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house Bill H.R. 587

Awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to the Americans Who Lost Their Lives At Benghazi on September 11, 2012

Argument in favor

The four Americans who were killed at Benghazi had distinguished careers and honorably served our country. As they lost their lives in the line of duty, Congress should recognize their sacrifice with a Congressional Gold Medal in their memory.

Glowurm's Opinion
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09/12/2019
Just as long as you Ignorants know that Hillary’s camp requested they get additional aid, before this event happened! The Repugnants, however, thought it was a waste of money and did not allow the expense. Amazing how frugal they are, when it does not line their pockets. They covered that tidbit up a little, eh? So put the blame where it belongs. I know the pig will play this up as a slam to Hillary. He knows you Ignorants will get all riled up again over his lies, lies and more lies. What the hell kind of example are you sending our children, you bastards? Stop the lies.
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jimK's Opinion
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09/12/2019
Just do It! It is the right thing to do. They sprang into action without the backup, surveillance or planning that underlies most military engagements- yet honored their call to duty. Just do it! Honor those willing to jump into unknown risks to protect our country’s interests. That is what is important. There is risk of dredging up political name calling and other political bullshit. So what! Just do it!
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Lori's Opinion
···
09/12/2019
There’s no justification to saying no on this. They were willfully abandoned at their post and fought like hell to try to survive. They EARNED it.
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Argument opposed

While this bill may be well intentioned, it is an empty gesture that cannot replace the loss of these men. Additionally, the recognition could be overshadowed by people attempting to politicize Benghazi.

D's Opinion
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09/12/2019
Only if we award the same medal to those Americans who died in the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing. Because otherwise this looks like a partisan football.
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Lynne's Opinion
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09/12/2019
How about those who lost their lives in Iraq,Afghanistan,Kuwait? This is totally political!
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Edward's Opinion
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09/12/2019
Although I recognize that these people gave their lives in the service of their country, and I don’t want to sound heartless, but what is particularly special about them other than they died in an attack that was later politicized. There have been countless others that have died in the military before and since them. What makes their sacrifices any less?
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What is House Bill H.R. 587?

This bill would award a Congressional Gold Medal in commemoration of Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, J. Christopher Stevens, and Sean Smith and their contributions to the nation. The four men were killed during an attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Glen Doherty was a Navy SEAL for 12 years and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He attained the rank of Petty Officer First Class and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. After leaving the Navy, Glen Doherty worked with the Dept. of State to protect American diplomats.

Tyrone Woods served as a Navy SEAL for 20 years, which included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq he led multiple raids and reconnaissance missions, and earned the Bronze Star. After retiring from the Navy as a Senior Chief Petty Officer, Tyrone Woods worked with the Dept. of State to protect American diplomats.

J. Christopher Stevens served for 21 years in the U.S. Foreign Service. He was serving as U.S. Ambassador to Libya and previously served twice in the country as both Special Representative to the Libyan Transitional National Council and as the Deputy Chief of Mission. Earlier in his life, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Morocco.

Sean Smith served for 6 years in the U.S. Air Force. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal. After leaving the Air Force, Sean Smith served for 10 years in the Dept. of State on various assignments which took him to places such as Baghdad, Brussels, Pretoria, and The Hague.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate would be directed to arrange the award on behalf of Congress. After the medal has been awarded, it would be given to the Central Intelligence Agency Museum.

Impact

The families of Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, J. Christopher Stevens, and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 587

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) reintroduced this bill from the 114th and 115th Congresses to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to four men who were killed during an attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. 
In the 114th Congress, sponsoring Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) (who served as Secretary of the Interior from 2017 to 2018 before resigning amid controversies over his expenditures) was a former Navy SEAL who led the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALS (BUDS) training that Tyrone Woods took part in. Through that, he became friends with Woods and Doherty. In an introductory press release when he introduced this bill in the 114th Congress, he said: 
“On September 11, 2012 America lost four patriots, and in the Navy SEALS we lost two brothers. This tribute is long overdue. Honoring Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods with Congressional Gold Medals should not be about politics; it’s about paying respect and homage to American patriots who served our nation honorably in some of our darkest hours. I am grateful for their service to our nation and will work with Senator Markey to build a large bipartisan base of support for this bill.”

