Mother of Benghazi Attack Victim Criticizes Yovanovitch for Exploiting Her Son’s Death

By Paula Liu

The mother of one of the Americans killed during the Benghazi attacks in 2012 displayed strong disapproval over the weekend toward former U.S. Ambassador for Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch for exploiting her son’s death during an impeachment hearing.

Patricia Smith—the mother of U.S. Foreign Service employee Sean Smith, who was one of four Americans killed in a terrorist attack on a U.S. government building in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11-12, 2012—made an appearance on Fox News, during which she accused Yovanovitch of dragging her son’s name into unrelated matters, Fox News reported.

“He’s dead. 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,” Smith said. “She had nothing to do with Benghazi.”

This was in response to Yovanovitch invoking the memory of dozens of American civil servants who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country in embassies and consulates around the world, and apparently placing herself among them.

“We are the 52 Americans who 40 years ago this month began 444 days of deprivation, torture, and captivity in Tehran, we are the dozens of Americans stationed at our embassy in Cuba and consulates in China who mysteriously and dangerously … were injured attacked. We are Chris Stevens, Sean Patrick Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty, who people rightly called heroes for their ultimate sacrifice to this nation’s foreign policy interests in Libya eight years ago. We honor these individuals,” Yovanovitch said, during the impeachment hearing, according to Fox News.

“This is not a time to undercut our diplomats. It is the responsibility of the department’s leaders to stand up for the institution and the individuals who make that institution still today the most effective diplomatic force in the world. And Congress has a responsibility to reinvest in our diplomacy,” she said.

At some point during the hearing, Smith asked why Yovanovitch was even bringing up the deaths of those who died at Benghazi.

Laura Ingraham, the show host, said Yovanovitch seemed to be equating her situation working in Ukraine to that of those sent to foreign embassies in dangerous countries never to return, and that to invoke those who had died in service to make a point about her reassignment to another government position was a “stretch.”

“Because you served your country in Ukraine doesn’t mean that you can kind of compare yourself to the heroes at Benghazi,” Ingraham said.

“Leave it alone, I mean people died,” Smith said, Fox News reported.