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Capture of Suspect Opens Whole New Benghazi Controversy

Republicans say he should be shipped to Gitmo instead of civilian court; Reid calls GOP reactions "shocking and disgusting."

by
Bridget Johnson

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June 17, 2014 - 6:11 pm
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WASHINGTON — The arrest of a key suspect in the Sept. 11, 2012, consulate bombing simply opened new controversy in the Benghazi attack, with Republicans questioning how the administration plans to handle the Ansar al-Sharia commander.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the subject of criminal charges filed last July, had been essentially living in the open, making himself available for multiple media interviews since the attack that killed four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

“With this operation, the United States has once again demonstrated that we will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done when people harm Americans,” President Obama said in a statement stressing that he’d green-lighted the Sunday special forces operation. “We will continue our efforts to bring to justice those who were responsible for the Benghazi attacks. We will remain vigilant against all acts of terrorism, and we will continue to prioritize the protection of our service-members and civilians overseas.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the next step should be sending Khatallah to proper facilities for processing.

“The Obama administration should immediately transfer him to the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay for detention and interrogation. In order to locate all individuals associated with the attacks that led to the deaths of four Americans, we need intelligence. That intelligence is often obtained through an interrogation process,” Rubio said.

“At times, this administration has been more interested in the politics of the war on terrorism than the execution of it, and we have not had an articulable detention policy in six years,” Rubio added. “America remains at war and a return to the failed law enforcement approach of the 1990s is not an adequate response to the very real threats we face.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he was pleased with the capture, but “I am very disappointed to hear that he will be held on the ship and not sent to Guantanamo Bay.”

“This person should be held under the law of war,” Graham said, noting his 31 years of experience as a military lawyer. “He should be considered an enemy combatant. We can hold him as long as necessary to gather intelligence and eventually try him.”

“The last thing we want is for this terror suspect to hear the statement, ‘You have the right to remain silent.’”

The chairman of the House committee that has been most dogged about investigating Benghazi said intelligence needs to be gleaned from Khatallah and divulged to the special congressional panel established to probe the attack.

“There is evidence that he is one of dozens, if not hundreds of individuals, involved in the murder of four Americans in Benghazi,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said. “The Obama administration has an obligation to share whatever information he offers with Chairman Gowdy and the Select Committee about events before and during the Benghazi attacks.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) also stressed that the arrest does not mean case closed.

“This act of terrorism was not committed by one man alone- all the perpetrators deserve to be brought to justice and we need as much intelligence as possible regarding the terrorist networks now spreading across Libya,” McKeon said. “For that reason, and to better protect the United States from future attacks, it is vital that we learn all we can from him before we read him his rights.”

“The capture of Ahmed Abu Khattalah by U.S. forces, after 644 days of brazenly roaming freely, enjoying cold drinks in public, and conducting interviews with western media, is a great first step toward bringing all the Benghazi terrorists to justice,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). “Any day a terrorist is taken off the battlefield is a good day. We must remember Khattalah is only one of dozens of known terrorists who participated in the Benghazi attacks, and we cannot let up in our pursuit of them.”

“The most valuable thing we can get from this terrorist is information about who else was involved in it,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters on the Hill. “We’ll be watching closely to see how much information they glean from him and how they’re handling it.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), though, lashed out at Republicans outside of a closed-door policy luncheon today, branding the GOP spoilsports who were trying to dump on Obama’s capture.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Every point salient and correct.

1) He is a war criminal, not a criminal code offender.

2) He was not only not hiding, he was vocal, visible and taunting

3) There is NO answer why he was not captured at any prior time

4) There is NO answer why he is the ONLY capture in nearly two years

5) The "timing" of a "capture" of a guy who is not running, not hiding, and is making himself visible and available

6) After one of the worst weeks in a crappy Presidency....AND...his story is....
It Was All Caused By Video

Which...the only "capture" in Benghazi gets to be played...without intelligence techniques while he is protected and lawyer end up to keep all information contained and out of Trey Gowdy's hands.

So...Harry Reid says Republicans are horrible for seeing the obvious.

And daring to point at it.


This guy, protected and hidden...will give us nothing...and the Woodstock Jihad cover.

Perfect.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's incredible to me how unhappy the capture of this guy has made you all.

This is obviously good news. Are you all really that far gone?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reid calls GOP reactions "shocking and disgusting."
----------------------------------------------

Really Harry - I submit you don't know 'shocking' nor 'disgusting' - disgusting is what I think of whenever I see your ugly mug on the news - and shocking is what I feel when I hear you're pipsqueak voice - such a whinny voice too. Knowing that you and the rest of your criminal element breath free air pains me no end.

