'We Still Don't Know What Happened'

House GOP, father of Tyrone Woods, call for select committee to investigate Benghazi attacks

Burned out consulate in Benghazi (AP)
April 17, 2013

More than seven months after his son was murdered by terrorists during an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the father of murdered Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods says he is still waiting to hear from the White House and State Department.

"I really wish there were" answers or even basic contact from the Obama administration, Charles Woods, Tyrone’s father, told the Free Beacon Wednesday afternoon on Capitol Hill. "If they were forthcoming with information it wouldn’t be necessary to be here."

Woods, who has been working with members of Congress to pressure the Obama administration to disclose all details surrounding the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack, said the administration’s silence has been troubling.

"I’d rather be in Hawaii or somewhere," he said. "But we’re here because we need to be here."

Woods and several members of Congress held a press conference outside the Capitol Wednesday in an effort to highlight what they say is the Obama administration’s failure to fully disclose the circumstances that led to the deaths of four Americans, including Woods and U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) and more than 110 of his colleagues propose to establish a Watergate-style select committee that would be charged with investigating every aspect of the terrorist attack and be able to subpoena key administration officials to testify.

"I know nothing more [about the attack] than what’s been made public. No one has contacted me," Woods told reporters. "Seven months later, we still don’t know what has happened."

"We don’t just want another paper report," Woods said. "We want people who were on the ground" to testify and explain "why they failed to provide support and protection" to Tyrone and others.

"They fought a battle for eight hours and not one airplane, not one armed drone, not one bit of military support [was] given to them" despite the presence of U.S. assets in the region, Woods said. "This is extraordinary and we need to know … who was it that gave the order to stand down."

Wolf, the committee’s lead sponsor, said it is clear that the American public wants to know more.

"I don’t think the American public is satisfied with the answers we’ve received," Wolf said. "More importantly, the families [of those killed] are not satisfied."

"They along with the America public want to know why no one came to the rescue of their loved ones," Wolf said.

Such a committee would likely summon United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who became the face of the administration’s botched response to the attacks after she appeared on television repeating false talking points in the weekend following the attacks.

Rice claimed the attack was "spontaneous" despite evidence it was coordinated and planned in advance by terrorist operatives.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) told those in attendance that Congress is failing to uphold its constitutional responsibility to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Benghazi.

Brooks and other lawmakers had pressured Secretary of State John Kerry to provide detailed information about the attacks during a hearing earlier in the day.

"We have made request after request about, for example, just to get the list of the names of the people who were evacuated from Benghazi, and we haven’t even gotten that, much less some of the important questions," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.) said to Kerry during Wednesday’s hearing.

"Mr. Secretary, we think there was a cover-up of some kind of wrongdoing that led this administration to lie to the American people about the nature of the attack immediately after the attack and for a week after that attack," Rohrabacher added. "We need to have these questions answered."

Kerry responded that he does not "think anybody lied to anybody," urging lawmakers to move past the issue.

We got a lot more important things to move on to and get done," Kerry said.

Brooks expressed outrage at Kerry’s answers and his refusal to promise to investigate Rice’s false statements.

"That is hubris," Brooks said at the Benghazi press conference. "This is not the way we expect our secretary of state to act. And that is why we need a committee" that has independent investigatory powers.

Kerry’s statements are "adding unnecessary pain and suffering to those who lost loved ones," Brooks added.

Wolf has petitioned Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) to create a select committee late last year.

While Boehner has not directly responded to Wolf, he has expressed support for further inquiry in to the Benghazi attacks.

"We are determined to get to the truth regarding the terrorist attack in #Benghazi, will not let it be buried in a haze of bureaucracy," Boehner tweeted earlier today.