Four people who were on the ground the night of the Benghazi attacks last year are writing a book about their experience, and they're getting a $3 million advance from Twelve Books to do it. The authors are unnamed, according to New York Post's Keith J. Kelly, who describes them as "members of the elite security team from the annex of the US Embassy." That annex, we now know, was the CIA annex, which makes this book deal really fascinating. The CIA managed its image spectacularly well with the lightly pro-torture Zero Dark Thirty, and more recently, it efficiently managed the public perception of its role in the events leading up to the terrorist attacks. While it initially looked like an attack on State Department diplomats, the public eventually found out that more than 20 of the 30 people working at the diplomatic post were CIA employees.
The two men on the rescue team who died in the second wave of attacks — which happened at the CIA annex — were initially described as Navy SEALs, but they were actually CIA contractors. (Then-CIA chief David Petraeus didn't attend their funerals.) When evacuating the main building, The Daily Beast reported, it's possible the CIA contractors inadvertently led the terrorists to the location of the CIA annex. Mortars started hitting the annex minutes after the team arrived there.
This book is of interest to a diverse crowd. There are several conspiracy theories floating around, like that that the U.S. was arming Syrian rebels out of the CIA annex. Patraeus's mistress Paula Broadwell said the CIA was holding Libyan detainees, but the CIA has denied this. And there are many disputes over what security teams were ordered to do — and what they could have done — that night in Benghazi. Whatever the book says, it will be far more interesting than a bunch of bureaucrats' emails about the Benghazi talking points.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.