The mother of deceased U.S. Foreign Service officer/diplomat Sean Smith is displeased with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s decision to name her dead son as she testified before Congress early Friday morning.
“I don’t understand why she is bringing Benghazi into this,” Smith’s mother, Patricia Smith, said with frustration to Fox News host Laura Ingraham late Friday evening. “Benghazi is very, very hard to handle. And she’s bringing in that as if it’s something … why is she bringing in that now?”
Listen to her full discussion from Ingraham below:
(Source: Fox News)
Her son, who died at the age of 34 while serving in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, when it was attacked by Islamic radicals on Sept. 11, 2012, was one of four American men (two of whom were Navy SEALs) who were murdered that day.
While speaking in defense of diplomats in her opening statement on Friday earlier that morning, Yovanovitch chose to cite all four of them.
“Ambassadors are the symbol of the United States abroad … We are the dozens of Americans stationed at our embassy in Cuba and consulates in China who mysteriously and dangerously and in some cases perhaps even permanently were injured and attacked from unknown sources several years ago,” she said before turning to Benghazi.
“And we are Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Patrick Smith, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty,” the former ambassador added.
Some, including Ingraham, believe she’d essentially been comparing herself to the four deceased men.
“I think she decided to do that to kind of connect herself to the long and storied tradition of diplomatic assignments abroad, oftentimes that are very difficult,” she said in response to Patricia Smith’s question.
Her point in doing that, Ingraham continued, was to basically grant her immunity to criticism.
“I guess the point she was trying to make there is that anyone who criticizes the permanent civil servant class, or members of the civil servant class, are somehow casting aspersions or not respecting the great sacrifices of people like your son,” the host explained.
The problem is that Smith’s fate — death — differs like night and day from the fate that’s befallen Yovanovitch.
“I mean, she got fired from her job and is now working in a great position at Georgetown University. Your son was killed,” she noted.
Smith’s mother agreed.
“He’s dead!” the visibly emotional woman wailed. “He’s dead! And they don’t care. And now she’s worried — I can’t talk very well right now. I’m quite upset about this. I don’t know why people keep bringing Benghazi into this. She had nothing to do with Benghazi.”
Her past work centered on first Somalia and then Ukraine, not Libya. While the exact nature of her work remains unclear — save for her claims that she fought corruption — President Donald Trump has alleged that her work engendered “bad” outcomes and suggested that her testimony to Congress was motivated by anger over her being fired:
Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
….They call it “serving at the pleasure of the President.” The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
Continuing the discussion, Ingraham offered more clarity on Yovanovitch’s thought process.
“What I think what she’s trying to do here is kind of blanket herself in the careers of the whole civil servant class and the diplomatic core that are oftentimes in hardship posts,” she said. “And they do sacrifice. There’s no doubt it.”
“But sometimes they also get it wrong,” she added, referring specifically to the series of Obama administration mishaps and mistakes that allowed the Benghazi terror attack to occur.
“So there are kind of two issues,” she continued. “Sometimes they get it really wrong, and there are deadly consequences. But because you served your country in Ukraine doesn’t mean you can compare yourself to the heroes at Benghazi.”
Patricia Smith wholeheartedly agreed.
“That’s what I was saying. Leave it alone. These people died!” she exclaimed as the discussion concluded.
Ingraham and Patricia Smith are the not the only Americans who took offense to Yovanovitch’s decision to cite the heroes of Benghazi.
Others have also spoken out:
During her opening statement today, Marie Yovanovitch, who never served in the military or in combat, compared herself to two Navy SEAL veterans who were killed defending a Benghazi outposts whose security requests were rejected by bureaucrats like her. Disgusting.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 15, 2019
Amb Yovanovitch’s invoking of those killed in Benghazi — in a bid to protect herself — during this impeachment inquiry is utterly sickening
— Benjamin Weingarten (@bhweingarten) November 15, 2019
Not sure this is a good strategy: Yovanovitch is basically calling herself a hero for her sacrifice, associating herself w/victims of Benghazi and those from Cuba who suffered frm mysterious sonic attacks. “We answer the call 2 duty to advance and protect the interests of the US”
— Susan Crabtree (@susancrabtree) November 15, 2019
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) November 15, 2019
Marie Yovanovitch Compares Herself to Diplomats Killed in Benghazihttps://t.co/T746YT8Vze
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 15, 2019
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