October 10th, 2012
09:00 PM ET

Benghazi victim's mom: I deserve answers

Pat Smith says she was promised answers about her son's death in Benghazi but does not yet know how he died.

Watch part I of the interview:

Read the rush transcript:

COOPER: Who told you that they would give you information?

SMITH: You'll love this. Obama told me. Hillary promised me. Joe Biden - Joe Biden is a pressure. He was a real sweetheart. But he also told - they all told me that - they promised me. And I told them please, tell me what happened. Just tell me what happened.

COOPER: So you're still waiting to hear from somebody about what happened to your son? About what they know? Or even what they don't know.

SMITH: Right. Right. Officially yes. I told them, please don't give me any baloney that comes through with this political stuff. I don't want political stuff. You can keep your political, just tell me the truth. What happened. And I still don't know. In fact, today I just heard something more that he died of smoke inhalation.

COOPER: So you don't even know the cause of death?

SMITH: I don't even know if that's true or not. No, I don't. I don't know where. I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking, my god, is that my son's? I don't know if he was shot. I don't know - I don't know. They haven't told me anything. They are still studying it. And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies.

That Susan Rise, what - she talked to me personally and she said, she said, this is the way it was. It was - it was because of this film that came out.

COOPER: So she told you personally that she thought it was a result of that video of the protest?

SMITH: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. In fact all of them did. All of them did. Leon Panetta actually took my face in his hands like this and he said, trust me. I will tell you what happened. And so far, he's told me nothing. Nothing at all. And I want to know.

COOPER: It's important for you to know all the details no matter how horrible.


COOPER: Or no matter how tough they are to hear.

SMITH: Exactly. I told him, if it's such a secret thing, fine, take me in another room, whisper in my ear what happened so that I know, and we'll go from there. But no. No, they - you know, they treat me like - at first I was so proud because they were treating me so nice when I went to that reception. They all came up to me and talked to me and everything. I cried on Obama's shoulder. And he - then he'd kind of looked off into the distance.

So that was worthless to me. I want to know, for god's sakes. Or for Allah's sake or whoever's sake is there.

COOPER: You deserve - you deserve answers.

SMITH: I think so. I believe I do. I believe it. It's my son. I had him for the first - I told Obama personally, I said, look, I had him for his first 17 years and then he went into the service, then you got him. And - I won't say it the way I said it. But I said you screwed up, you didn't do a good job, I lost my son. And they said, we'll get back to you. We - I promise, I promise you. I will get back to you. COOPER: Some of the administration have said well, you know, we're investigating, we're still trying to find out answers. But you just want -

SMITH: They still are.

COOPER: You would still want them to contact you and at least keep you apprised of the investigation, of where things are. You would think that they would at least do that.

SMITH: That would be so nice. That would at least acknowledge that I have a right to know something, something other than, we're checking up on it, or trust me. I like that one the best of all. Trust me. I will let you know.

Well, I don't trust you anymore. I don't trust you anymore. You - I'm not going to say lied to me, but you didn't tell me and you knew.

COOPER: Pat Smith, thank you.


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Filed under: Libya
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Thank you Mr. Cooper for showing this lady's story. It was very sad and I appreciated the compassion shown to her. Such simple words, "You deserve to know" but so true and above all else she needed to hear them. Anderson Cooper has another fan. It's nice to see the truth be told. Thank you again, Mr Cooper.

    October 13, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  2. laura

    my heart breaks listening to the tale end of this "interview" with the mom who lost her son .... the Ambassador ...
    and all the promises broken as far as at least communicating with her............

    let me tell you, as a 30+airline employee at the top level of customer service, when something goes down YOU DEAL WITH IT and you don't give the "family/spouse/important PR idiot/etc........." a round-around. you might not have 100% of the situation, but you don't disappear!!! and your heart goes out and you ASSIGN someone to them (although we are
    crucified in the press for this), to keep them posted as details change very quickly......in the beginning........God Bless the Ambassador's mom and the families of "the others"; wish I had their names to list separately......as we ALWAYS did
    after an airline incident.............Robert F. Six, founder of Continental Airlines, taught us well........

    October 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  3. Matt

    This segment was astonishing and almost made me want to turn away. The depths of discretion made to this poor woman and to the American public, for that matter, leaves one in utter disbelief.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm |

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