Seven hundred Military Special Operations professionals.
And one insistent and very angry Mom.
This is becoming a deadly combination for the political game players in the Obama Administration.
Sean Smith, the young State Department computer wizard who was brutally murdered that September night in Benghazi, was Pat Smith’s only child.
Let’s say that again. Sean Smith was Mrs. Smith’s only child.
To listen to her recent radio interview with another Sean… Sean Hannity… is to have the heart break.
Here is that interview. It only runs a few minutes. Please. Take the time to listen to the entire interview.
Over at Mediaite, reporter AJ Delgado has taken the time to list some of the prominent excerpts from Pat Smith’s story about her son Sean, found here.
Listen carefully to that Hannity interview as the mother of an only child breaks down in tears as she not only mourns the loss of her son, but tries to comprehend the cold treatment she has received from her own government. Asking only for answers to the question of how and why her only son died what we all now know was such a horrifying death.
Listen as Pat Smith says:
“They don’t tell me much. They want me to shut up…. I was told, and I really would rather not say by who, [though] I can if you need it, but I was told that I’m causing a lot of problems and to shut up…. I told them ‘I will not! I will not shut up until I find out what really happened!’”
Listen as she tells of meeting the President and the top officials of the Obama administration:
SMITH: The President? I cried on his shoulder. And I was crying there and he’s patting me on the back and looking around to who he’s gonna talk to next. So I didn’t feel any comfort there. Hillary? I cried on her shoulder also, but she paid a little attention to me then walked off. Panetta took my face in his hands. I asked him: “Please, please let me know what happened, I’ve got to know!” And he took my face in his hands and he says, “Trust me, trust me. I will get back to you. I will let you know.” And guess how much I’ve heard from him since?
SMITH: You got it.
Here is an American Mom talking lovingly of her “kid,” charmingly parental when she says her son was into computers and sent warnings to the State Department from his “typewriter”.
Here is an American mother, dependent on Social Security, breaking down on the air after Hannity finds out that the U.S. government will not pay her way to a Washington awards ceremony honoring Sean Smith. On the spot Hannity picked up the tab for her entire trip. Yet, as Hannity notes, this is the same government that is busily paying First Family vacation expenses for golf outings with Tiger Woods -- not to mention this week’s White House gala party sittin' on the dock of the bay with Justin Timberlake.
But not a thin dime for a heart-broken mother to witness a ceremony honoring an only son lost in the line of duty.
One doesn’t have to agree or disagree with a policy to understand that at a minimum the family of an American who died in the service of their country -- working not as a soldier, mind you, but as your basic computer geek for the State Department -- deserves an answer.
Pat Smith deserves the straight if unhappy truth as to why her child was killed.
Remember Cindy Sheehan?
The mother of U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan? Casey having been killed in Iraq?
Everybody remembers Cindy Sheehan.
After her son Casey was killed in a firefight in Iraq, his mother Cindy Sheehan became a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq. Not satisfied after a meeting (along with other families of soldiers killed in the war) with President George W. Bush in Tacoma, Washington, Cindy Sheehan began to voice her displeasure with both President Bush and the U.S. government’s handling of the war.
And oh my.
The coverage Ms. Sheehan received. She was a heroine in the international and American mainstream media. There was Cindy camping outside of the entrance to Bush’s Texas ranch. There was Cindy refusing to pay her taxes in 2004, the year in which Casey was killed. There was Cindy at Bush’s 2005 inaugural, in Washington to speak at a traveling anti-war exhibit called "Eyes Wide Open: The Human Cost of War.” There were the books, the meeting with Senator John McCain in which she accused McCain of being a “warmonger.” Every place you looked the media was telling America all about Cindy and her lost son.
Now? For Pat Smith? Mrs. Smith the mother of the State Department’s Sean Smith, the young computer wizard who was one of four Americans killed in Benghazi last fall?
In her own words to Sean Hannity on his radio show Friday afternoon: “They’re trying to shut me up.”
The “they” here would be, of course, the Obama administration.
And the reaction from the mainstream media?
Pat Smith? Pat Smith who?
Or, when not ignoring her, she gets cruelly mocked. When word of Mrs. Smith’s dissatisfaction surfaced in a San Diego paper, Smith was quoted as saying the ultimate in the politically incorrect:
“I believe that Obama murdered my son. I firmly believe this.”
This is, almost word for word, a replay of Cindy Sheehan’s sentiments about President Bush, as seen here when Cindy Sheehan said:
“I want to ask the president. Why did you kill my son?”
Back then, Eric Boehlert -- then of Salon and now of Media Matters -- leaped to Sheehan’s defense when she was criticized. Sheehan was portrayed by Boehlert as the heroic “angry 48-year-old mom” of son Casey, and hailed her “lonely vigil” outside Bush’s ranch for being a “thorn in the president’s vacationing side” in spite of those who sought to “discredit the small-town mother.”
Pat Smith not only gets no sympathy, she is mocked for being a thorn in Obama’s side. The self-same Eric Boehlert tweeted of Smith (whose son he at first erroneously thought to be a Navy Seal):
Mother of SEAL: ‘I Believe That Obama Murdered My Son’ (she says that’s based on Fox News ‘reporting’); bit.ly/Wl35M4
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) November 4, 2012
Notice Boehlert places the word reporting -- as in “Fox News ‘reporting’” -- in mocking quotes.
The short hand? This nutty woman has the audacity to blame Obama for her son’s death based on reporting from that dastardly Fox News. Move along here, nothing to see.
Notice the difference in treatment between Sheehan and Smith. Sheehan, accusing President Bush of killing her son, is lauded for being “a thorn” in Bush’s side, for being the justly “angry… mom” and “the small-town mother.” Smith, accusing President Obama of killing her son -- and in far more dubious circumstances than the all-too common “fire fight” of the Iraq war -- is mocked as a nut and a fool led astray by Fox.
Note as well how liberals quickly picked up on Boehlert’s theme about Smith, as other tweets quickly supported his attack:
“@EricBoehlert I feel so sad for this poor pathetic uninformed person. My heart goes out to her. Fox is like a acid”
“@EricBoehlert isn't she beginning to sound stupid believing in Rush Limbaugh conspiracy theories?”
Interestingly, even Boehlert seemed to have doubts about mocking Mrs. Smith -- and eventually removed his own tweet.
Now, the story turns.
And Pat Smith is no longer alone.
Into the search for the truth about Benghazi have stepped 700 special operations personnel from the U.S. military, who have signed a letter to the entire membership of the U.S. House of Representatives -- a telling sign that these professionals themselves believe Pat Smith has it right: the truth has not been told. With a hat tip to our friends at Breitbart, here is the text of the letter from the 700:
April 8, 2013
To: Members of The U.S. House of Representatives
Subject: The Benghazi attacks on 9/11/ 2012
The undersigned are a representative group of some 700 retired Military Special Operations professionals who spent the majority of their careers preparing for and executing myriad operations to rescue or recover detained or threatened fellow Americans. In fact, many of us participated in both the Vietnam era POW rescue effort, The Son Tay Raid, as well as Operation Eagle Claw, the failed rescue attempt in April of 1980 in Iran, so we have been at this for many years and have a deep passion for seeking the truth about what happened during the national tragedy in Benghazi.
The purpose of this letter is to encourage all members of the US House of Representatives to support H.Res. 36, which will create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. It is essential that a full accounting of the events of September 11, 2012, be provided and that the American public be fully informed regarding this egregious terrorist attack on US diplomatic personnel and facilities. We owe that truth to the American people and the families of the fallen.
It appears that many of the facts and details surrounding the terrorist attack which resulted in four American deaths and an undetermined number of American casualties have not yet been ascertained by previous hearings and inquiries. Additional information is now slowly surfacing in the media, which makes a comprehensive bipartisan inquiry an imperative. Many questions have not been answered thus far. The House Select Committee should address, at a minimum, the following questions:
1. Why was there no military response to the events in Benghazi?
a. Were military assets in the region available? If not, why not?
b. If so, were they alerted?
c. Were assets deployed to any location in preparation for a rescue or recovery attempt?
d. Was military assistance requested by the Department of State? If so, what type?
e. Were any US Army/Naval/USMC assets available to support the US diplomats in Benghazi during the attack?
f. What, if any, recommendations for military action were made by DOD and the US Africa Command?
2. What, if any, non-military assistance was provided during the attack?
3. How many US personnel were injured in Benghazi?
4. Why have the survivors of the attack not been questioned?
5. Where are the survivors?
6. Who was in the White House Situation Room (WHSR) during the entire 8-hour period of the attacks, and was a senior US military officer present?
7. Where were Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey during the crisis, and what inputs and recommendations did they make?
