"What about us?" That seems to be the message coming from several relatives of the Americans murdered in Benghazi four years ago, when a lethal terrorist raid tragically exposed the Hillary Clinton-run State Department's woefully inadequate security measures in a city that had been effectively overrun by jihadists -- thanks in significant part to her reckless foreign policy. These Benghazi families have watched as the Khans, a Muslim family whose valiant and heroic son laid down his life for America in Iraq, have attracted an enormous amount of media coverage over their DNC appearance and subsequent public battle with Donald Trump. They have 'absolute moral authority' in honoring their son's legacy, and Trump has made a string of remarkably foolish, unforced errors in "defending himself" against their critiques. Polling indicates that the flap has damaged him politically. But as we noted in our analysis of the Khan contretemps, a breathtaking media double standard is once again on display. The press generally greeted Patricia Smith's address in Cleveland with a muted mix of reverence and scorn, but mostly silence. When it was the Khans' turn to summon their status as grieving parents to harshly criticize a presidential nominee, the media's collective flood-the-zone reaction has been breathlessly rhapsodic. Both parties have legitimate grievances, in my view, and both had every right to air them on a national stage. They've all earned our sorrow and respect. But the disparity in the tone and quantity of coverage couldn't be more glaring.
As a reminder, four different Benghazi family members have stated that Hillary Clinton met with them at the casket ceremony a few days after the terrorist raid and blamed the attacks on what turned out to be a "non-event" online video. She knew the true nature of the attack at the time, a fact proven when the Benghazi Select Committee revealed her unambiguous assessments within the first 24 hours of the deadly rampage. The evidence was in her own virtual paper trail. But she told another story to the families, while the administration was still peddling bogus spin to the public. Not only do four individuals from three separate Benghazi families share this account, one of them even wrote about it in his personal journal at the time. Confronted with these challenges, Mrs. Clinton has questioned their veracity. This is shameful. The available contemporaneous and circumstantial evidence suggests that she's the one who is not telling the truth. She's the one with the obvious and selfish incentive to lie. And she's the one who is deeply distrusted by the American people due to her reputation for shameless lying, which continues to this day. But the national spotlight is almost entirely fixed on Trump and the Khans, with the GOP nominee effectively encouraging the feeding frenzy by tossing new chum in the water on several occasions. The Benghazi families have looked on and wondered, isn't it also relevant that Hillary Clinton lied to our faces about the catastrophic consequences of her failed foreign policy? They're now fighting to make their voices heard. Here's Mrs. Smith appearing on CNN, saying that she was "treated like dirt" compared to the Khans:
The father of Tyrone Woods was also interviewed on CNN this week, reiterating the points he's made on several occasions, including reading a verbatim excerpt from his diary, which memorialized what Hillary Clinton told him in mid-September of 2012. About midway through the interview, the anchor presses him on whether Donald Trump should apologize to the Khans. Woods replies that he hadn't followed the exact timeline of who said what, then redirects the discussion to what he knows for certain: That Hillary Clinton lied to him and has never apologized for it. In fact, she's "even doubled down and called us liars, which is not appropriate. Not at all," he says. Watch:
Woods says he's voting for Donald Trump in November because he cannot "in good conscience" vote for a woman whom he holds responsible for his son's death, and who in his view has demonstrated that she's incapable of protecting the country. As Matt wrote earlier, Tyrone Woods' widow weighed in on the Khan controversy with Hugh Hewitt this morning, as well. It's also worth noting that the sister of Brian Doherty has publicly backed up Smith and Woods' recollections of what Mrs. Clinton told them in private on the day in question. Hillary Clinton has never been thoroughly grilled, with follow-ups, on the details of these accusations -- perhaps because she grants so little access to the media. Are all of these people falsely remembering the same exact thing, Madam Secretary?