Big news yesterday - we got the guy responsible
for the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi:
Ahmed Abu Khattala was taken into custody in a secret US military raid in Libya on 15 June.
He is now being held in a secure location outside the country, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed.
US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in the attack.
"There were no civilian casualties related to this operation, and all US personnel involved in the operation have safely departed Libya," Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm John Kirby wrote in a statement.
He refused to give further details about the US raid, only to say it happened "near Benghazi" and on Sunday afternoon US east coast time.
This is great news, especially for those who considered the attack proof of the poor foreign policy credentials of President Obama, despite the fact that embassies have been attacked and US citizens killed under several previous US presidents
The big "controversy" that's been beaten like a dead horse by conservatives is that the White House initially said the attack was prompted by a video, then changed the "story" once new evidence was available. Conservatives screamed COVER-UP!
, despite there being no real advantage of one explanation over the other. What's interesting is that now that the leader of the attack is in custody, we're learning about the real reason for the attack
An earlier demonstration venting anger over the video outside the American Embassy in Cairo had culminated in a breach of its walls, and it dominated Arab news coverage. Mr. Abu Khattala told both fellow Islamist fighters and others that the attack in Benghazi was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.
What? So it was
the video after all? What about the terrorist aspect?
Several witnesses to the attack later said that Mr. Abu Khattala’s presence and leadership were evident from the start. He initially hung back, standing near the crowd at Venezia Road, several witnesses said. But a procession of fighters hurried to him out of the smoke and gunfire, addressed him as “sheikh,” and then gave him reports or took his orders before plunging back into the compound.
So - in essence - it was both, which is why the explanation seemed inconsistent and changing.
And for all this, the GOP has conducted 8 (count 'em - 8) "special investigations" to get to The Truth. What they think the administration is being untruthful about, they can't really say, but they're determined to find something
to hang on Obama. Of course ridiculous overkill
is par for the course for the GOP Congress.
So naturally - the can't let him have this. They can't let their BENGHAZI! chew toy be taken away, so they are trying to tarnish this with absurd claims like it's a conspiracy to help Hillary before an interview on FOX "News"
(can't make this stuff up). A FOX "journalist" - implying that the Obama Administration took too long - also had the bright idea that soldiers should have disguised themselves as reporters
to apprehend him. Besides the reality that it would put all REAL journalists in danger, there's a little thing called the Geneva Conventions. If a soldier is caught disguised as a citizen, he loses any protections, and it paints the US in a very bad light. Drudge Report wasn't about to let his website feature a story that put the president in a good light, so they buried it on their page
Others who have attacked us in the past were tried in Federal Court and put in Federal high security prisons (including Zacharias Moussaoui, the shoe bomber Richard Reid, the first World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, and dirty bomber Jose Padilla). The Obama Administration plans on following the same protocol. Republicans just love Gitmo for some reason, and are proclaiming that's the only place for him
On Tuesday, hawkish Republicans swiftly called for Abu Khattala to be held and interrogated at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“Obviously, he should be put on trial. I’d bring him to Guantanamo,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “Where else can you take him to?”
U.S. officials said Abu Khattala was captured Sunday and is in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” In past cases, such suspects have been initially held aboard U.S. military ships.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a leading critic of the administration’s handling of the Benghazi episode, praised the capture on Twitter but quickly followed up with a broadside.
“Holding Khattala on a ship shows the haphazard approach which comes from not having rational detention & interrogation policies,” Graham tweeted.
“Naval vessels were never meant to be detention and interrogation sites,” Graham added.
That prompted Tommy Vietor, a former Obama aide and current adviser to Clinton, to tweet in reply, “Nor was Cuba.”
And with 3 words, he showed the Republicans for what they really are - petty, childish, stupid, vengeful power-hungry idiots. Benghazi was a dead horse - the Obama administration just sent it to the glue factory. Good riddance.