Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, former US Navy SEALs who were killed fighting off the 2012 attacks on the Benghazi consulate, have been raised from the grave to attack Hillary Clinton in a new ad by Stop Hillary PAC.
The Political Action Committee has already run afoul of the Federal Election Commission because counsel and treasurer Dan Backer violated a basic prohibition on naming PACs after candidates they do not support, and now its ad has run afoul of the mothers of the deceased.
Backer is among the most shameless advocates of our Citizens United world. His past litigation includes the 2010 Carey v FEC decision which created so-called hybrid PACs, as well as the 2014 McCutcheon v FEC decision, which raised billionaire federal campaign contribution limits above the American median household income.
Reacting to the new ad, Barbara Doherty of Woburn, Massachusetts expressed her displeasure to the Boston Globe. “It’s so crude and so unfeeling to do something like this. To see your own son and hear a voice coming up from the grave, it’s tasteless.”
The image of Doherty’s son opens the ad with a disembodied voice repeating the discredited conspiracy theory in which Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, supposedly wanted her own personnel to die because she hates America.
“Dear Hillary Clinton, I’d like to ask you why you ignored calls for help in Benghazi and then four Americas were murdered,” the fake Doherty voice says.
In fact, no one ignored any calls for help, and reinforcements from Tripoli did arrive in time for the second assault on the CIA facility.
Glen’s mother says he would not like Backer’s PAC putting words in his mouth. “I won’t use the language he would have used, but he would be very upset.”
Cheryl Croft Bennett, whose son, Tyrone Woods, died in the attacks, said the ad triggered the type of anger that she had avoided since he was killed.
“I have not been angry because it’s counter-productive. But this ad made me angry,” she said.
Woods’ picture appears second in the ad, and a voice-over reads: “I’d like to know why you lied…”
In a sign of just how little he cares about any rules or regulations that stand in his way, to say nothing of simple human decency, Backer has sued the FEC in a federal district court trying to overturn the regulation against PACs using the names of candidates that they do not actually support.
If he is successful, fraudulent political fundraisers will have a new tool with which they can legally suck money away from candidates to enrich themselves.
As usual, Backer — whose self-dealing has been called out more than once — seems quite unconcerned with the feelings of the families of the men he has smeared.
Indeed, he dismisses concerns about his exploitative ad with an obtuseness bordering on psychopathy:
Asked if he should have gotten the families’ blessings before using their dead relatives’ images, Backer said: “I wouldn’t have the first clue how to contact them. How do you go about it? Google their names? How do you go about finding people like this?”
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