ROGER ARONOFF: Our next guest speaker is Charles Woods. Charles Woods is the father of Tyrone Snowden Woods, Senior Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy SEAL, who died on September 12, 2012 while defending the U.S. diplomatic post and the CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A retired attorney, Charles Woods has been trying to get answers to questions about his son’s death from the Obama Administration for over a year. His most important question is: Who made the decision not to save Ty Woods and the other Americans who died under siege? Woods’ question becomes even more compelling, since denials of help came from official sources that knew, in real time, that the attacks were terrorist attacks. And still the military and CIA were ordered to stand down. The news that his son, Tyrone, disobeyed orders, does not surprise his father, who said, “My son was an American hero and he had the moral strength to do what was right even if it would potentially cost him his life.” Ladies and gentlemen, Charles Woods.
CHARLES WOODS: First all, I’m very humbled to be here. This tie that I’m wearing this morning, someone wondered why I was wearing a different tie at breakfast. I went home and I changed it at the hotel. This is the tie that wore I at Tyrone’s funeral, and I only wear it on special occasions; something special is happening this week in Washington, D.C., and this is part of it. It’s been a long time. It’s been actually over a year since this, what’s now called by some people the “Benghazi betrayal,” happened, and we still don’t have the answers. We still don’t have the truth. We need answers; we need truth. And we’ve had very little of either.
I appreciate the fact that this Citizens’ Committee is here, but I wish that it wasn’t necessary. I wish that it was not necessary, because the truth voluntarily should have been presented by our Administration. They talk about national security, that we can’t talk about these things because of national security. Well, the most important thing is the freedom of our country. We elect our leaders in order to intelligently protect our freedoms. We need to have accurate information, so that we can make informed choices when we go and choose who are leadership will be. Leaders that will protect our Constitution, leaders that will protect our sovereignty, leaders that will protect our freedom.
I haven’t gotten answers. So, a little while ago, I remember that the president had offered to reach out to the families. So, I decided to initiate that reaching out process, and I wrote a letter to the president. I’d like to read part of that to you: “Dear President Obama, I am the father of Ty Woods, who was killed while heroically defending the American consulate in Benghazi. In order to bring closure for my family, there are questions that need to be answered. These are some of the questions. Who made the decision to stand down, and when, and why, was that decision made?” Now, we need to know who made the decision so we can ask the other two questions: why and when? People may think that the why question’s important, but the when question probably made a difference in Ambassador Stevens’ life.
Three times Ty and several of his fellow defenders asked for permission to run to the guns, to rescue. It’s always the policy of our military, as Admiral Lyons said, in his entire career, which spans many decades. This is the first time the military hasn’t rescued. And, as one of our guests just said, there’s only two people that can issue an order to stand down and not rescue: Secretary of Defense [Leon] Panetta, or, unfortunately, our commander-in-chief, our president. It would have had to have been one of those two individuals, according to our previous speaker. Which one?
There are people that don’t forget. A week ago, right before the anniversary of Ty’s going home to be with the Lord, there was a Congressman–Jeff Duncan. [He] called me up. We’ve talked three times. And he said, “And I talked with you once before last Spring and I thanked you for giving a picture of my son, Ty,” to him. Last Spring, he says, “I’m keeping this, I’m pasting this, to my computer screen so that I don’t forget.” Last week he called me up on the anniversary and said, “I still haven’t forgotten. That picture of Ty is still taped to my computer screen.” Now, those two individuals that gave the order to stand down, probably don’t have Ty’s picture taped to their computer screen, but I’m sure on the computer screen of their mind they know that they did wrong. And as a father, as a human being, this is non-political. They need to come forward and relieve their conscience of that burden and say, ‘I did wrong. I broke military ethics. I broke all the rules of morality and of patriotism. I gave the order to stand down, and I accept the consequences.’ That needs to be done for their benefit, for the benefit of their conscience, and for the conscience of America.
Another question that was asked, was, “Is it true that General Ham was relieved from duty for refusing to follow the order not to rescue?” One general gave me this intel that he has, and this general said, that General Ham–we’re talking a four-star general. There aren’t too many people between a four-star general and the president of the United States. Was given orders, didn’t say by who, not to rescue. General Ham, being an honorable man in the military, according to this general, said–and I don’t use these words–but according to his vocabulary, said “Screw it. I’m going to do it anyway,” and within moments he was relieved by a junior officer. Now, the Administration said that General Ham was relieved because of a prescheduled rotation of duty. Now, it would be an insult to the intelligence of most Americans to believe that story, that a general in the middle of a battle, where the lives of 30-some Americans serving at a consulate on foreign soil, would be relieved in the middle of the battle by a junior officer. We have military people here. If it were Q&A I could ask that question of someone who has the authority to speak to that issue.
The next question was something that as a father, I would like to ask another parent. If the president’s child were in Benghazi, would the rescue attempt have been more aggressive? Again, I could ask a Q&A of someone who has authority that answer. I think that most of you could fill in the answer to that question, unfortunately. This not only goes to the integrity of the information that’s been released so far. It goes to national security, as well.
This morning, we had a general who–normally, generals don’t recite poetry–but we had a general who recited poetry by an English poet. Two days ago, someone emailed me some poetry that was written by an officer in the Marine Corps. The last stanza goes like this: “Three times we called for reinforcements, but they were denied. So we fought, and we fought, and we fought ’til we died. We gave our best for Uncle Sam, but President Obama did not give a damn. Two dead SEALs who carried the load, we gave our all, we’re just bumps in the road.”
Now, as most of you know, our Administration referred to my dead son and to the three other American heroes as “speed bumps.” For the sake of integrity, if the facts and the positions were switched. If I was the president–and I would not want that responsibility. All I want to do is privately raise my family in peace and obscurity. But if I were, I would not refer to the president’s child as a speed bump. And, I would have sent reinforcements. Thank you for your time.
I’ve been asked if I could take questions. Instead, I would like to thank Mike, whose family has served America for a long period of time, for his question. I don’t think that anyone could beat your question, so I’m not going to take any more answers. But I would like to answer that question for you.
Sure, vote, but Frank Wolf, who is a man that I totally respect, who I’ve met on many occasions. Frank Wolf this morning mentioned that Daniel lived in the Middle East area where all this has happened. And Daniel, he made a statement, he said, ‘God raises up one ruler and he puts down another ruler.’ That was over three thousand years ago. That reality is still a reality today. The most important thing that any of us can do is to pray, and I really think that we’re on a collision course right now. Our nation, the nation that I love, the nation that my son Ty loved and died for, is on a collision course–and the only thing that can stop that, in my humble opinion, is divine intervention. So, Mike, I want you to pray, and I want everyone to pray that God will rescue this country, that he will turn this country back to being the nation that we deserve to be. Thank you.