Since the loss of my nephew Sean Smith in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack at the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, I have learned many, many lessons. Here are five of them:

1. American citizens should never be afraid to confront their representatives and ask for justice: Since December 2012, when I sent a letter of support to Congressman Frank Wolf in his efforts to establish a select committee to investigate Benghazi, I have spoken to over 300 congressmen and senators about a variety of issues related to the attack. 

Two years ago, I never would have considered calling my congressman. Now it seems like second nature. 


We should never accept unacceptable behavior from our government representatives. In addition, do not let any politician or his representative tell you that he cannot talk to you if you are not from his district. The United States government should represent all Americans.

2. Whether "Fast and Furious," Extortion 17 or Benghazi, the Obama administration has failed to keep its word: I have an immense amount of sympathy for the families of the victims of "Fast and Furious" and Extortion 17, as well as the other Benghazi family members.

We have all have lost loved ones due to government incompetence, negligence and continuing malfeasance. The Obama administration wants to treat terrorists as criminals, like mafia chieftains or drug lords. There has not been any substantial prosecution regarding any of these matters. President Obama is still getting to the bottom of it.

3. The face of terrorism continues: Al Qaeda and other terrorist factions have never been on the run in the presence of President Obama. Not a single terrorist considers our president to be a threat. The recent ISIS videos demonstrate that lack of fear in a most pronounced and horrifying manner. The weakness of our president’s foreign policy leaves more and more dead bodies in its wake.

4. Our enemies can never be defeated as long as we continue to be politically correct: Manners and political correctness are wasted against the face of evil. Any act of war against the United States should be responded to swiftly and succinctly. 

The ideology of Shariah law is antithetical to American principles. We do not subjugate women, cut off the heads of our enemies and drive planes into buildings to get closer to God.

5. We need to pay attention to who we give military and humanitarian aid to: In conjunction with French forces, we removed Qaddafi as the leader of Libya. We provided the rebels with 400 tons of weapons. Some of those American weapons were used to kill Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.

The lessons of Benghazi are still unfolding.

I am looking forward to the Benghazi Select Committee Hearings which will get underway later this month. I plan on attending some of them. 

I hope the American media will finally cover Benghazi as the true scandal that it is. With some exceptions, they have been missing in action.

To avoid future Benghazis and to fight terrorism, we need leaders who have a pronounced moral compass, as opposed to an embracement of a cult of personality. I hope the American electorate will become better informed. It voted for an incompetent president, twice.

Michael Ingmire is a musician, writer, and activist based in North Carolina. He is the uncle of Sean Smith, one of the four Americans killed during the attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.