Email Released by Judicial Watch Shows Military Forces Were Immediately Ready To Move Night of Benghazi

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Dec 08, 2015 4:05 PM
 Email Released by Judicial Watch Shows Military Forces Were Immediately Ready To Move Night of Benghazi

UPDATE II: Looking back at the timeline and considering the statement below released by the Select Committee, this information isn't new. In fact, there were multiple military positions that readied to respond, but the specific email in question shows assets being mobilized in Germany. Assets were also mobilized in Tripoli. A response from Tripoli was sent and therefore the point about a stand down order is not valid. 

Here is the timeline of events from the House Armed Services Committee:

Benghazi OSD

UPDATE: The Benghazi Select Committee, led by Chairman Trey Gowdy, also has this email as part of its investigation into the attack. 

“The Select Committee has obtained and reviewed tens of thousands of documents in the course of its thorough, fact-centered investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attacks, and this information will be detailed in the final report the Committee hopes to release within the next few months," Benghazi Select Committee Press Secretary Matt Wolking released to Townhall in a statement. "While the Committee does not rush to release or comment on every document it uncovers, I can confirm that we obtained the unredacted version of this email last year, in addition to Jake Sullivan’s response. This email chain helped inform the Committee’s interview of Sullivan in September, and will help inform the Committee’s upcoming interviews with Thomas Nides and others.”

For years we've been told there was no stand down order the night of the Benghazi 9/11 attacks and that military assets were too far away from the area to be mobilized. According to a new Department of Defense email obtained by Judicial Watch, military assets were available and ready to move from Germany to Benghazi immediately on the night of the attack. The email was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and information deemed sensitive was redacted.

Judicial Watch today released a new Benghazi email from then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.” The Obama administration redacted the details of the military forces available, oddly citing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption that allows the withholding of “deliberative process” information.

The first assault occurred at the main compound at about 9:40 pm local time – 3:40 p.m. ET in Washington, DC.  The second attack on a CIA annex 1.2 miles away began three hours later, at about 12 am local time the following morning – 6 p.m. ET.

The email

"They're spinning up as we speak."

As Judicial Watch notes, the email seems to contradict testimony given by former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to Congress, who said a stand down order was never issued and that "time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”

It should be noted that at least one survivor of the attack waited for 20 hours on top of a roof before the assault was over and before help arrived.

“The Obama administration and Clinton officials hid this compelling Benghazi email for years,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said about the discovery. “The email makes readily apparent that the military was prepared to launch immediate assistance that could have made a difference, at least at the CIA Annex.  The fact that the Obama Administration withheld this email for so long only worsens the scandal of Benghazi.”