Share This Page

Ambassador's dad: Don't make death a campaign issue

| Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, 7:42 p.m.
In this photo posted on the U.S. Embassy Tripoli Facebook page on Aug. 27, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, left, shakes hands with a Libyan man in Tripoli, Libya. Libyan officials say the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans have been killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad. U. S. Embassy Tripoli

WASHINGTON — The father of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was assassinated in the attack in Benghazi, said his son's death shouldn't be politicized in the presidential campaign.

“It would really be abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue,” Jan Stevens, 77, said from his home in Loomis, Calif., as he prepares for a memorial service for his son next week.

Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has criticized President Obama for not providing adequate security in Libya, saying the administration has left the country exposed to a terrorist attack.

The ambassador's father, a lawyer, said politicians should await the findings of a formal investigation before making accusations or judgments.

“The security matters are being adequately investigated,” Stevens said. “We don't pretend to be experts in security. It has to be objectively examined. That's where it belongs. It does not belong in the campaign arena.”

Stevens, a registered Democrat, said he has been getting briefings from the State Department on the progress of the investigation. He said he isn't politically active and declined to say how he'll vote in the presidential election.

The question of whether the embassy attack and the ambassador's death are being politicized was a topic on several Sunday morning talk shows.

Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod said on “Fox News Sunday” that Romney is “working hard to exploit this issue.”

“Why wasn't security there?” Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a Romney supporter, said on ABC's “This Week” program. “I believe folks deserve an explanation.”

Another parent of one of the Americans slain in Benghazi is upset with the way the Obama administration has handled the issue.

Pat Smith, mother of foreign service computer specialist Sean Smith, last week demanded answers she said she'd been promised by Obama and other top administration officials. “They haven't told me anything. ... And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies,” Smith told CNN.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.