Yesterday Fox News reported that a militant alleged to have been involved in the attack on the Annex in Benghazi, Libya, has been captured. The man (Mustafa al-Imam) is being brought to Washington, D.C., where he will be tried in federal court.
The article also reports:
Earlier this month, the trial of Ahmed Abu Khattala began, the alleged mastermind of the 2012 attacks. It’s not clear if the suspect detailed by U.S. special operations forces is one of Khattala’s lieutenants.
Khatallah had been awaiting trail since 2014, when U.S. Army commandos and FBI agents captured him in Benghazi and put him on a Navy ship for detention in an American prison inside the United States.
I have mixed emotions about bringing this man into the United States. If he is given the full rights of the U.S. Constitution even though he is not an American citizen, the discovery phase of a trial could make the prosecution very difficult–we might have to divulge classified information in that phase. However, if bringing him back the the United States is an indication that he will receive a speedy trial and verdict, that is a good thing. It is not a good idea to imprison terrorists in America. There will always be a risk of a hostage situation in an attempt to free them. Remember, we are dealing with people who believe that if they die fighting infidels, they will go to heaven. We are the infidels. If the man is convicted and given a prison sentence, it would be better to send him to Guantanamo than to imprison him in the United States.
The news is agog with reports of the capture of suspected Benghazi ringleader Ahmed Abu Khattala. His capture was announced early Tuesday. Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki handled the press conference that was supposed to be a victory lap for the Obama Administration. However, I am noticing that the press is becoming a little less willing to be used as props for the failed policies of the Obama Administration. There seems to be some genuine confusion as to why it took almost two years to capture someone who was not only hiding in plain sight, but giving interviews to reporters.
The Daily Caller posted an article about the press conference that included the following:
When asked why no one in the U.S. special forces didn’t simply pose as a reporter, she joked that “we appreciate your view if you’re volunteering yourself for future endeavors.”
“You’re still not addressing the central question… you’re not answering the question of why a reporter was able to get within 6 inches of this guy and U.S. special forces weren’t for more than two years,” Rosen (Fox News correspondent James Rosen ), now exasperated, interjected.
To me, that is not the most disturbing aspect of this story. Ahmed Abu Khattala will be brought to New York where he will be tried in a standard American court with the full rights that are granted to American citizens. There will be a discovery phase of the trial which will allow his lawyers access to information showing how America is combating terrorism. It is also a pretty safe bet that no further perpetrators of the Benghazi attack will be arrested–this is simply not a very high priority for the Obama Administration. It is also highly probable that Mr. Khattala will be encouraged to say that it was the video that inspired him. I have seen reports that prior to the attack on Benghazi, the anti-Muslim video had less than 2000 hits. (Some reports say as few as 700 hits, some say as many as 1700.) Are we to suppose that Mr. Khattala was one of these? Do Muslim leaders constantly watch YouTube to look for things to protest? (That may actually be true, but did they contact Mr. Khattala?)
There is nothing about the capture of this man and the timing of the capture that does not scream ‘diversion.’ It will be interesting to see if Americans are willing to be distracted by this as the Obama Administration’s economic and foreign policies are failing in front of our eyes.