Earlier this week, Trump said something inappropriate about Gold Star mother Ghazala Khan. Her son, Army Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq back in 2004, but was silent when she and her husband, Khizr, briefly spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Khizr torched Trump in his address, which prompted the unseemly response from the Republican nominee. Khizr said that Trump knows nothing of sacrifice, lacks empathy, and is ignorant of the U.S. Constitution.
Okay—so Trump’s remarks, which arguably were touching upon the whole Islamic submission of women angle, was terrible. Yet, let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton also criticized a Gold Star mother. During the Democratic debate on March 9, Clinton pretty much called Patricia Smith, mother of slain U.S. Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, a liar (via Fox News):
Pat Smith, whose son was among the four Americans killed, has repeatedly accused the then-secretary of state of lying about the attack.Smith has said that Clinton and other administration officials maintained that the violence stemmed from a response to an anti-Islam video.
Clinton vehemently denied that on the debate stage.
“You know, look, I feel a great deal of sympathy for the families of the four brave Americans that we lost at Benghazi. And I certainly can’t even imagine the grief that she has for losing her son. But she’s wrong. She’s absolutely wrong,” said Clinton.
She added that she and everyone else in the administration was “scrambling” to get information about what happened and that it was changing “by the hour.”
As the Daily Caller reported in April, new State Department documents showed Clinton offered different stories to foreign leaders about the night of the Benghazi attack, telling the Egyptian Foreign Minster that a “stupid, very offensive film” was the point source for the upheaval in the region. During her 11-hour testimony to Congress, emails showed that Clinton knew this was a terrorist attack, and not the result of a video—or part of some protest. And on Fox News Sunday, she said that she didn’t hold any ill feelings toward those families who in their grief might have forgotten what she said to them as the caskets of their loved ones were off loaded. Both Smith and the father of Tyrone Woods, another Benghazi victim, have said that Clinton told them the Innocence Of Muslims was the reason the compound was attacked. Mark Finkelstein transcribed and clipped the exchange for Legal Insurrection:
CHRIS WALLACE: One of the most dramatic moments in the Republican convention was when pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, one of the people who died in Benghazi, stood up before the convention and blamed you for her son’s death.PAT SMITH: I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son. That’s personally.
WALLACE: She and the father of Tyrone Woods both say that on the day that their sons’ bodies were returned to the United States that you came up to them and you said it was all because of a video, not terrorism. Now, I know some of the other families disagree with this, and I know you deny it. The question is, why would they make that up?
HILLARY CLINTON: Chris, my heart goes out to both of them. Losing a child under any circumstances, especially in this case, two State Department employees, extraordinary men both of them, two CIA contractors gave their lives protecting our country, our values. I understand the grief and the incredible sense of loss that can motivate that. As other members of families who lost loved ones have said, that’s not what they heard, I don’t hold any ill feeling for someone who in that moment may not fully recall everything that was or wasn’t said.
Oh, so Smith is not only wrong—her grief may have induced some amnesia? Both statements from Trump and Clinton are pretty bad. They both said dumb things to the families of those who have served; Smith was in the Air Force prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service. Can we at least agree on that?
Probably not—remember it’s only bad, manipulative, or pandering if the Republicans do it.
If you want to hear another reason why Clinton seemed to have dithered in responding to the attacks in Benghazi, go see Dinesh D’Souza’s Hillary’s America—he postulates that unlike Haiti—there wasn’t a buck to be made.