Remembering Two American Heroes on 9/11

Benghazi Navy SEALsToday is the 12th Anniversary of 9-11. A day that I pray as Americans, we never forget. There has been much written about the heroes and victims of 9/11. We should always remember them and never forget their memories. But today is also the one year anniversary of the tragic deaths of four great Americans, who died during diplomatic service to their country in Benghazi, Libya.

The news on that fateful day was full of reports on the attack on our Embassies and Consulate throughout the Islamic world because of a YouTube video. Also the tragic deaths of the Ambassador of the United States of America to Libya, Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. However, there is a little known story of incredible bravery, heroics, and courage that should have been the top story.

There are two names that you might have heard mentioned as victims of the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two former U.S. Navy SEALs, working as contractors for the CIA. I hope to show you that they were not victims as presented by the media, but instead submit to you that they were true American heroes who valiantly and without hesitation came to the aid of their fellow Americans, when their own government didn’t.

What we have not yet heard in the official government reports or in the news media narratives, the story of what really happened during the over seven hours that our Consulate in Benghazi, which is sovereign territory of the United States of America, was attacked, looted, desecrated and destroyed by our true enemies, Islamic Jihadist loyal to Al-Qaeda.

My goal here is to honor the memories of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and share with you some of the facts of the events from the perspective of these two brave men and have you determine whether or not they are victims or heroes.

So what actually happened at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012? We might never have all the information, we are learning more and more each day, but here are some things we do know happened. Ambassador Stevens and Foreign Officer and Information Specialist Sean Smith, along with the administrative staff, were temporarily working out of the Consulate in Benghazi, away from the main Embassy in Tripoli (400 Miles away) with little or no security.

There are lots of suggested reasons that the Ambassador was there with about 20 other American personnel, but we will leave that for another day to discuss. The fact is that he was there and he had a very minimal security with him.

The first wave of attacks from armed men began at 9:42 pm local time [CNN]. It was not a random uprising as original reported by the Administration and media, but by well-organized and well armed radical Jihadist numbered at approximately 125 – 150. They had a range of weapons that included AK-47’s, grenades, large caliber machine guns, RPG [Rocket-Propelled Grenades] and even mortar rounds and launchers.

The local security force that was hired to protect the staff at the Consulate, quickly abandoned their posts and it is even reported joined the attack, led the terrorist to where the Ambassador was in the Consulate and also told the attackers of the secret location of the CIA annex that was not known to very many people.

At the CIA annex, about a mile away from the consulate, Tyrone Woods was awakened by sounds of gunfire and explosions. He was in Libya as an independent contractor working an assignment totally unrelated to the State Department mission. He also happened to be a former Navy SEAL.

When he heard the noise from the attack and overheard communications that the Consulate was under attack, Woods and two others requested permission to assist in the defense of the Consulate. They were told twice to stand down by their CIA superiors. But as you would expect from highly trained warriors and patriots who are taught never to leave any men behind, they ran towards the danger, ignoring their orders to stand down. Some reports say they were not allowed to take weapons from the post so the left weaponless. Seeing the fleeing Libyan guards who dropped their weapons as they abandoned their posts, Tyrone Woods and the two other security personnel picked up several of the discarded weapons and ammo and prepared to defend the American compound.

Not knowing exactly what was happening, the SEAL quickly set up a defensive perimeter. Working together in unison with the others, and utilizing their special training, they were able to continuously keep the attackers on the defensive and secure parts of the compound. Even though they were heavily outgunned, they courageously fought off their attackers for approximately an hour and a half, killing as many as 20 to 60 attackers.

While they defending the compound, this allowed approximately 20 U.S. personnel to be evacuated. Special Agent Scott Strickland recounted that they went into the burning building that was being attacked by the Jihadist several times under heavy fire to try and locate Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith. They were able to extract the body of Sean Smith but unable to locate the Ambassador. Unfortunately unbeknownst to them, the Ambassador, was locked in a safe room inside the Consulate and was waiting for help to arrive. He had to eventually come out of the safe room because of the fire and smoke inhalation. It is alleged that the Ambassador who was still alive when pulled from the burning building was semi-conscious, was beaten and even sodomized with a broom-stick by his attackers. There are images of the Ambassador being dragged through the streets, humiliated and tortured between 11:30 pm and 1:15 am when his lifeless body found by good samaritans and was dropped off at a local hospital.

