The families of two Americans killed in the 2012 terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, accusing the former secretary of state of “extreme carelessness in handling confidential and classified information”, which they say contributed to the death of their sons.
(Article by Scott Bixby)
Patricia Smith, mother of Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, father of Navy Seal Tyrone Woods, accuse the Democratic presidential candidate of making “false and defamatory statements negligently, recklessly, purposefully, and/or intentionally with actual malice … by stating that plaintiffs were lying about Clinton having told them that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Muslim YouTube video”.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday in the US district court for the District of Columbia, claims that “as a direct result” of Clinton’s use of private email servers during her tenure as secretary of state, “Islamic terrorists were able to obtain the whereabouts of Ambassador Christopher Stevens … and subsequently orchestrate, plan, and execute the now infamous September 11, 2012 attack”.
The suit was filed by infamous Washington DC attorney Larry Klayman, a conservative former justice department prosecutor who filed 18 lawsuits against the Clinton administration in the 1990s. Among other cases, Klayman has brought legal action against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the National Security Agency, supreme court justice Elena Kagan and Barack Obama, whom he accused of secretly allowing the Ebola virus to enter the US so it could be used against citizens who are members of the “Caucasian race and Jewish-Christian religion”.
Nick Merrill, the Clinton campaign’s traveling press secretary, issued a statement in response, saying: “While no one can imagine the pain of the families of the brave Americans we lost at Benghazi, there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.”
In the 2012 attack, Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compoundin the port city of Benghazi, killing four Americans, including Smith and US ambassador Chris Stevens. A second assault a few hours later targeted another compound, during which Woods was killed.
The state department was criticized in the aftermath of the attacks for not providing adequate security for the facilities, and for initially reporting that the attack was the outgrowth of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim film made by an American preacher. Later investigations revealed that the attack was premeditated, and had been joined by rioters who were protesting the video.
Smith and Woods have been vocally critical of Clinton as a presidential candidate, accusing her of fabricating the narrative that riots sparked the attack. At the Republican national convention in Cleveland last month, Smith told the audience that she blamed “Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son”.