A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton filed by the parents of two Americans killed in the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The attack on September 11, 2012 killed four US diplomats, including then Ambassador Chris Stevens at the time that Clinton was serving as secretary of state.
The parents lodged the lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia in August 2016, arguing that Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of secret information contributed to the deaths of their children.
The lawsuit also alleged that Clinton’s use of a private email server caused the death of their sons, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, because it exposed terrorists to sensitive information. The parents also sued Clinton for defaming them in statements to the media as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In a 29-page opinion released on Friday, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington wrote, “The untimely death of plaintiffs’ sons is tragic, and the Court does not mean to minimize the unspeakable loss that plaintiffs have suffered in any way.”
However, Berman said legal standards call for the case to be dismissed, ruling the parents did not sufficiently challenge that Clinton was not acting in her official capacity when she used the private server. He also said in his ruling that the families did not propose appropriate claims that Clinton defamed them or put them in a false light.
Clinton says she accepts responsibility for what happened in Benghazi, but asserts that the United States should learn to accept risks as it pursues its vital interests, and it should acknowledge that it can “never prevent every act of terrorism or achieve perfect security.” According to CNN, up to 35 CIA operatives were working in Benghazi during the attack, but it has never reported how many of them died or were injured.