- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A writer at GQ has published an apology for wishing he could confront the mother of Benghazi terror victim Sean Smith and beat her to death.

Patricia Smith spoke at the Republican convention in Cleveland on Monday and told attendees about the the death of her son on Sept. 11, 2012, in Libya. GQ’s Bethlehem Shoals, whose real name is Nathaniel Friedman, tweeted a death wish after the woman criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t care how many children Pat Smith lost, I would like to beat her to death,” Mr. Shoals wrote. The tweet was deleted but captured beforehand by news watchdog Media Research Center.

Ms. Smith told a nationally televised audience of roughly 10 million people that she blames Mrs. Clinton for the death of her son, an information management officer with the U.S. Foreign Service at the time of his death.

“In an email to her daughter shortly after the attack, Hillary Clinton blamed it on terrorism, but when I saw Hillary Clinton at Sean’s coffin ceremony, just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible,” Ms. Smith said. “Since then, I have repeatedly asked Hillary Clinton to explain to me the real reason why my son is dead. I’m still waiting. Hillary Clinton is a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. I am a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. How could she do this to me?”

Mrs. Clinton said during a Democrat primary debate on March 9 that Ms. Smith was “absolutely wrong” about what was said during their brief conversation.

Mr. Shoals’ said on Medium that his actions were “utterly indefensible.”

“Under no circumstances is it okay to invoke violence against women. As outraged as I was by parts of Pat Smith’s speech, to use this kind of language as a means of expressing that feeling was completely out of bounds,” the writer said on Tuesday. “I also completely understand how, regardless of my intent, it was extremely triggering for a lot of people. And for that I am genuinely sorry.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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