Admiral Lyons on Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy: ‘He Copped Out’

By Penny Starr | June 30, 2016 | 4:00pm EDT

Admiral James "Ace" Lyons Jr. (ret.).

(Screenshot: FNC) 

( – Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr. (ret.), former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said  that House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) “copped out” when it came to the final investigative report about the Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.  

Further,  Lt. Gen. (ret.) Thomas McInerney, USAF, stressed that after two years and $7.1 million spent, the American people want to know what the conclusions are, saying, “That’s what we pay you for, Mr. Gowdy!”

“[Gowdy] was there to make findings and conclusions,” Lyons said. “He had the information – he copped out.”

Radical Islamists attacked the U.S. compound on Sept. 11, 2012, and a nearby facility, killing four Americans. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at the time.

Lyons is one of the experts behind the Accuracy in Media report released on Wednesday at the National Press Club by the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. It  provides findings and conclusions, including that repeated requests for increased security at the Benghazi compound were rejected.  

The report also shows that President Barack Obama, then-Secretary Clinton, and then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N Susan Rice, among other officials, concocted a story blaming an anti-Muslim video for the terrorist attack – 56 days before the presidential election.  That false narrative was promoted by the White House for weeks.

In his remarks at the National Press Club, Lyons said when he first heard about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack he was shocked.

“When I first heard of Benghazi my initial reaction was, ‘This is un-American. This is not us. This is not the way we respond,” Lyons said. “And, you know, when I watched the press conference yesterday [June 28, 2016], to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.”

“Because Chairman Gowdy is not a stenographer,” Lyons said. “And he’s not a tape recorder.”  The release of the report by Chairman Gowdy and the Select Committee on Benghazi was on Tuesday, June 28.

“He [Gowdy] was there to make findings and conclusions,” Lyons said. “He had the information – he copped out, which is consistent [with what] we’re seeing with all our congressional leadership – we don’t have any.”


“Benghazi never had to happen,” Lyons said. "Libya never had to happen."

Lt. Gen. (ret.) Thomas McInerney , USAF, agreed that Gowdy had not done what the American people expected him to do.

“The American people want to know from a group that spent almost two years on it what the conclusions are,” McInerney said. “That’s what we pay you for, Mr. Gowdy.”

Also on hand at the press conference was Charles Woods, the father of Ty Woods, the CIA contractor and U.S. Navy SEAL (retired) who was one of the four Americans killed in Benghazi.

“I really don’t have closure as far as who made the decision not to rescue,” Woods said.

Also killed in the terrorist attack was U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Diplomat Sean Smith, and CIA contractor (and retired Navy SEAL) Glen Doherty.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi, headed by Gowdy, was established in May 2014 to investigate the terrorist attack.

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