No Answers from Obama Admin on Murdered American Citizens

As I referenced in the October 12 edition of the Weekly Update, the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on 9/11/12 led to the murders of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American citizens.

One of the other American citizens was Sean Smith, a computer specialist at the U.S. Consulate. (For the record, terrorists murdered former Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Tyrone Wood as well.)

Sean Smith’s mother, Pat Smith, has been in the news quite a bit since the attack, calling attention to the Obama administration’s stonewalling and obfuscation regarding the truth about what happened to her son. In an interview with CNN’s Andersen Cooper, Mrs. Smith told Cooper that President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton all promised they would get her answers. She has received none so far:

"I begged them to tell me what was – what happened. I said I want to know all the details, all of the details no matter what it is, and I'll make up my own mind on it. And everyone of them, all the big shots over there told me that – they promised me, they promised me that they would tell me what happened. As soon as they figure it out. No one, not one person has ever, ever gotten back to me."

Mrs. Smith also went on to say that while she’s getting very little information, “the things they are telling me are outright lies.” And regarding a personal interaction with the president, she said the president “stared off” into the distance when she cried on his shoulders. “That was worthless to me,” she recalled.

In witnessing all of this – the senseless murder of American citizens, the lack of evident concern on the part of the Obama administration, and the obfuscating and stonewalling– I’m reminded of our client, Tiffany Hartley, whose husband was murdered over two years ago on the Mexican border, allegedly at the hands of Mexican drug cartel members.

Like Mrs. Smith, Tiffany Hartley’s mission is simple: She wants justice and accountability for the 2010 murder of her husband on the U.S.-Mexico border. She wants answers.

With Judicial Watch’s help, Mrs. Hartley has made repeated appeals to the Obama administration for information regarding her husband’s murder. To date, she has received nothing but silence and stonewalling.

Different victim. Same story.

Recently, however, there was an “out of the blue” break in the case, and Mrs. Hartley is finally getting some answers from the government – the Mexican government, that is.

As reported by Fox News:

"The Mexican Navy announced Monday that it detained an alleged leader of the Zetas drug cartel who is suspected in the 2010 killing of American David Hartley on a lake near the U.S.-Mexico border," KDVR.com reported.

"If this gentleman, this suspect does have involvement, we want to know where David is at. Let's get some evidence of his remains and let us as a family two years later be able to have some closure," Tiffany Hartley, the victim's widow, said from her Colorado home. "I pray that the Mexico authorities and officials keep him there and that they question him and ask him how he's linked to David."

Mrs. Hartley knows very little about the suspect, identified as Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo (a.k.a. “The Squirrel”). And, once again, she’s getting no help from the Obama administration. Recent inquiries to the Obama State Department, FBI, and the president himself went unreturned. Not surprising, since Mrs. Hartley has not heard a single word from anyone in the Obama administration, which has seemingly ended its participation in this murder investigation.

David Hartley was gunned down in September 2010, apparently at the hands of a Mexican drug cartel. Mr. and Mrs. Hartley were driving jet skis on Falcon Lake, which sits on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, when gunmen opened fire from a nearby boat striking Mr. Hartley in the head.

As Mrs. Hartley tells it, many people suspect her for personally playing a role in her husband’s death. That stopped when the head of the case’s lead Mexican investigator was chopped off and sent to the military in a briefcase, leading authorities to focus on the Mexican drug cartels. (Escobedo is a suspect in the beheading murder of the investigator as well as the murders of 72 migrants in 2010.) He may have certainly directed these murders, but one might suppose he had some help. 

Mrs. Hartley has been aggressive in her pursuit of the truth into her husband’s murder and in her efforts to highlight the dangerous and chaotic situation at the U.S. border with Mexico. In September 2011, Mrs. Hartley testified before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security in a field forum on border issues held in Brownsville, Texas. Members in attendance included: Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX); Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI); and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX).

The hearing captured widespread attention from the press, not only in Texas, but around the country, including The Associated Press, which identified Mrs. Hartley as the hearing’s “highest profile witness.”

Let us hope the Mexican authorities continue to come up with answers, because I suspect none will come from the Obama administration.


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