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‘An inside job’

"‘An inside job’" Continued...

Mullen reiterated that U.S. military personnel could not have reached Benghazi in time to help. Charles Woods, father of murdered former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, smiled slightly while shaking his head from the front row behind the witnesses, clearly not buying Mullen’s assertion that it would have taken 10 to 20 hours to “plan a mission.”

“Gen. [Carter] Ham told the joint chiefs of staff the forces were available, but no orders to use them were given,” Woods later told the committee.

The administration’s “monstrously false narrative” after the Benghazi attacks only briefly came up during the first panel, but Patricia Smith was quick to bring it up when she moved to the witness table. She said Obama told her he would get back with her for an update on the investigation, but she never heard from him again.

After the hearing Smith, a San Diego resident, told me the meeting didn’t provide her with any answers. “I’m still waiting for the same answers [to questions] I’ve been asking since day one,” she said. “I still don’t have them. … Right now all I do is hurt.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. choked up as he he told the families, “There is no closure, but what I hope we can offer you is facts … the truth.”

Lawmakers asked no questions about reports that polygraphs and non-disclosure agreements are being used to intimidate people with knowledge of what happened in Benghazi—which Wolf confirmed on Monday during the launch of a Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.

Two Republicans asked if the U.S. was involved in funneling arms to Turkey or Syria, but Pickering said, “Eh, I’m just not aware of it.”

I asked Smith what she knew about her son’s activities and she said he always jokingly told her if he explained what he was doing, he’d have to shoot her. She said she didn’t even know he was in Libya until she got a call at 12:30 a.m. informing her that her son had been killed.

Smith, who had her son at 38 after being told she could never have children, said, “My miracle baby was abandoned in Benghazi.”

J.C. Derrick
J.C. Derrick

J.C. is a reporter in WORLD's Washington Bureau. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.

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