Family Member Of Benghazi Victim Opposes GOP Select Committee

A member of one of the victims of the Benghazi tragedy’s family reached out to Congress recently in support of a speech railing against the newly formed special committee in the House of Representatives, countering the conservative narrative that all of their investigations are being done in the name of the victim’s relatives.

Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that after months of refusing, he would approve with moving forward to create a select committee designed specifically to investigate the attack against a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya in Sept. 2012. “I intend for this select committee to have robust authority, and I will expect it to work quickly to get answers for the American people and the families of the victims,” Boehner said in a statement announcing the committee.

At a news conference denouncing the committee’s formation on Friday, however, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters that family members of two of the four Americans who died the night of the attack had reached out to oppose the formation of the committee. “(They) have called us and said: Please don’t take us down this path again,” the former Speaker said. She did not offer further details on which of the families had contacted Congress.

One of those, ThinkProgress has learned, is the family of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods. “A family member from the maternal side of Tyrone Woods’ family called Rep. Slaughter yesterday while she was on the floor to express support for the Congresswoman’s position,” a member of Rep. Louise Slaughter’s office confirmed to ThinkProgress. Slaughter’s office declined to offer more details out of respect for the family. Woods was present the night of the attack in the Central Intelligence Agency’s annex in Benghazi and was one of the security forces that responded to the original attack against the diplomatic outpost. Woods, along with fellow CIA security contractor Glen Doherty, died under mortar fire the night of the attack.


The speech that was Woods’ relative supported was delivered on the House floor on Thursday, when the New York Democrat said that Congress has “bottomed-out on Benghazi.” In lamenting the Republican politicizing of the issue, and recent fundraising initiatives, Slaughter asked why more wasn’t being done to prevent the next tragedy on Benghazi’s scale. “What the families of the victims and Americans want is to ensure it never happens again,” she said. “But we’re doing nothing in to ensure that.”

That it was the maternal side of Woods’ family who reached out is notable as Woods’ father has been active in speaking out on conservative media outlets about the administration’s handling of the attack since the days after his son was killed. Charles Woods early on repeated the claim that “the White House Situation Room was watching our people die in real time, as this was happening,” which he first heard on right-wing media and has since been debunked.

As recently as a few days ago, Woods disagreed with the family member who contacted Slaughter. “The people of the United States as well as the families need to know what actually happened,” he told Sean Hannity, calling the select committee “an answer to prayer.”