Friend of Slain Official: Benghazi Response Was 'Pitiful'

Image: Friend of Slain Official: Benghazi Response Was 'Pitiful' Don Howard(C, a family friend, and Pat Smith (2nd R), mother of one of the four Americans killed in the terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, listen to Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counterterrorism Mark Thompson testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 8.

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 05:14 PM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

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The family of an official killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya have still not heard an explanation from the Obama administration eight months after the September terror attack.

"They all promised (Pat Smith) that they would get back with her with some reason why this happened," said Don Howard, a family friend who sat in the audience during a hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as it looked into the Benghazi attacks on Wednesday. "They haven't. They have not responded yet. It's just pitiful."

Pat Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, a State Department information officer who was killed along with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and two other Americans on September 11, 2012.

Wednesday's hearing was meant to revive efforts by Republicans to show the Obama administration didn't provide enough security to U.S. diplomats in Libya before the attack, failed to respond militarily during it, and engaged in what committee Chairman Darrell Issa has called a "cover-up" afterward to hide the role of terrorists linked to al-Qaida.

Howard said that he is optimistic, however, that the committee will determine how the United States can better protect Foreign Service personnel in the future to avoid another such tragedy.

"I'm encouraged that the committee will come up with some sort of way to better protect our Foreign Service people,” Howard said. "It's too late for Sean and those guys, but there's no reason that the greatest country in the history of the world cannot protect its Foreign Service workers."

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