Families want to know what happened in Benghazi

Obama administration not telling whole story, they say

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“My brother gave 17 years of service, with 10 as a Navy SEAL. He and the others deserve far better than to be referred to that way,” she said, adding that if the public and the media really want to know who her brother was, they should visit, www.glendohertyfoundation.org, the website of a foundation that the family established in his name.

Her comments echo those of Stevens’ father, who spoke to a reporter in mid-October as the Benghazi incident was becoming an increasingly heated political battle between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“It would really be abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue,” Jan Stevens, 77, told Bloomberg News, adding that politicians should await the findings of a formal investigation before making accusations or judgments.

A detailed account

Other family members have been far less tempered in their remarks.

Some have voiced anger toward the Obama administration, accusing the White House of not taking their losses seriously, hiding information from them and even attempting to steer media attention from the details of the attack to dim the spotlight on any administration wrongdoing.

Appearing on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Oct. 10, Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who was 35 when he died in Benghazi, said top administration officials paid her a lot of lip service but never revealed to her the details of her son’s last hours.

“I told them, ‘Please, don’t give me any baloney that comes through with this political stuff. I don’t want political stuff. You can keep your political. Just tell me the truth, what happened?’” Mrs. Smith said during the broadcast, adding that at that time — a month after the attack — she still did not know how her son was killed.

“Today, I just heard something more that he died of smoke inhalation,” she said. “I don’t even know if that’s true or not.”

Mrs. Smith also said Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta “actually took my face in his hands and he said, ‘Trust me, I will tell you what happened.’ And so far, he’s told me nothing. Nothing at all. And I want to know.”

Attempts to reach Mrs. Smith were unsuccessful.

Mr. Woods, meanwhile, has gone perhaps furthest in raising questions about how the administration responded to the Benghazi attack.

He told The Washington Times that the person who contacted him about the attack explained in detail how his son’s death was preceded by a series of mortar rounds.

“The first one was well short of the building, the second and third landed in front of the building, and the fourth one went up and landed on the roof,” Mr. Woods said. “That’s what killed Ty.”

The round slammed into the roof where the former SEAL was positioned, and “I was told that if it had been a heavier round, it would have gone through the roof and exploded inside the building where 30 or so Americans were being protected by Ty and by Glen,” he said.

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About the Author
Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.

His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.

Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...

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