Three family members of the Americans murdered by terrorists in Libya more than three years ago joined Megyn Kelly's Fox News program this week to react to the new Benghazi-themed Michael Bay film, 13 Hours. Tyrone Woods' father, Charles, told Kelly that he "really wasn't ready" for the "powerful" and "very emotional" response the movie elicited. Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith, was in tears throughout the segment. She said she had to walk out of the screening when her son's character appeared on screen. "I couldn't handle it," she explained. Later, she becomes incensed when Kelly asks her about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's strong implication that Smith and other Benghazi families are the ones who are lying about what she told them at the casket ceremony on September 14, 2012:
After this clip cuts off, Mr. Woods says he doesn't want to dishonor his son's memory by politicizing his death, instead opting to produce the diary entry he wrote that day. It was very clear: Clinton blamed the irrelevant internet video for the attack, an explanation she knew for a fact was false at that time. Woods simply reads the note he jotted down and invites viewers to draw their own conclusions. His diary account has been affirmed by three other relatives who were present at the meeting. Extremely compelling. Who's lying? The habitual liar running for political office and who is rightfully distrusted by a large majority of voters, or these grieving people? Meanwhile, as the Benghazi committee continues its work poring over recently-released emails and questioning witnesses (some of whom hadn't been interviewed previously). Politico writes that 13 Hours could create a problem for Republicans because the so-called 'stand-down order' in the film is given by an in-country CIA officer, not an Obama administration official in Washington. The movie is based on the eyewitness testimony of men and women who lived through the horrific ordeal. Politico wonders, will GOP members call this element of their story a lie? A Republican source on the Hill is perplexed by this framing, passing along quotes from committee Democrats who are more directly questioning these witnesses' veracity. They insist that all evidence indicates there was never any stand-down order -- although I'm not sure how they'd explain this email, among other things:
Oh by the way, what do all three of those Democrats have in common? They've all endorsed, or been endorsed by, the same presidential candidate. As for the 'stand down' order controversy, Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy says, "There are witnesses who say there was [a stand down order], there are witnesses who say there was not one. And I wasn’t there. And you weren’t there, and your listeners weren’t there. So the best I can do is lay out what the witnesses say, and then you’re going to have to make a determination as to who you believe is more credible."