This legislation has 189 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 103 Republicans and 86 Democrats, in the 116th Congress. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), has 24 bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including 16 Republicans and eight Democrats.

In the 115th Congress, this legislation had 59 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, including 50 Republicans and 9 Democrats. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Markey, had 10 bipartisan Senate cosponsors (five Democrats and five Republicans) and didn't receive a committee vote.


Of Note: The attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, was carried out by Islamic militants, marking the first time since 1979 that a U.S. Ambassador was killed in the line of duty.

Select Committee on Benghazi was formed in the House of Representatives to investigate the attack, examine policies and decisions that preceded the attack, and make recommendations to protect U.S. personnel abroad in the future. It held several hearings, the video of which was made publicly available

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the Committee on October 22, 2015. In 11 hours of testimony, Clinton — who was at that point running for president — provided little new information to the committee. The hearing itself was politically charged: prior to the hearing, two Republican representatives and a former Republican staffer said the committee's investigation was political, whereas Democrats sought to defend and protect Clinton.

The committee filed its final report the day before the House adjourned for the year on December 11, 2016. In its report, the committee criticized military, CIA, and Obama administration officials for their response as the Benghazi attacks unfolded. It accused the government of incompetence at various levels, citing failure to deploy necessary military assets, CIA intelligence reports "rife with errors," and misguided security planning by the State Department. 

The report also faulted President Obama, Secretary Clinton, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and others for relying on "inaccurate and poorly written" talking points drafted by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes in media appearances. They avoided references to the attack as "terrorism" and instead blamed it on the spontaneous outgrowth of protests occurring in Cairo, Egypt in response to an anti-Islamic video. 

A public information officer at the Tripoli Embassy noted in an email that the White House's messaging didn't comport with the embassy's assessment on the ground in Libya, writing: "It is our opinion that in our messaging, we want to distinguish, not conflate, the events in other countries with this well-planned attack by militant extremists." Secretary Clinton was aware of the discrepancy on September 12, 2012, when according to call notes she told the prime minister of Egypt that "we know" that "the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film."  

Despite that, Obama administration officials (particularly Susan Rice) continued to use the talking points blaming the video for the attack in appearances on Sunday talk shows on September 16th. In a September 25th speech to the UN General Assembly, President Obama continued to imply a relationship between the video and the attack, saying "there's no video that justifies an attack on an embassy." The following day, Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted that the president believed the Benghazi attack was a terror attack and made no mention of the video in his response to a question about it during a press briefing.

Additionally, the Benghazi investigation revealed then-Secretary Clinton's improper use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State which became a major critique of her candidacy for president in 2016. 


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: "United States Marines salute during the dignified transfer ceremony for the U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and security officers Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. 120914-D-BW835-276" by DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo. (Released) - http://www.defense.gov/dodcmsshare/newsphoto/2012-09/hires_120914-D-BW835-276.JPG. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

AKA

To posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, J. Christopher Stevens, and Sean Smith, in recognition of their contributions to the Nation.

