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October 10th, 2012
09:15 PM ET

Mom 'begged' for details of Libya attack

Pat Smith talks about her son's work and says officials promised to tell her about Sean's death at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Watch part II of the interview:

Read the rush transcript:

COOPER: Pat, I appreciate you being with us. And I'm just so sorry for your loss. What do you want people to know about your son, about Sean?

PAT SMITH, SON KILLED IN BENGHAZI ATTACK: Well, god. He was my only child. And he was good, he was good at what he did, he'd loved it.

COOPER: He loved working with computers?

SMITH: Computers, radios. He was good at what he did.

COOPER: Was that something he had done as a kid? I mean how did - did he always - was he always good with computer?

SMITH: Well, when he was a kid, computers weren't out yet. And –

(LAUGHTER)

And then they were out and he - I got a computer and he started playing with them and he started showing me how you could build a flame thrower and - by just watching a computer and then told you how to do it. So that's how it started.

COOPER: He lived in the Netherlands. Were you able to communicate a lot? I mean he'd served in a lot of very dangerous places. Did you always know where he was?

SMITH: I always knew where he was when he told me. For example, this time he was in the Hague and that is where he was stationed. He was supposed to be there for about two years. And then he would transfer some place else. I did not know he was going to be in Libya.

COOPER: Did he ever talk about the dangers that came along with his job? I mean he - he serve d in Iraq as well.

SMITH: Yes, in fact, he sent me - I still have it on my computer where he sent me this thing. He was in working in the palace over there.

COOPER: In Baghdad.

SMITH: And they - yes, in Baghdad, and he says, got to go, and suddenly he just disappeared and I said, well, what's happening over there. And he said listen. And I was listening, and suddenly I heard boom. Where they were shooting at him.

COOPER: You must have worried a lot.

SMITH: When that was over. I can't spend my life worrying about it. I accepted what he wanted to do.

COOPER: I want to play for our viewers some of what President Obama said about your son when he returned home. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sean Smith, it seems, lived to serve. First in the Air Force, then with you at the State Department. He knew the perils of this calling, from his time in Baghdad. There in Benghazi, far from home, he surely thought of Heather and Samantha and Nathan, and he laid down his life in service to us all.

Today, Sean is home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: He's mentioning his wife and his children. When you heard the president say that, what did you think?

SMITH: This is the first time I heard the president say that.

COOPER: It is really?

SMITH: Yes, he never told - didn't tell me that. Sean knew he was in a bunch of scary places. I knew he was in security places. I didn't expect him to get blown up. I didn't expect him to die. COOPER: Do you feel that you know what happened or are you still searching for answers? Have you been in contact with the State Department? Have they reached out to you and given you details of what happened?

SMITH: That's a funny subject. I begged them to tell me what was - what happened. I said I want to know all the details, all of the details no matter what it is, and I'll make up my own mind on it. And everyone of them, all the big shots over there told me that - they promised me, they promised me that they would tell me what happened. As soon as they figure it out.

No one, not one person has ever, ever gotten back to me other than media people and the gaming people.

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Filed under: Libya
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Jim Hutcheson

    Thank you for reporting this. Ms. Smith deserves answers on how her son died. The American people deserve answers on what truly happened in Benghazi. Please follow up on this story until the truth is known.

    October 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  2. Jeanne Thompson

    Anderson, In interviewing the mother of one of the men killed in the Libya bombing in Belize also killing our Ambassador there. It was not mentione until the end of the story that the man had a wife. I would think that according to the State Dept. his wife would be the next of kin. The mother never mentioned her son's wife, which makes me think they do not get along or communicate. I am sure the wife gets information on what happened and perhaps she does not want her mother-in-law to know. I am not sure that the State Dept. can over ride her decison. Being the next of kin she could have decided not to share the information she has been told about. Just wondering if you considered that view. Seems like she would have contacted her daughter-in- law to see what she knew.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  3. Caroline Marchand

    If the ambassador was concerned about his safety and had asked for more security, why did he choose to go a consulate that had even less security then the embassy? I beleive the answer is that he felt safe and confortable with the people of Benghazi. Obama is not in Libya. He must wait for the FBI to conclude their investigation and submit a report to the State Department. This seems like the only reasonable thing to do. Why wouldn't the Republicans and the press not wait for the facts to be known before all the questions and conjectures.It's simply disgraceful.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm |

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