The death of a young American patriot

State Department diplomat Anne Smedinghoff killed in Afghanistan


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 8, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight, the death of a young American patriot. 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff, killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan over the weekend.

She was working for the U.S. State Department, trying to improve things, improve things for the Afghan people. Anne was on her way to deliver textbooks to school children in Southern Afghanistan when a suicide bomber killed her and four other Americans.

The Taliban gleefully admitting it committed the murders. Anne graduated from Johns Hopkins University and is the first American diplomat killed since Benghazi in September of last year.

Joining us now from Washington, Pamela Lachman, co-chair with Anne of the 2008 Johns Hopkins Foreign Affairs Symposium. And I understand, Pamela, you were e-mailing her as she worked in Afghanistan.

Why did she want, a young woman like that, why did she want to go to a war zone when she knew it was ultra-dangerous.

PAMELA LACHMAN, CO-CHAIRED JOHNS HOPKINS SYMPOSIUM WITH ANNE SMEDINGHOFF: Well, for as long as I have known Anne, she has just been incredibly committed to public service.

I mean, she was just a wonderful girl and someone who I just had tremendous respect for. When I worked with her on the Foreign Affairs Symposium at Johns Hopkins, you could tell she was just -- this was how she wanted to spend her career. She was so interested in international relations. She was so interested with working with people in other countries.

And just exactly the kind of person you would want to go work for the Foreign Service.

O'REILLY: Now, did she understand the danger that was -- that is inherent in Afghanistan. At anytime, you can be attacked by people who are in civilian clothing and blown to pieces. Did she understand the danger?

LACHMAN: I think -- you know, that's just not what drove her. What drove her was, you know, her commitment to working with people, with children, with women.

That was the work she was able to do in Afghanistan. That was the work she wanted to do in the Foreign Service.

O'REILLY: Did she ever go -- when you were e-mailing her and talking to her about her experience, did she ever say, you know, "This is a tough place," and did she ever say anything like that?

LACHMAN: No. She was always really excited to get out and see the country, you know. She was always posting photos of the trips she went on.

She was just so excited to be there. And she didn't talk about the danger. That was not what she focused on. She focused on all the fun she was having.

O'REILLY: Now, in your experience, because you, at Johns Hopkins, came into a -- with a lot of young students, is this the prevailing wisdom that we want to go out.

It's almost like the Peace Corps mentality, "We want to go and we want to help people." Is that what we are seeing here.

LACHMAN: Well, I think Anne was someone who was, you know, exceptionally-committed to Foreign Service. I think there's a lot of people who went to Johns Hopkins who were interested in international relations and international policy. But Anne was someone who really stood out for her commitment. I think she was someone who, from the start, wanted to spend her career doing this.

And as soon as she graduated from Hopkins, she joined the Foreign Service and was just extremely excited to be doing that.


And she must have been quite an impressive person for her to get such a posting at such a young age, you know, 25 years old.

LACHMAN: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: They usually don't send you into those kinds of places. You warm up in less-intense situations. Well, Pamela, we appreciate it. And our condolences go out to Anne's family.

LACHMAN: Thank you.

O'REILLY: And they picked up her body today in Dover, Delaware. It's a horrible thing and Anne Smedinghoff, a patriot, and we all our prayers are with the family.

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