predicting it could be a thorn in the side of the Clinton campaign in the weeks leading up to the crucial Iowa caucuses.
Last month, Clinton testified for 11 hours before a congressional committee, detailed her handling of the crisis – in which four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, lost their lives – and its aftermath. The leader of that committee, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, was unable to describe any new information that the hearing uncovered when it was completed.