- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

For Charles E. Woods, mystery still shrouds the death of his son and of three other Americans in the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

“It’s been almost a year, and very few questions have been answered,” said Mr. Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, one of two former Navy SEALs who died that day.

Outnumbered by militants, Woods and Glen Doherty fought to protect diplomats and other personnel until three terrorist-fired mortar rounds killed them. U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and his aide Sean Smith were killed during an earlier onslaught.

PHOTOS: A year after Benghazi, where is the justice?

“Even fewer questions have been answered truthfully,” Mr. Woods said. “What we have so far is basically limited access, withholding even the names of people who were on the ground and had firsthand knowledge and pretty much any answers that we have had are just smoke and mirror without any substance.”

For example, there has been little public testimony from the American personnel in Benghazi on exactly what happened as extremists attacked them. Did they make calls for help and, if so, what did the U.S. military tell them?

There is no evidence that the White House National Security Council met as the crisis lingered into the night of Sept. 11 and the next morning, and there was virtually no communication between the White House and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.

Mr. Panetta considered military intervention, then rejected it because commandos were too far away and he lacked real-time knowledge of events on the ground.

A Washington lawyer said the State Department harassed would-be whistleblowers. State balked at providing Congress all the names of U.S. employees who were rescued from Benghazi early Sept. 12.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, when asked at a hearing about who conducted the attack under her watch as secretary of state, famously answered, “What difference does it make?”

The State Department has punished no one over security lapses in Libya long before the Benghazi attack. The terrorists who assailed the U.S. diplomatic mission remain at large despite the Obama administration’s pledge to arrest them.

There also has been no detailed explanation for why the White House blamed the incident on a mob’s reaction to an obscure anti-Islam video when evidence pointed toward a planned, coordinated attack.

Questions still abound

It was a year ago Wednesday that well-armed terrorists linked to al Qaeda stormed a weakly defended diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

Most of the liberal press, and the Obama administration, have downplayed the incident. The White House labeled it a “phony scandal.”

But not Republicans, who in the ensuing months searched for answers. Why did the State Department ignore warnings from the CIA on dangers in Benghazi? Why did State refuse requests for more security guards and, in fact, remove them from the country?

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