Yesterday, I told how I stood at a plaque in memory of Glen Doherty one of those killed in the Benghazi attack. It was located in a house next door to where I was staying. When I returned back to that house I learned that our Special Forces had captured Ahmed Abu Khattala in Benghazi and hurried him out of Libya into the arms of Americans waiting to interrogate him aboard a Navy ship. Khattala is thought to have been and is indicted for being involved in the attack that killed Doherty.
He will be brought back to America where he will be put on trial for his involvement in the killings. This has occasioned much bickering among the pundits bringing back many of the post-9/11 discussions. Should he be tried by the civilians or the military? Be confined at Guantanamo rather than to a federal lock-up? Should he be provided counsel or held in a state of ongoing interrogation? Should he be tortured pursuant to an Alan Dershowitz torture warrant? Should he be given his Miranda warnings?
One aspect of the arrest that intrigues me is its timing. Why now did they grab Khattala? Reading some of the reports about the incident calls to mind the matter of Khairullozhon Matanov. I wrote about him recently. He was the one who could have been arrested quietly and simply by one or two Quincy cops and taken into Boston. But rather than that, he became the victim of a huge FBI publicity production (stunt) involving black vans and highly armed FBI SWAT teams invading his apartment where he slept harmlessly early in the morning. You’d have thought they were after a man dripping with a history of armed violence rather than one with no criminal record one of whose major crime involves lying to an FBI agent about a dinner engagement.
The orchestration of this event which our local television stations providing endless coverage of demonstrates how our media can make something out of nothing.. Helicopters that circled the Boston courthouse over and over again provided us views of nothing more significant than the courthouse. TV pundits forced to blabber because nothing was happening convicted Matanov of every possible crime connected with terrorism.
The show could only have come about by the need of Boston’s U.S. Attorney Ortiz to re-run the publicity of the Marathon Terrorist Attack on April 15, 2013. This is done in order to prejudice the public against the defendants who will shortly come to trial for offenses related to that attack.
Ortiz’s trick of pre-trial publicity designed to prejudice defendants has come back to bite her. Djoker Tsarnaev’s lawyers have been able to show that she has done this dirty job quite well. They have filed for a change of the trial’s venue to Washington, DC. It is unlikely they will get it but grounds for a reversal after conviction due to a biased jury will remain a real possibility.
I suggest the comparisons of Matanov with Khattala because reading the accounts about Khattala it seems quite obvious to me that he could have been apprehended at any time and probably with significantly less hype. If David Kirkpatrick of the NY Times is to be believed Khattala “lived openly, with his mother in the el-Leithis neighborhood of Benghazi.” He “sat for repeated interviews with Western journalists and even invited a correspondent for tea” since the Benghazi attacks. A person who spent time in prison with Khattala said, “He’s sincere, but he is very ignorant, and I don’t think he is 100 percent mentally fit.”
Knowing the propensity of prosecutors and politicians to use one event to hide others one must ask why the Khattala arrest and publicity at this time. Obama has tried to turn it into another Osama bin Laden type event. He’s dealing with low poll numbers and the November elections loom over the horizons but I’d guess he’d have waited to seize him until later if that was the reason.
I’d guess it has to do with trying to change the story concerning the release of five of the worst of the worst from Guantanamo in exchange for a troubled American soldier – five terrorists who Hillary Clinton said don’t present a threat to America but only to Afghanistan and Pakistan – the same thing that could be said about the Taliban – or, even more so ISIS; or what I truly believe it is to change the conversation so that Obama can hide the dismal failure of our Iraq Embassy of 5,000 run by our State Department (under Hillary and John Kerry) to predict the rise of ISIS. The squabble in Congress over what is to happen to Khattala has made it take its eyes of this monumental failure.
That failure has led us back into combat in Iraq. That more than anything is what Obama does not want us to see or talk about. While we need him to tell us why we must violate the Ming Ling Doctrine and go back to save a leader of a nation where people despise us; we also want to know why we have the largest embassy in the world in a two bit country staffed by 5,000 Americans who did not predict the rise of ISIS.