At approximately 11:30, after doing their best to leave no man behind, Woods and the others including some Libyan forces who arrived during the fight, withdrew in vehicles, taking fire as they drove through the residential neighborhood where the consulate was located and arrived back to annex location.

U.S.Consulate mission and annex map for 2012 Benghazi attack

Return to the CIA Annex

Around midnight, Tyrone Woods was joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was in Tripoli when he heard of the attack at the Consulate in Benghazi. He and several other security personnel made a way to find their own transportation to get to Benghazi. Once they arrived they set up a defensive perimeter around the CIA annex and they immediately came under attack.

At around 3am a QRF (Quick Reaction Force) arrived at the Annex from Tripoli and as they arrived the annex came under mortar attack, which was an ambush. While manning a heavy machine gun and firing on the attackers around the perimeter of the compound, the two SEALs were killed by direct hits from mortar fire. According to David Ubben who fought alongside Woods and Doherty on the roof at the CIA compound, the fighting was intense and that the former SEALs held off the attackers and fought courageously to protect those who were in the compound for over 4 hours. They were killed at about 5:12 am. Others came to recover the bodies and lower Ubben down to safety. Ubben was severely injured in the mortar attack and apparently he was left at the compound after everyone was evacuated for over 20 hours and then was finally rescued. As of today, he is still recovering at Walter Reed hospital and has been told not to speak to anyone further including members of Congress.

There are a lot of questions about what really happened in Benghazi. Until the questions are cleared up, in my opinion this Administration has the blood of these great warriors and Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Foreign Officer Sean Smith on their hands.

These men are heroes and yet we have not heard their story in the mass media. They were men of valor, men of honor who upheld the highest standards that we ask of our fighting men, yet they were dishonored by our State Department, Administration and even our President who to this day calls Benghazi a “phony scandal”. My fellow Americans, where is the outrage? Today as we remember those who lost their lives twelve years ago on 9/11, I ask you to remember these great American heroes Tyrone Snowden Woods and Glen Anthony Doherty and their families.

Tyrone S. Woods

Tyrone Snowden WoodsTyrone Snowden Woods (January 15, 1971 – September 12, 2012), of Imperial Beach, was born in Portland, Oregon. Woods graduated from Oregon City High School in 1989, south of Portland, Oregon, and served 20 years of honorable service in the U.S. Navy before joining State Department Diplomatic Security as a U.S. embassy security personnel, working under a service contract. Since 2010, Woods had protected American diplomats in posts from Central America to the Middle East.

As a Navy SEAL in 2005-06, Woods was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat “V” Device for valor in Iraq. He led 12 direct action raids and 10 reconnaissance missions leading to the capture of 34 enemy insurgents in the volatile Al Anbar province. He served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Middle East and Central America. He retired as a senior chief petty officer in 2010.

Woods also served with distinction at the Naval Medical Center San Diego as a registered nurse and certified paramedic. Having settled in Imperial Beach, California, for a year of his retirement he owned The Salty Frog bar there; he is survived by his second wife, Dr. Dorothy Narvaez-Woods, their one child, and two sons from a previous marriage. Woods was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Honor Him, he was a decorated warrior of America.

Glen A. Doherty

Glen DohertyGlen Anthony Doherty (c. 1970–September 11, 2012) of Encinitas, was a native of Winchester, Massachusetts, and a 1988 graduate of Winchester High School. Doherty was the second of three children born to Bernard and Barbara Doherty. He trained as a pilot at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University before moving to Snowbird, Utah for several winters and then joining the United States Navy. Doherty served as a Navy SEAL, responded to the bombing of the USS Cole, had tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and left the Navy in 2005 as a petty officer, first class.

After leaving the Navy, he worked for a private security company in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Kenya and Libya. In the month prior to the attack, Doherty as a contractor with the State Department told ABC News in an interview that he personally went into the field in Libya to track down MANPADS, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, and destroy them. Doherty was co-author of the book The 21st Century Sniper.

Doherty’s funeral was held at Saint Eulalia’s parish in his native Winchester on September 19, 2012. His celebration of life was held in Encinitas, California the weekend of October 12–14, 2012. Honor Him, he was a decorated warrior of America.

Why I Oppose US Involvement in the Syrian Civil War

protesters that oppose the war with Syria
protesters that oppose the war with Syria

I have heard the argument from many people that we should attack Syria because chemical weapons were used and innocent children were killed. I agree that the use of chemical weapons is an atrocity and cannot go without severe consequences. We should never allow such a travesty go unpunished.  Let me remind my friends, that Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons and killed over 5,000 people and injured or permanently maimed another 10,000 and there was no outcry then by the same people who now want to attack Syria.

