A New Reconstruction of the Deadly Night in Benghazi

Charred vehicles occupy the remains of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in September. Charred vehicles occupy the remains of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in September. Mohammad Hannon/AP

A new book purports to tell the "untold story of the attack in Benghazi," but based on the excerpt published in the new Vanity Fair, the newer, more intimate details won't necessarily answer the larger questions about the attack.

The excerpt from the upcoming book "Under Fire," focuses on the 40 minute span between when the attackers first burst through the gates of the American compound in Benghazi and the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was overcome by smoke when the buildings were set on fire. Authors Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz appears to have pieced together their account from public records and the personal stories of some of the Diplomatic Service agents who were part of the security detail that night, including one who attempted (unsuccessfully) to lead Stevens and Sean Smith to safety.

While they've managed to put together a step-by-step narrative from the eyes of a few specific witnesses, they're left to fill in many of other the details with overly dramatic purple prose:

The DS agents ran like sprinters toward their stowed weapons and equipment. Their hearts rushed up their chests, to the back of their throats; their mouths dried up in the surge of adrenaline. The agents attempted to draw on their training and keep their minds focused and fluid as they hoped to avoid an encounter when outnumbered and outgunned. The sounds of guttural Arabic voices, which sounded like angry mumbling to the Americans, grew, and the odd vicious shot was fired into the September sky. The bitter smell of cordite, like a stagnant cloud left behind following a Fourth of July fireworks display, hung in the air. Numerous figures, their silhouettes barely discernible in the shadows, chased the agents from behind, chanting unintelligibly and angrily.

Read more on The Atlantic Wire

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.