Official Title

To posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, J. Christopher Stevens, and Sean Smith, in recognition of their contributions to the Nation.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedJanuary 16th, 2019
    Just as long as you Ignorants know that Hillary’s camp requested they get additional aid, before this event happened! The Repugnants, however, thought it was a waste of money and did not allow the expense. Amazing how frugal they are, when it does not line their pockets. They covered that tidbit up a little, eh? So put the blame where it belongs. I know the pig will play this up as a slam to Hillary. He knows you Ignorants will get all riled up again over his lies, lies and more lies. What the hell kind of example are you sending our children, you bastards? Stop the lies.
    Like (110)
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    Only if we award the same medal to those Americans who died in the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing. Because otherwise this looks like a partisan football.
    Like (43)
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    Just do It! It is the right thing to do. They sprang into action without the backup, surveillance or planning that underlies most military engagements- yet honored their call to duty. Just do it! Honor those willing to jump into unknown risks to protect our country’s interests. That is what is important. There is risk of dredging up political name calling and other political bullshit. So what! Just do it!
    Like (56)
    Follow
    Share
    There’s no justification to saying no on this. They were willfully abandoned at their post and fought like hell to try to survive. They EARNED it.
    Like (34)
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    For years the Republican Party attacked, pilloried and denigrated the efforts to defend the attack on the Bengazhi compound when it was the Republicans who denied the funding, weapons and troops necessary for the embassy to defend itself. These people need to be honored, but the Republicans need to hang their heads in shame. These deaths are on their heads due to Republican political agendas.
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    How about those who lost their lives in Iraq,Afghanistan,Kuwait? This is totally political!
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    Since their deaths were the result of woeful governmental decisions, it’s the least the should be done.
    Like (16)
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    👍🏻👍🏻 It’s Better Late Then Never 👍🏻👍🏻 The four Americans who were killed at Benghazi had distinguished careers and honorably served our country. As they lost their lives in the line of duty, Congress should recognize their sacrifice with a Congressional Gold Medal in their memory. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 9.12.19.....
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    To my lost war fighting fallen brothers and heroes. I am so sorry you were abandoned by your D.C. leadership. You fought with the highest levels courage and strength. You are a part of my heart and my spirit. I hope one day what happened to you changes things for the better so that your lives were not sacrificed in vain. At least Clinton was not elected. At least there is that. You are missed and you are not forgotten, my brothers. Semper Fi!
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    Although I recognize that these people gave their lives in the service of their country, and I don’t want to sound heartless, but what is particularly special about them other than they died in an attack that was later politicized. There have been countless others that have died in the military before and since them. What makes their sacrifices any less?
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    VOTE YEA! Well, considering the facts surrounding the case, most certainly. I mean whether your a Dem, or Repub, the facts ARE the facts, and Mrs. Clinton so sadly, in her lack of urgency and lack of whatever it is, sent them to their graves. And that's not a political statement at all. It IS FACT. They protected to the best of their ability and deserve recognition in some manner. So yes, Im for this, why not😉 AND A Congressional Gold Medal is a completely separate decoration from the Medal of Honor, which is a military award for extreme bravery in action. The decoration is awarded to an individual who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States. American citizenship is not a requirement. VOTE YEA!
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    No because this is a politician ploy. You should only award these if you also award medals to those lost in embassy killings under Bush, Reagan, etc.... Benghazi wasn’t the first or the worst that we have had in our country. If one group is going to be recognized then they all should.
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    There are no more deserving individuals as far as I’m concerned. Good for this Democrat Representative for proposing it. Countable lists the reason to oppose it is that these “individuals deaths might be politicized.” Really? You’d deny them and their memory this honor because of this? Shame on you or anyone who follows this train of thought. Dems just don’t want the entire fiasco brought up before the election, lest it reminds everyone about just whose fiasco it was.
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    We left them there to die when marines from Tripoli were a short flight away. We literally condemned them to die. I’d say this is a gesture of minuscule proportions
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    Of course. But who keeps bringing this up? Will they do the same for all the crimes caused by the Trumps and supported by the Republican supporters? I expect no less than the same.
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    What makes them more worthy than the Marines killed in their barracks?
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    We have to honor those who served
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    These boys were treated with no regsrd. They lost their lives because of political activity, the same kind of activity being encouraged and used by the Democrat party. Shame on you! Honor these men who gave their lives so we could be safe and so you could get your deals and kickbacks.
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    This seems like a partisan ploy. The Congressional Medal of Honor should be awarded to all victims of embassy attacks, under every president.
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    They should be honored and remembered. But their deaths although tragic and terrible do not merit the Congressional Gold Medal. First Responders at 9/11. U.S. Merchant Marines from WWII. There are thousands of others who have long been neglected who deserve such recognition before the victims of Benghazi.
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