October 10th, 2012
07:22 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Mother demands answers about Benghazi attack

Pat Smith accepted her son's work despite the dangerous situations he encountered. She knew he was proud of what he was doing. Now she's mourning Sean's death and struggling to make sense of the events that lead to the lethal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on September 11.

Her son, a computer specialist, was inside the compound when the assault began. When a security team arrived from the annex about a mile away to provide help, they found him dead and carried his body off the premises.

Smith says she cried on Pres. Obama's shoulder when her son was returned to the U.S., and he along with Secretary of State Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden promised to tell her the details about the incident. She begged to know, no matter how gruesome. Tonight she tells Anderson that she's still waiting for answers.

State Department officials have now clarified that there were no protests before the attack. Smith says she was originally told by the administration that the assault was related to an anti-Muslim film, but she never believed that to be the case.

Watch a preview and see more of the interview at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Libya
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Tiffany

    My prayers go out to this mother and all of our citizens that have lost loved ones because of terrorist attacks. This mother deserves answers. I don't think that that the right answer is going to be given in only one month. Investigations take time. I am not convinced that the video did not spark a terrorist group to attack on that particular day. I think that it could have played a role in rallying extremist to act. Nevertheless of the motivating factor, these people are still terrorist and labeling the contributing factor to be a video does not take away from the fact that there are terrorist out there that do not like the United States. We do need to find out why the embassies were not given adequate security. If I am not mistaken I believe the State Department did ask for additional funds that would have been used to help with securing the embassies but the State Department was denied these funds by Congress. So how could the State Department respond to request for more security if they were already denied by Congress for additional funding? It takes money to have additional personnel over there to secure the embassy right?
    Where are the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that let to hundreds of deaths? What were we doing over in Iraq when the people that attacked us on 9/11 were from Afganistan. How come the Bush Administration was not held accountible for this, How is that investigation going? That is more worrisome to me rather than the State Department saying a video caused an attack. At least they didn't cause an unjust war!!!!

    October 15, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  2. Jim

    I feel bad for this grieving mother. It's unfortunate that this President has time to call Sandra Fluke, but is dismissive of the family of an American who gave his own life in support of this government, and the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the Libyan people.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  3. Janet C

    Charles – great answer - I am so sorry people died, I can't imagine what it would be like to loose one of my daughters - one being in the Natinal Guard. But if it happened, I would want the most thorough investigation possible.

    October 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  4. jack

    Why is it that each comment that attacks this woman is full of grammatical errors?
    I believe that her concern is that she feels that her son's life was needlessly wasted and then lied about for political purposes. When posted to a dangerous location it is assumed that all practical precautions will be taken by those in charge of security.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  5. Joan

    This poor woman is grieving which is natural. The other families will be grieving too just as those of the embassy official killed today in Yemen. All embassies are dangerous, it is a dangerous world and this has been happening since the first soldiers stepped foot in Afghanistan over 10 years ago. The Republicans, especially Issa and his "emergency" Congressional hearing, are politicizing this horrible event but the grieving families should definitely not be exploited.

    October 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  6. charloy

    I would like to give my condolences tho this mother for the death of her son. We can blame no one person for this and we all need to stop the blame game until all information have been gathered, do you expect them totell you day by day what they are finding while this is a continuous ivestigation. I am sure as soon as they get clear facts they will tell all. Anyone who go over seas to work in these foreign countries take a risk. I am sure that they are aware of this when they decided to go. Pray for peace for this mother who have lost her son and stop politicizing every aspect of peoples lives treat humans as humans not ponds in a game being played by politicians.

    October 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  7. DLong

    While I too would want to know every second of my loved one's last moments of life, I don't think this poor woman is ever going to be satisfied. He could have been alone in a room, died with others or a dozen other scenarios that will always and forever leave her with doubts. A month to parse this tragedy is hardly forever. Even a death in a hospital bed in the US can take a longer amount of time to process COD than a loved one can bear. Please help this lady get some counseling to accept that her son was doing a brave thing and died helping to bring peace to a dangerous area.

    October 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  8. Anne Allen

    There is nothing inappropropriate about Mrs. Smith's appearance. When your son is killed and you receive nothing but one lie after another, you take whatever opportunity exists to find the truth. And only vast public pressure will make these people release some facts. There is only one thing they are "checking" and that is how to cover their rear ends. Autopsies were performed a couple of days after the attack. Not to tell the families is beyond outrageous. These people – obama, biden, clinton, rice, panetta – they are all disgusting politicians, and the worst is that they pretend to care. This is a scandal which is so big even the left-wing media cannot keep it squelched.

