Thomspon: Obama Admin Denied Deployment Of Team 'Designed' For Benghazi Rescue Type Mission Mr. Mark Thompson, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism, told the House Oversight Committee that he was told not to lead a "FEST" team for a rescue mission in Benghazi the night of the attack. Thomspon is immensely qualified, via his opening statement: "I led FEST to Latin America to gain the safe recovery of American and foreign hostages. In 2002 I led the FEST to Asia to gain the safe recovery of American hostages. In 2004 I led in the establishment of an Office of Hostage Affairs in Baghdad, Iraq. That office subsequently leveraged the resources of the country team, military and our international partners to free hostages. In 2006, I led a team to West Africa, which resulted in the release of American and foreign hostages. In 2008 I was selected for the Senior Executive Service, and the following year I led the team on a mission that exceeds the classification of this hearing."