- The Washington Times - Monday, August 8, 2016

The parents of two of the Americans killed in the Benghazi terrorist attacks sued Hillary Clinton in federal court Monday, saying the former secretary of state is liable for their deaths.

The lawsuit, filed by Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, blames the attacks in part on the current Democratic presidential nominee’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

The server, which was the object of foreign government hack attempts, enabled the Islamic State allied terrorists to “obtain the whereabouts of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and thus the U.S. State Department and covert and other government operations in Benghazi, Libya and subsequently orchestrate, plan, and execute the now infamous September 11, 2012 attack,” the suit claims.

The lawsuit also accuses Mrs. Clinton of defamation and the infliction of distress, and seeks damages from her on that score too. It claims that “During her campaign for President, Defendant Clinton has negligently, recklessly, and/or maliciously defamed Plaintiffs by either directly calling them liars, or by strongly implying that they are liars.”

There was no immediate public response from the Clinton campaign.

Mr. Woods is the father of Tyrone Woods, a former Navy SEAL working as a CIA security contractor at the time of the Islamist attack, which Mrs. Clinton and other U.S. officials blamed on an anti-Islam video.

Ms. Smith’s son, Sean Smith, was a former Air Force officer who became a U.S. Foreign Service information management officer. Ms. Smith spoke at the Republican National Convention and has repeatedly accused Mrs. Clinton of lying to her and other Benghazi families.

In the past week, Ms. Smith has noted the news media’s solicitousness toward Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Muslim immigrants whose son was killed in Iraq, and their criticisms of Republican nominee Donald Trump and contrasted it with the media’s treatment of her.

The case was filed by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch USA on behalf of the families.

In a statement announcing the lawsuit, Mr. Klayman said that because Mrs. Clinton used her private email server to communicate with Ambassador Stevens, another of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, it is “clear” that Mrs. Clinton “negligently and recklessly gave up the classified location of the plaintiffs’ sons, resulting in a deadly terrorist attack that took their lives.”

The actual lawsuit is a bit more circumspect, saying such leakage and causality were “highly probable, given Defendant Clinton’s history of reckless handling of classified information.”

Mrs. Clinton was accused by FBI Director James B. Comey of being “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information by putting it on an unsecured server. He also has refuted her claims that she neither sent nor received classified information, though he declined to press criminal charges, saying that perhaps the former first lady was too innocent of technology to know what she was doing.


• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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