Joe Biden, John Kerry to officially honor Benghazi victims

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Joe Biden,John Kerry,Benghazi

Nearly eight months after terrorists killed J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three others at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Vice President Biden on Friday will officially recognize them and four other diplomats killed in the line of duty.

Biden will be joined by Secretary of State John Kerry and other top administration officials to unveil the addition of the eight names on the Memorial Plaque in the lobby of the State Department.

"Last year was a horror," said Thomas W. Switzer, spokesman for the American Foreign Service Association. "Sadly, this will be the biggest list ever," he said, noting that the dangers to diplomats has reached a new high.

Biden and Kerry's recognition on Foreign Service Day comes as the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack remains embroiled in political controversy over the administration's handling of the crisis and its wish that it would just go away. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is holding a hearing next Wednesday that is expected to feature testimony from an eyewitness to the attack.

The names to be added at the 2013 AFSA Memorial Plaque Ceremony are:

ANNE T. SMEDINGHOFF

Anne T. Smedinghoff, a Foreign Service Officer, died in Afghanistan from injuries

sustained during a bombing on April 6, 2013.

J. CHRISTOPHER STEVENS

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens died during a terrorist attack on the U.S. facilities in

Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

SEAN PATRICK SMITH

Sean Patrick Smith, an Information Management Specialist, died during a terrorist attack

on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

TY WOODS

Ty Woods, a Security Specialist, died during a terrorist attack on the U.S. facilities in

Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

GLEN A. DOHERTY

Glen A. Doherty, a Security Specialist, died during a terrorist attack on the U.S. facilities

in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

RAGAEI SAID ABDELFATTAH

Ragaei Said Abdelfattah, a USAID Foreign Service Officer, died during a suicide bombing

in Afghanistan on August 8, 2012.

JOSEPH GREGORY FANDINO

Joseph Gregory Fandino, a Foreign Service Officer, died in the line of duty near present-day

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on June 27, 1972.

FRANCIS J. SAVAGE

Francis J. Savage, a USAID Foreign Service Officer, died in present-day Ho Chi Minh

City, Vietnam on just before Easter, 1967 from injuries sustained during a 1965 Viet Cong

bombing.