To date there have been over 110,000 people killed in Syria since March 2011 when the conflict first started.  Over 6,000 children and 4,000 woman have been killed before chemical weapons were used.  Yet the world has been silent, including our President. There has been no UN resolutions, no worldwide outcry’s because there is no good outcome in Syria. What are our choices? The Assad Regime? Or Al-Qaeda Extremist?  My question is why all of a sudden we have a moral imperative?  We are suggesting to attack Syria with no one in the world (except France who used to rule over Syria) supporting us? We go it alone and if we fail we pay the price alone.

I supported the decision to go to war with Afghanistan after our nation was attacked on 9/11.  Colin Powell wrote in his autobiography: “War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.” I believe that he had it right. America should only go to war to win.

War should only happen when America is attacked, when it is threatened or when American interests are attacked or threatened. I sure don’t believe for one minute that the situation in Syria passes that test. Even the State Department says that “there’s no military solution here that’s good for the Syrian people, and that the best path forward is a political solution.”

The U.S. should not fight a war to save face. Who’s face are we saving? Today Obama blamed congress for drawing a red line when asked in Sweden by a reporter if he was worried about losing face in the world.   I will not support this President to send our troops, our brothers and sisters, our young men and women to sacrifice life and limb for a face saving mission. I will not support our President or our government to send our nation’s best and brightest to fight for anything less than victory. If American interests are really at stake, then our goal should not be stalemate.

If American interests are really at stake here, then it is up to those encouraging military action, President Obama, John Kerry and their administration to convince me, Congress and the American people of that threat.  I think it’s sad that the debate begins and ends with an allegation that our national interest is at stake without any evidence of that. The burden of proof lies with those who wish to engage in war. Wouldn’t you agree?

President Bashar Assad is clearly not an American ally. But do you think the Islamic Rebels who oppose him will encourage stability in the Middle East, or would they actually encourage instability? I think we will see what happened in Egypt all over again, but even worse! Can you imagine Al Qaeda with chemical weapons to now attack Americans and Jews all over the world?

Are the Islamic rebels (of which 7 out of 9 are Al Qaeda and mainly non-Syrian) our allies? Will they defend American interests? Will they acknowledge Israel’s right to exist? Will they impose Shari‘a? Will they tolerate Christians, or will they pillage and destroy ancient Christian churches and people just like we are seeing in Egypt?

The President and his Administration have not provided good answers to any of these questions. Those who are looking for military action have an obligation to publicly address these concerns before dragging our soldiers into another Middle Eastern war.  Shooting first and aiming later has not worked for us in the past, and it should not be our game plan now.

In 2007, do you remember when then Senator Obama stated that

no President should unilaterally go to war without congressional authority unless there is an actual or imminent threat to our nation.

Our Founding Fathers understood that the Executive Branch was the most prone to war and that is why they gave that particular constitutional power to Congress, not the President.

President Obama’s new position, though, is that while he requests congressional input, he doesn’t necessarily need Congress’s approval. It appears that the President and his Administration view this vote as a courtesy vote. Even though only 9% of American’s support this military intervention (Reuters poll) and even if Congress votes against it, the President still believes that he reserves the right to involve our soldiers in another country’s civil war. This is just crazy!

But Mr. President, that is not how our Constitution works. This government is supposed to be for the people, by the people, of the people. If you know something we don’t know Mr. President, then please share it with us, we have yet to hear a compelling or clear vision for this military action. What happens if Syria retaliates or fights back? Then what do we do?  Go play a round of golf?  What happens after we send 150 cruise missiles and nothing happens? Our reputation will be damaged even further than not doing anything.

The lack of leadership by our President has driven our country into a cul-de-sac, and we are there all by our little lonesome’s because no one else wants to see us succeed. If we choose to support the red line he drew, and today he said he didn’t draw a red line, but blamed everyone else but him, we all will have to pay the consequences for his poor leadership. I will support this President only once I am presented and sold on a clear vision for this military action.

I don’t feel that this President does not have the ability or desire to present a case to the American people, therefore I believe the American people, of which 91% currently oppose military action in Syria with the information provided, will finally see that not only Syria needs regime change, but so do we.