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Benghazi Exclusive: FOIA Reveals More Could Have Been Done During and After Attack

Internal documents show that the Obama administration prevented help from going to Benghazi before, during and after the attacks that killed four Americans.

Commentary by Marinka Peschmann. Peschmann is a freelance, investigative journalist and the author of several books, including The Whistleblower: How the Clinton White House Stayed in Power to Reemerge in the Obama White House and on the World Stage and Crime & Incompetence: Guide to America’s Immigration Crisis. She has collaborated, ghostwritten, and contributed to books and stories from showbiz and celebrities to true crime, politics, and the United Nations.

Marinka has appeared on several shows including: The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson (on TheBlaze Radio), Quinn & Rose, The Jerry Doyle Show, The Power Hour with Joyce Riley, and America’s Morning Show with John McCaslin and Dana Mills.

Hours after the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks, members of the U.S. Armed Forces were asking the million-dollar question: Why wasn’t Ambassador Christopher Stevens properly protected? According to information obtained in a Freedom of Information Act Request, they were in the dark. Just like the American people.

The Obama administration could also have secured the crime scene immediately after the attack. But for reasons yet to be explained, they did not.

According to an email sent at 3:06 pm on Sept. 12, 2012 from the Navy's Office of Legislative Affairs that I obtained under FOIA, the military was having problems answering troubling questions:

Excerpt from Freedom of Information Act request submitted by contributor Markina Peschmann. Courtesy Photo.

(Under FOIA names are redacted for privacy reasons unless the person is in the public domain.)

In a separate FOIA request, a document dated Oct. 3, 2012 and titled "Information Paper" providing answers to New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte's request for more information, we learn that there no Marines in Benghazi at all.

But, there could have been. There were also two potential Marine response options available that could have been deployed including what’s called a “no-notice” response force.

From the Information Paper to Sen. Ayotte:

“The response time to any emergency is predicated by many factors such as time of day, advance notice or no-notice, current activities, and the locations of off-duty members of the detachments. The MSGs conduct a minimum of two no-notice drills per month, but most detachments conduct more drills than the minimum standard. The MSGs train to respond to protests, mass casualty/bombings, intruders, and fire and bomb threats/searches … In terms of FAST … their alert posture is predicated on combatant commander requirements according to threat reporting and assessment. By order of the Secretary of Defense [then Leon Panetta], the dedicated EUCOM [U.S. European Command] FAST Company supports commander US Africa Command for crisis response and contingency situations. An example of this is the FAST Platoon currently deployed as a crisis response force to the US Embassy, Tripoli – it was sourced from the EUCOM FAST Company.”

Portion of the Information Paper sent to Sen. Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire. Courtesy Photo.

The United States European Command is headquartered in Böblingen, Germany.

For context, the fact that there were no Marines in Benghazi is incredible considering the Obama administration had ousted Col. Muammar Gaddafi a year earlier. Gaddafi was killed on Oct. 11, 2011 and his vast weapons arsenal had been looted. Libya was in utter chaos and remains so today.

Time Magazine described Libya at that time as “a global terrorism risk and an accessible arsenal for any potential insurgency.”

“Warehouses … that had recently contained — potentially thousands — of surface-to-air missiles” including “SA-24s —that are capable of taking down low-flying military and commercial aircraft … the kind of weapon coveted by any guerrilla or terrorist organization looking to make an impact” had been looted.

Meanwhile, despite my best efforts, the State Department refuses to provide an inventory of weapons they allegedly recovered in Libya using American tax dollars.

Therefore, the only logical explanation as to why there were no Marines in Benghazi is the Obama administration did not want them to know about CIA gunrunning and arms transfers from Benghazi, Libya to Syria where Al Qaeda-linked “rebels” were being armed to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  The same military will be asked to finish the job in Syria that was started in Benghazi if President Obama ultimately has his way. And that can only ultimately lead to the next stop: Iran.

As we learned from the information obtained under FOIA, not only were the Marines not in Libya before the Benghazi attack, but the Marines were prepared to provide a “Marine Corps Embassy Security Group detachment” (MCESG) immediately after the attack to secure the crime scene and begin an investigation.

If the Obama administration truly wanted justice to be served, the Marines would have been deployed after the attack. By securing the crime scene, the FBI could have gathered key evidence to catch the perpetrators responsible for the death of four Americans - Ambassador Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, former Navy SEALs and CIA operatives, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Instead the Obama administration sent a Marine FAST platoon to Tripoli on Sept. 12, 2012 and not to Benghazi.

As the Associated Press reported, the Obama administration denied the FBI access to Benghazi for almost a month by citing security reasons for the delay. The FBI was not allowed into the city, even though a  CNN reporter was able to pick up Ambassador Stevens’ journal and Libyans, paying their respects to the ambassador, roamed freely. This is cover-up for dummies 101 kind of stuff.

In a just America it would also be called obstruction of justice. Is anyone surprised that no one has been held accountable yet?

As any seasoned investigator can tell you, evidence collection at the time of the incident is critical. Even Secretary of State John Kerry knows a good investigation from a compromised one. Kerry recently said the United Nations investigation of the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria was “too late to be credible,” less than a week after the attack because the evidence was being “systematically” destroyed.

What about almost a month later? Borrowing from Kerry, the Obama administration’s Benghazi investigation was conducted too late to be credible. And now we know there were more options not only to help Americans in peril but to secure the crime scene that could have been deployed.

The rotten fruit of the Benghazi cover-up is why Obama’s America has been on the brink of war with Syria. Will justice ever be served?

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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