    October 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  9. Jan

    It has been a month since the terrorist attack. Why wouldn't our government be in touch with her and give her the information she is looking for?

    October 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  10. Charles Jones

    My condolences go out to Mrs. Smith. What would she say if the information given to her was fast but wrong. This is a terrible tragedy and if I was put in her difficult situation I would prefer a through investigation even if it took longer than I felt it should. The FBI just arrived on scene last week. Separate comment: I think something that is missed in this tragedy is that Al Qaeda, Islamic terrorists,etc. are well trained and can do same things as Seal Team 6 can. This was a well planned attack and for someone to say other wise is ludacris. They used diversion tactics, had weapons hidden,knew who was in the building, and the security than was in place. Lets quite the blame game and learn from what happened. Either we secure our Embassies or remove everyone from them. If a country can't provide their share of security we should remove our personal. This brings to me a moment in the past. Tet offensive when the Marines at our Embassy looked at the guard gate and found that the Vietnamese soldiers who were the first line of security had vanished.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  11. darwin

    My condolences to Mrs.Smith. Mrs.Smith, you said you accepted your son's work despite the dangerous situations he encountered. But I got a sense that you are trying to find a blame to your son's death. Correct me if I wrong, Sean knew that his job was dangerous and accepted it. He knew his responsibility and where he was going was perilous. This is the Middle East where talking about. The Middle is a mecca for anti-America terrorists and your son knew that. Your son and 3 others were under a sneak-planned attack by terrorists. THE TERRORISTS KILLED YOUR SON AND 3 OTHERS. Unfortunately, there will be certain party that will politicize this situation and unfortunately it is looking like that way. Again, sorry for your loss. God bless you.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  12. SteveKJR

    After watching the interview I think Obama should be Impeached for "derelect of duty" and failure to protect all Americans. His only concern is about becoming a second term president – he lacks any courage when it comes to being responsible for the death of this womans son. He has no backbone when it comes to being President and it showed in his debate with Romney.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • natalie

      Im sorry Steve, this woman's son knew the dangers of his job when he took it. I am very sorry for her loss. She clearly stated the she cried on the presidents shoulder. So blaming the president isn't going to change that some jobs are just high risk.

      October 11, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • sandy

      Amen, Steve. I concur.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  13. Valerie olivervvalerie oliver

    Certainly the state dept knows whether or not her son was shot. She is visualizing the worst scenario. If its possible it was smoke inhalation, at least telling her he wasnt shot would help ease her pain. Details can follow as they know it.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • jeff Coley


      Not if he didn't authorize her to know. This doesn't need to be political, just common sense. I can't be the only one from the military or government service that filled out these forms. And no, my Mom was not on them.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  14. r becker

    This was disgusting to allow this pathetic woman to go on and on about her poor son's death. So inappropriate. Perhaps she is out of her mind with grief but she is not honoring her son by this display and CNN is wrong to make a spectacle of her like this. Let her make her bitter statement and then get her off the air and get her in touch with those who can help her. Shame on CNN for making her sensational entertainment!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  15. J. Clarke

    Anderson, this is the lowest form of media I have seen in some time. To use a grieving mother to make points against this President is really low. This is disgusting. How do you know what is actually happening behind the scene? Did you fact check this grieving mother? I am still waiting for your hard hitting investigation on what really happened under President George Bush on 9/11 when more than 3000 people died. Fran Townsend from the Bush administration criticizing this President, this is rich.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  16. Dwight hollins

    I can't believe she never thought her son could died doing his job! I feel for her loss, but i think she is lying and making her pain has horrible as it could be! Ask her who she is supporting in the election and that might explain a lot of her comments! Shame on her for making her son' s death political!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Mashe

      Really? A grieving parent should be given wide latitude. Her politics are irrelevant and your comment is off target! I did not care for Cindy Sheehan's politics from a few years ago – she was quite outspoken, often she was wrong in her statements but still felt derogatory statements about her as uncouth. Let this woman grieve. You are not walking in her shoes my man.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Steve

      Why is it political wanting to know the facts of your sons death? I'm sure you would be no different if you were in her shoes. To deny would just be lying to yourself.

      October 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

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