8. Where were Tom Donilon, the National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, his deputy, Valerie Jarrett and John Brennan during the attacks, and what (if any) recommendations or decisions did any of them make?
9. Why were F-16 fighter aircraft based in Aviano, Italy (less than two hours away) never considered a viable option for disruption (if not dispersal) of the attackers until “boots on the ground” (troop support -- General Dempsey’s words) arrived?
10. Were any strike aircraft (such as an AC-130 gunship) in the area or possibly overhead that would cause former SEAL Tyrone Woods to laser-designate his attacker’s position and call for gunship fire support, thereby revealing his own location that led to his death?
11. Who gave the order to “STAND DOWN” that was heard repeatedly during the attacks?
12. What threat warnings existed before the attack, and what were the DOD and DOS responses to those warnings? What data (which will reveal exact timelines and command decisions) is contained within the various SITREPS, records, logs, videos and recordings maintained by the myriad of DOD, Intelligence Community and State Department Command Centers that were monitoring the events in Benghazi as they unfolded?
13. Why did the Commander-in Chief and Secretary of State never once check in during the night to find out the status of the crisis situation in Benghazi?
14. What was the nature of Ambassador Stevens’ business in Benghazi at the time of the attack?
15. What guidance has been provided to survivors and family members since the time of the attack, and who issued that guidance?
16. Why are so many agencies now requiring their personnel that were involved in or have access to information regarding the events that took place in Benghazi sign Non-Disclosure statements?
This was the most severe attack on American diplomatic facilities and personnel since the attacks on the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. Thus far, it appears that there has been no serious effort to determine critical details of this attack. This is inexcusable and demands immediate attention by the Congress. Congress must show some leadership and provide answers to the public as to what actually occurred in Benghazi. Americans have a right to demand a full accounting on this issue.
A longstanding American ethos was breached during the terrorist attack in Benghazi. America failed to provide adequate security to personnel deployed into harm’s way and then failed to respond when they were viciously attacked. Clearly, this is unacceptable and requires accountability. America has always held to the notion that no American will be left behind and that every effort will be made to respond when US personnel are threatened. Given our backgrounds, we are concerned that this sends a very negative message to future military and diplomatic personnel who may be deployed into dangerous environments. That message is that they will be left to their own devices when attacked. That is an unacceptable message.
The House Select Committee should focus on getting a detailed account of the events in Benghazi as soon as possible. H. Res. 36 will provide a structure for the conduct of a thorough inquiry of Benghazi and should be convened immediately.
We ask that you fulfill your responsibilities to the American people and take appropriate action regarding Benghazi. With over sixty members of the US House of Representatives calling for this Select Committee already, it seems that the time is right to take appropriate action on Benghazi.
So. What does all this mean?
It means that Pat Smith isn’t alone anymore. There are 700 -- say again 700 hundred! -- precisely qualified “retired Military Special Operations professionals who spent the majority of their careers preparing for and executing myriad operations to rescue or recover detained or threatened fellow Americans” now demanding answers to what happened in Benghazi.
They have not said, as Pat Smith has said with the understandable emotion of an angry mother:
“I believe that Obama murdered my son. I firmly believe this.”
But in their own quite precise and professional fashion, they are taking note of Pat Smith telling Sean Hannity last Friday that “they’re trying to shut me up.”
We now have 700 military professionals -- of considerable note -- stepping forward to make sure that Mrs. Smith is not only not “shut up” by the Obama administration, but that she and the rest of the country finally begin to get the cold, hard truth about what went on in Benghazi last September.
For stepping forward -- for refusing to be silenced -- Pat Smith deserves her own medal. A medal for steadfastly demanding that the truth about the death of Sean Smith -- her “kid” -- as well as the other three brave Americans, be revealed.
Make no mistake.
As Mrs. Smith has noted, there is nothing other than the plainest of politics here.
There are two objectives.
Number One: Protect the President.
Number Two -- and this will increasingly become Number One as 2016 nears -- protect Hillary Clinton.
The Secretary of State on whose watch this disaster occurred is now the early front runner for the 2016 presidential nomination to succeed Obama. There is every reason to believe the defensive crouch of the Obama administration in the immediate aftermath of Benghazi -- a posture necessary to protect the President -- will be extended to protect the heiress apparent of the liberal agenda. Thanks to Pat Smith, a genuine profile in courage, and now the 700 special ops professionals who have stepped forward, the move is on to get to the truth about Benghazi.
That truth cannot come fast enough.
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