Commentary Magazine


CNN: Mother of Benghazi Victim Pleads for Answers

If you’re already angry about the administration’s stonewalling on the Benghazi attack, get ready to be furious. Anderson Cooper’s interview last night with the mother of Sean Smith, who was killed in the attack, is simply devastating. She says President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Leon Panetta all promised her they would get to the bottom of her son’s death as soon as possible, but so far she’s heard nothing (h/t Dan Halper):

COOPER: So you don’t even know the cause of death?

SMITH: I don’t even know if that’s true or not. No, I don’t. I don’t know where. I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking, my God, is that my son’s? I don’t know if he was shot. I don’t know — I don’t know. They haven’t told me anything. They are still studying it. And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies.

That Susan Rise (sic), what — she talked to me personally and she said, she said, this is the way it was. It was — it was because of this film that came out.

COOPER: So she told you personally that she thought it was a result of that video of the protest?

SMITH: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. In fact all of them did. All of them did. Leon Panetta actually took my face in his hands like this and he said, trust me. I will tell you what happened. And so far, he’s told me nothing. Nothing at all. And I want to know.

We were given false information — some of which appeared to be knowingly false — from Obama administration officials since the attack. Whatever you want to call that, it’s a terrible scandal, particularly when there are grieving mothers who are desperate to know facts as basic as how their sons were killed. It should not take a month to determine cause of death. Ambassador Stevens’s was determined by the next day. To hear Smith’s mother describe how every time she sees a bloody handprint in a photo of the consulate, she wonders whether it was her son’s, is just appalling. We all deserve answers, and deserve to know why the answers weren’t forthcoming from the beginning.

*Sean Smith was a State Department official, not a former SEAL. Headline changed to reflect that.