By all accounts, Hillary Clinton’s appearance before members of the House Benghazi committee Thursday was a big positive for her and for her presidential ambitions. She held her ground during the 11-hour Q & A marathon and, more importantly, she held her tongue. Not once during the grilling by Trey Gowdy (if it can be called that) did she grow exasperated and ask what difference at this point it makes that four Americans are dead.
Which is not to say that there are no questions about what happened in Benghazi the evening of Sept. 11, 2012 and what Clinton did and said in the days and weeks following. According to three separate accounts by survivors of the victims that fateful night, Clinton was crass and heartless in her dealings with them.
In one case, there were no dealings at all. Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, one of the four Americans killed, was interviewed on “CNN Newsroom,” where she told host Carol Costello that she doesn’t know much about what happened to her son. Clinton, she said, promised to “get back to” her following her son’s funeral to answer her questions, but it never happened.
“She has not called me. She has not contacted me. She has not given me any information, except to tell me that I am not a member of the immediate family and I do not need to know.”
Charles Woods, the father of CIA contractor Tyrone Woods, also a victim, appeared on “The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine,” a radio program, where he recalled how Mrs. Clinton greeted and consoled him at Andrew Air Force base when he went to retrieve the body of his son.
“I gave Hillary a hug and shook her hand. And she said ‘we are going to have the filmmaker arrested who is responsible for the death of your son.’
“Based on her demeanor and body language I knew she wasn’t telling me the truth.”
But perhaps the most damning recollection of Clinton’s idea of providing comfort to grieving relatives comes from Kate Quigley, sister of Glen Doherty, also killed in the attack. According to the Huffington Post:
She said when Clinton met with relatives of the victims, she expressed regret for Libyan protests against an anti-Islam video, which at the time was reported to have stirred the attack. State Department officials later revealed the protests never happened.
“She spoke to my family about how sad we should feel for the Libyan people because they are uneducated, and that breeds fear, which breeds violence and leads to protest,” Quigley recalled on Thursday. She added that she thought “it was very strange” for Clinton to mention that. “When I think back now to that day and what she knew, you know, it shows me a lot about her character that she would choose, in that moment, to basically perpetuate what she knew was untrue.”
None of these accounts were shared during Clinton’s appearance on Capitol Hill. Here is hoping the truth comes out before the American people make the mistake of putting this mendacious woman back in the White House.