Dr. Anne Stevens, the sister of the late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, has stated she does not believe former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is at fault for her brother's death.
On June 28, the House Select Committee on Benghazi released its final report on the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
While the document, which is more than 800 pages long, did not cite any clear revelations that Clinton was at fault for the loss of four Americans, her culpability has remained a Republican talking point in the 2016 election, Talking Points Memo reports.
Two Republican members of the House panel released their own separate addendum, using language that accuses Clinton of placing politics above the lives of the ambassador and the other three Americans who died.
Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has been attacking Clinton for her role in the Libya mission, accusing her of bad judgment and gross negligence.
The day the House panel released its report, the business mogul’s special counsel, Michael Cohen, tweeted out a meme that asserted Clinton had “murdered an ambassador.”
Anne, the chief of pediatric rheumatology at Seattle Children’s Hospital, has gone on the record that she does not blame Clinton or former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for her brother’s death.
“It is clear, in hindsight, that the facility was not sufficiently protected by the State Department and the Defense Department,” Anne told The New Yorker. She added that she views Congress to be to blame for this, citing that the State Department itself has not been granted a sufficient budget.
She said Clinton and Panetta’s staff “were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had.”
Anne describes her brother as a man who had been enamored with the potential of the Middle East, growing up with dreams of becoming Lawrence of Arabia. She said that he was fully aware of the dangers of Libya at the time and “he decided to take the risk to go there.”
As for the new House panel report, the ambassador's sister said she learned nothing new from the investigation and suggested that the money spent by Congress scrutinizing events in Benghazi would be better served by investing in the security of U.S. State Department facilities in dangerous countries.
Anne asserted that her brother was well aware of the risks and the lack of security and concluded, “I think everyone did their very best in response to this event.”
As a bereaved sister, she added that it was not appropriate to politicize her brother’s death, especially as a campaign tool against Clinton.
“I know he had a lot of respect for Secretary Clinton,” she said. “He admired her ability to intensely read the issues and understand the whole picture.”
Anne is not the only family member of the victims of Benghazi to comment on the current political climate. Kate Quigley, sister of the former Navy SEAL and Benghazi casualty Glen Doherty, has stated that she will vote for Trump to avoid a Clinton presidency.
“I think that it’s clear for the way that Hillary [Clinton] has demonstrated her character and her foreign policy that we need change,” Quigley told the Boston Herald. “So Donald might not be perfect. But I don’t believe Hillary should be leading this country.”