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
He should be interrogated, using every method available, including water boarding, to extract every last bit of intelligence stored in his twisted brain. Then he should be beheaded with a rusty knife.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
This administration is deserving of all the criticism it's received...Harry Reid as usual being the useful idiot.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure, its a "whole new controversy" if everything the Obama administration does is a controversy. New dog? Unamerican. School lunches? Freedom. Chews gum? Frees an American POW? Hosts a soldier at the SOTU? Controversies all.

There are some real controversies: F&F, IRS, VA. But they get lost in the perpetual scandal machine.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is just the latest in misdirection efforts...
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
“The last thing we want is for this terror suspect to hear the statement, ‘You have the right to remain silent.’” More likely the administration has a lawyer lined up for this guy and he's already been read his "rights" as a terrorist. As always, Obama has a plan in place in case things get too hot and he actually has to make a move in order to keep his lo-fo voters from squealing too much.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Does it strike anybody as odd that not only did they wait this long but the guy they seized is the only man in Benghazi who claimed to have seen The Video? This will be billed as a vindication twofer.
His civilian counsel (as if he needs one given the background of the senior anti-terrorist staff at DOJ ) will say he is a simple guy caught up in the furor caused solely by the scandalous video. Al Qaeda? What Al Qaeda?
The lying will be intense and desperate and the MSM will go all out to establish the Video Narrative once and for all.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't understand this stuff. If he's an enemy combatant, they should have either put a bullet in his head or taken him to Gitmo for interrogation and keep their mouth shut about the capture. If he's a criminal (and I'm not exactly sure how the U.S. courts have jurisdiction over a terrorist attack in Libya), he should be in a jail and have a public arraingnment where they explain the case against him. Why all the secrecy?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama needed an end zone dance to change the subject of the Iraqi collapse. The last one involving Bergdahl exploded like a trick cigar. As for a civilian trial, they can't very well proceed with closing Gitmo if they have to continue sending detainees there, as is appropriate. It'll likely take years to bring.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps Khatalla, has been in US custody, for some time, and they are just now rolling out his capture, at a time convenient to this administration.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe obammud can get Dershowitz out of retirement.
Turn the trial into an OJ style extravaganza On cable news!
Think of the ratings. "If the kaffiyeh doesn't fit
You must aquit"!
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
We know the drill now by heart. Obama's first constituency is the lawyer class. That is why with regard to terrorists enemy combatants he has reverted to the old Bill Clinton model of these gentle people are just your everyday criminal but of course EVERY man is entitled to his day in New York City court room costing US Taxpayers $1,000's of dollars each sorry ass day. I will bet that most of these lawyers are friends of Obama and Holders who are in on the scam. New York City scraps the cream off the top with their fat assed liberal judges vowing to do justice to this scum while at the same time racking up millions in court costs. Who is the jury of this guy's peers I wonder. Oh well now there are so many illegal terrorists in NYC they must be llining up and begging to go on the jury to make sure that justice is served. And of course they have Miranda rights too. Wow that means that they can remain talkative and give us all the information they know about future terrorists attacks.. Right? What a GD scandal but just another day living under the Obama Dictatorship while the BOY WONDER just wings it and his minions just ooh and aaah about how great their leader is while we the taxpayers are hosed over for the millionth time. America we are losing you. God bless America but time is running out before all is lost to these libtards and wack jobs.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every point salient and correct.

1) He is a war criminal, not a criminal code offender.

2) He was not only not hiding, he was vocal, visible and taunting

3) There is NO answer why he was not captured at any prior time

4) There is NO answer why he is the ONLY capture in nearly two years

5) The "timing" of a "capture" of a guy who is not running, not hiding, and is making himself visible and available

6) After one of the worst weeks in a crappy Presidency....AND...his story is....
It Was All Caused By Video

Which...the only "capture" in Benghazi gets to be played...without intelligence techniques while he is protected and lawyer end up to keep all information contained and out of Trey Gowdy's hands.

So...Harry Reid says Republicans are horrible for seeing the obvious.

And daring to point at it.


This guy, protected and hidden...will give us nothing...and the Woodstock Jihad cover.

Perfect.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
And after so many interviews I doubt we need to question him, better if he were arrested with 100 pounds of HE, or better yet 2000 pounds. Hard on the Holiday Inn where he was staying, but maybe they will learn something from it, too.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is so frakkin' obvious it's pathetic...and why don't the Repubelicans have the stones to call Obama out on this? This man was arrested to defuse the Benghazi investigation and scandal.

This was no "commando raid". Khatallah was living in plain sight with no security. How was he to know that after 21 months Obama would decide to grab him to hang Benghazi around his neck and beat his little chest and declare Benghazi resolved.

Now there will be a years-long running legal farce a la the Zaccarius Moussaoui show to distract us from the scandal, hell, maybe even a behind-the-scenes deal is being conducted to have this guy take the fall and claim that it WAS the YouTube video that made him do it--in exchange for a light sentence.

This guy was picked up so that Obama could reclaim some of that "Osama is dead" magic just as the Benghazi investigation is going to kick into high gear.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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