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by
Bridget Johnson

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December 5, 2013 - 1:14 pm

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that they’re leaving the investigation of an American teacher shot in Benghazi up to the Libyans.

The Libya Herald reported that chemistry teacher Ronnie Smith, 33, was running on Dubai Street in Benghazi’s Digadosta district when he was shot multiple times. According to witnesses, Smith was approached by a black SUV that “drove up to him and retreated several times before shots were fired from the vehicle.”

Smith had lived in Benghazi for 13 months with his wife and their 2-year old while teaching at Benghazi International School. His wife had flown back to America a few weeks ago and Smith was due to join them in Texas for Christmas, the Herald reported.

“The State Department has issued a travel warning that’s been in place for sometime about — warning Americans about the dangers of traveling in Libya. You know, so for greater detail on how those assessments are made and why, I would refer you to the State Department,” Carney told reporters at the daily briefing.

“We do expect the Libyan government to investigate this. At this point, we don’t have very much information to share about who is responsible or how it happened or why,” he added. “But we certainly do expect the Libyans to investigate.”

The Herald reported that authorities were trying to ascertain whether the motive was terrorism or robbery. Libyan officials have been mounting a concerted offensive against militants in recent weeks, with escalated fighting in Benghazi a couple weeks ago in which residents were even offering guns and ammo to the military to help them drive out terrorist groups.

In a statement posted over the weekend, American al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn urged Libyans to conduct attacks in revenge for the seizure of Abu Anas al-Libi.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed that Smith was killed.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends and loved ones. We are in contact with the family and are providing all appropriate consular assistance,” she said. “Out of the respect for the privacy of those affected, I don’t have a lot of further details at this time. For questions on the investigation, of course, we’d refer everyone to the Libyan authorities.”

“…As everyone knows, there are pretty severe travel warnings in effect for Libya, particularly Benghazi. But we don’t keep track of American citizens in that way, obviously, operating overseas.”

Harf said the State Department doesn’t have an idea of how many Americans might be living in Benghazi.

“Again, our travel warning is very explicit in advising against all travel to this area. That’s sort of what we can do, is advise our citizens, and then it’s up to people individually to make decisions. I just don’t have any way to characterize it,” she said. “…I’d, in terms of an investigation, refer you to the Libyan authorities. We are working with those authorities to ascertain the facts related to the case, which, again, there are a lot of unknowns right now, because this tragedy occurred just recently today. So we’ll update folks as we get more.”

Meanwhile, Libyans reached out on Twitter to console Smith’s family and each other.

 

 

 

 

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Still waiting on the 9/11/12 investigation by the Libyan Gov't. Don't understand why any American would go to Libya for any reason.

At least Carny didn't blame a video.
1 year ago
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All Comments   (12)
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my friend's half-sister makes $72 an hour on the internet. She has been laid off for six months but last month her pay check was $15553 just working on the internet for a few hours. link>>>>>>>>> www.jobs35.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Carney on Death of U.S. Teacher in Benghazi: ‘We Expect the Libyan Government to Investigate This’...because the Obama Administration sure as hell won't!


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
jay carney, obama's version of bahgdad bob.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"White House press secretary Jay Carney said that they’re leaving the investigation of an American teacher shot in Benghazi up to the Libyans."

In other words, "Frankly my dear...."

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
40th anniversary of the fascist coup in Chile—Made in the USA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRglyKHc7yc
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Note to Carney. Muslims killing infidels is not a reason to investigate anything. It is what Islam does. This is standard operating procedure as per the Koran, Sira and Hadith. Study Islam and understand your enemy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I hope the Libyans will investigate what Obama was doing on the night of 9/11/12.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Still waiting on the 9/11/12 investigation by the Libyan Gov't. Don't understand why any American would go to Libya for any reason.

At least Carny didn't blame a video.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The least State Dept. could do is deal with these terrorists on their level …send a CIA operative out to do in Adam Gadahn. They've got to know that, regardless what they think, they don't own the place.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Go to Libya. Bomb, severely, a whole bunch of militias. Leave a note: "next time, think twice. You might make us angry. You won't like it when we get angry."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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