FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Khattala’s arrest another of Obama’s Potemkin victories
The Obama administration has been crowing about the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, who is alleged to have been the mastermind behind the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four Americans, including the US Ambassador to Libya.
Obama praised the commandos, said by one U.S. official to be special operators from the Army’s Delta Force, for “showing incredible courage and precision” in capturing the man who “is alleged to have been one of the masterminds” of the Benghazi attacks.
“It’s important for us to send a message to the world that when Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible, and we will bring them to justice,” Obama said.
Don’t be deceived. This is just another case of the administration yelling “Squirrel!” to divert attention from the political and economic Chernobyl it has built over the past five years.
The real lede here is that the administration has captured the mastermind of an attack it claims was a spontaneous reaction to the bizarre little internet-only film called “Innocence of Muslims.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement released while our consulate was still smoking that the attack was “a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
Mr. Khattala hardly led the life of a harried fugitive, constantly looking over his shoulder for American special forces. In October 2012, the New York Times interviewed him, still in Benghazi:
Witnesses and the authorities have called Ahmed Abu Khattala one of the ringleaders of the Sept. 11 attack on the American diplomatic mission here. But just days after President Obama reasserted his vow to bring those responsible to justice, Mr. Abu Khattala spent two leisurely hours on Thursday evening at a crowded luxury hotel, sipping a strawberry frappe on a patio and scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments.
It took a year for the US government to bring an indictment against Mr. Khattala, despite his well known involvement in the Benghazi attack.
Federal law enforcement authorities have filed murder charges against Ahmed Abu Khattala, a prominent militia leader in Benghazi,Libya, in connection with the attacks on a diplomatic mission there last Sept. 11 that killed the United States ambassador and three other Americans, according to senior law enforcement and United States officials.
Another year lapsed before he was apprehended, even though he made no attempt to conceal his whereabouts. Curiously, for a man charged with leading an attack that Attorney General Eric Holder characterized as an “affront to our nation and heartbreaking for the families of the four courageous Americans who perished that day,” somehow the FBI never placed Khattala on its list of Ten Most Wanted Terrorists.
The administration lied, and continues to lie, about the cause of the attack in Benghazi despite charging a man as the “mastermind.”
The administration would not have indicted anyone it this case were it not for Congress’s investigation of the Benghazi attack.
The arrest of Khattala has to be viewed through the prism of the non-stop string of bad news the administration has suffered. They tried to divert attention with the Bowe Bergdahl release and failed. They are trying again with the arrest of Khattala.
While it is a manifestly good thing that Khattala is now in US custody, at least until Obama gets the chance to exchange him for Bowe Bergdahl’s toothbrush that was inadvertently left behind in Taliban control, the facts speak volumes for the administration’s desperation and duplicity.