The point is not that this narrative is overly simplistic and wrong — of course it is — but rather that in trying to wedge the real-life story into this box, Bay ends up distorting what happened in ways that could end up misleading millions of American viewers who are still trying figure out what happened in real-life Benghazi and how to feel about it. It also ends up dovetailing, deliberately or not, with some of the most common and most persistent conspiracy theories about the incident.
First, the movie's most dramatic moment — Bob's obstruction of the contractors and the stand-down order — probably didn't happen. The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, the most credible official investigation into Benghazi, investigated precisely this issue. It found that, "Although some members of the security team expressed frustration that they were unable to respond more quickly to the Mission compound," there was "no evidence of intentional delay or obstruction by the Chief of Base or any other party."
The Republican-authored House Armed Services Committee report concurred, saying that "this issue appears to be settled" by the Senate investigation.
The Senate finding is based, among other things, on an account from the deputy chief of base (whom I don't recall seeing on in the movie). In an official CIA memorandum, the deputy said that the real-life chief of base "authorized the move" to send the contractors to the mission. The contractors didn't contravene his order to stand down; they went out with his blessing.
At least one contractor, Kris Paronto, continues to insist that the real-life Bob issued a stand-down order. But it says a lot that Paronto's account has been rejected by every official report that looked at the issue as well as every top-level US official in office at the time.
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