The father of Tyrone Woods, one of the four Americans killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities and personnel in Benghazi, Libya, told Breitbart News the report by the House Select Committee on Benghazi answered many questions, but not the two he asked.
“At the very beginning, as soon as the committee was convened, they invited all representatives from all the families to fly back to Washington, D.C., and to meet with the Democrats and the Republicans,” said Charles Woods, a retired attorney and administrative law judge.
“There, they asked me the question: ‘What answers would you like from the committee?’ and I told them basically, I want to know one thing: As a father, I realize that my son would still be alive if there was a rescue attempt made—and I would like to know, who made the decision not to rescue and why was that decision made.”
The House Select Committee on Benghazi released its report June 28.
The answers to both of Woods questions remain absent from the public record.
Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, civilian security contractors tasked to the CIA, were both killed by a single mortar round as they were defending the CIA Annex, less than two miles from the diplomatic compound, where Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and IT specialist Sean Smith were killed earlier in the evening in the first of two attacks on the compound. There were then two attacks on the annex and the two former Navy SEALs were killed in the second of two attacks on the annex, roughly 8 hours after the first attack.
According to the report released by the select committee, 12 hours after the attacks began, no military assets or personnel were in motion to relieve the Americans at Benghazi except for two drones and a team of volunteers from American facilities in Tripoli organized and led by Doherty.
Was that because the U.S. military was unable to respond? he asked. “Or was it because the administration gave an order not to rescue?’
Woods said he does not blame Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), the committee chairman, or any of the Republicans members of the committee for not being able to give him the answers he requested.
“We have to realize the difficulty that they had,” he said. “They were up against a stone wall.”
Woods said, “They did their best considering what they were up against.”
Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio), who created the select committee, said it best when he said that the White House from the very beginning has done everything that they can to obstruct and mislead about what happened in Benghazi.
One of the ways President Barack Obama and the administration hindered the investigation was to have the witnesses it provided to the committee give false and contradictory testimony, he said.
“All the principal parties, Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state; General Ham, who was the head of Africom—they all lied to Congress and to the American people,” Woods added. Army Gen. Carter F. Ham was the commanding general of U.S. Africa Command during the attacks. One month afterward, the Pentagon announced Ham’s retirement.
“They lied and the other thing they did was to either destroy documents—and that is on record—and they also withheld documents, which has to be totally frustrating for the committee,” he said.
The retired judge said there are two types of evidence used by investigators—witnesses and documents—but in the case of the Benghazi investigation, both were contaminated.
“Let me give you an example,” he said. “Right after the attack, he took Congressman Jason Chaffetz with him to Libya. I talked to Congressman Chaffetz and he’s told me that several times on that trip, General Ham made the statement to him that assets had been immediately available in the area, but he was never authorized to use those assets.”
Later, when the general testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R.-Utah), Ham changed his story.
Woods quoted Chaffetz challenging Ham during his testimony: “I have met you General Ham on three different occasions and on three different occasions, you have told me three different stories.”
Clinton also lied, he said. “I hate to say this about such a public figure, but she has demonstrated in the minds of most Americans that she is a compulsive, dishonest, and untrustworthy liar.”
Foremost on his mind was the lie that the former first lady told him in a private space at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. The families of the four men killed were held apart in a large room before the Sept. 14, 2012 ceremony hosted by President Barack Obama and his secretary of state. Obama, Clinton and other officials rotated among the families, offering condolences.
Woods had flown in from Hawaii and he was still trying to process the loss of his son, whom he raised with his first wife. Tyrone had told his father that the contract job in Benghazi was going to be his last one and that he no longer enjoyed it the way he once did.
When Clinton came to Woods, he said it struck him as odd that she insisted on telling him about a YouTube video.
“I take notes, I have a pad and I’ve done this for years,” the attorney said. “There is what I wrote: ‘I gave Hillary a hug. I shook her hand and she said: ‘We are going to have the filmmaker arrested, who is responsible for the death of my son.’” Later, Woods found out from the other families that Clinton had told them all the same thing.
“It came out in the report, that there was a two-hour meeting about seven o’clock, where Hillary and several others were meeting—called by the White House,” he said. “Now, they won’t release the transcript of what was said, they just released the 10 points that were discussed, but actually two of those are redacted. Of those eight remaining points, five of them were about their debate about the video and three of them had nothing to do with a rescue attempt. There was no urgency to rescue.”
In local time, the attacks began between 3:30 p.m., and 3:45 p.m., Washington time.
The meeting was going on while the battle was raging. They ignored the live video feed to carry on with their debates, he said. “They couldn’t even agree on which video to blame it on.”
However, at 11:11 p.m., Clinton sent an email to her daughter Chelsea telling her that two State Department personnel were killed in a terrorist attack by Al Qaeda-related insurgents—no mention of a video, he said. “Understand, at that time, my son Ty Woods was still alive. He was on top of that roof of the annex building firing his machine gun to protect the 35 people there.”
The mortar attack that killed Woods and Doherty began at 11:15 p.m.
With the release of the committee’s report, Woods said he has one more question to ask: Why had the Obama administration gone to such lengths to withhold and obstruct?
The SEAL’s father said the president has claimed that his administration is the most transparent in American history. “There is no way that it is true.”
Charles Woods is a courtly man with a medium build, who wears a solid tie knot, four-in-the-hand and centered. His hair is combed precisely and the pants of his suit are creased like envelopes. When he speaks he presents concepts and images, memories and narratives in solid blocks. There is no wiggle room in his descriptions and he does not accept other people’s words, nor is he susceptible to leading questions.
It is what he just said it is. Nothing more. Nothing less.
The retired judge splits his time between his property in Hawaii and in Oregon, where his late son would disappear into the woods imagining adventures that could not possibly compare to what he would grow up to experience as a Navy SEAL in Iraq and Afghanistan … or that long night in Benghazi.
Although his questions did not get answered, Woods said he is comforted by the generosity of the committee members and their staff and especially the consideration and concern extended to Woods and the families by Gowdy.
“What bothers me is this: If Hillary Clinton could not protect 35 American in Benghazi, Libya, how does she possibly think she can protect a nation of 300-plus million people here in the United States?”