Fair warning: This clip is pretty difficult to watch. Here we have the mother of Sean Smith -- a State Department worker murdered by terrorists in Benghazi on 9/11 -- pleading with the leaders of this country to tell her the truth about what happened to her son. Her anger is simmering, her anguish is palpable, and her frustration is visceral. Nearly five minutes of absolutely devastating and heart-wrenching television on CNN:
Here's the worst portion of the transcript:
SMITH: Obama told me, Hillary promised me. Joe Biden was a treasure and a real sweetheart. But they all told me that -- they promised me. I told them please, tell me what happened. Just tell me what happened.
COOPER: So you, are still waiting to find out what happened to your son what they know, or even what they don't know?
SMITH: Right. Officially, yes. I told them don't give me any bologna; you can keep your political stuff, just tell me the truth. And I still don't know. In fact, today I heard that he died of smoke inhalation.
COOPER: You don't know the cause of death?
SMITH: No, I don't. I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls thinking is that my son's? I don't know. They haven't told me anything. They are still studying it. And the thing that is they are telling me are outright lies. That Susan Rice, she talked to me personally and 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 the video of the protest.
SMITH: Oh, 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.
Tragically, and indefensibly, she may never know. It took federal agents several weeks to gain access to the unsecured bombed-out, picked-over consulate; by that point, all they could do was conduct a perfunctory "investigation," then wrap it up in very short order. Useless. Meanwhile, the White House and State Department were busy covering their rear-ends politically, going so far as to rehash the YouTube video/protest lie right to this grieving mother's face. Awful. Here's Smith recounting her interaction with the president:
SMITH: At first I was so proud because they were treating me so nice. I cried on Obama's shoulder, and then he kind of looked off into the distance, so that was worthless to me. I want to know for God's sakes. Or for Allah's sake, or for who ever's sake is there.
COOPER: You deserve answers.
SMITH: I think so. I believe I do. I believe it. It is my son. I had him -- I told obama personally, I said 'look i had him for his first 17 years and then he went into the service and then you got him.' And -- I won't say it the way I said it, but I said 'you screwed up you didn't do a good job, I lost my son.' And they said 'we'll get back to you.' I promise, I promise you. I will get back to you.
But they haven't. Perhaps they just couldn't bring themselves to tell her that they knew of the heightened risks, knew the consulate didn't even meet basic security requirements, yet did nothing. Actually, worse than nothing. Re-watch this clip and re-read the summaries of yesterday's dramatic Congressional hearings, then have a long, hard think about whether this nation needs four more years of our current Commander-in-Chief. At least one other woman has already made up her mind on that question:
Jane Horton began crying on the other end of the phone when she learned that Mitt Romney had been using the story of her husband, Chris Horton, who was killed in Afghanistan, as a part of his stump speech. "Wow," the 26-year-old said. "I had no idea. To be honest, I've been through a lot and I'm not a super emotional person but it brings me to tears," Horton said in an interview with ABC News, after being informed of her husband's newfound spot on the national stage. "Not that he's telling my story, but that he's telling my husband's story, it means the world to me. "One of the last things my husband said to me before he was killed, when I would ask him, 'Chris, what do you need over there? What can I send you?' he said, 'I need a new president,'" Horton recalled.
But by all means, Mr. President, keep talking about Big Bird.
UPDATE - A thorough and detailed timeline of the Benghazi massacre and its cover up via Special Report. Wow: