The Capture of “The Mastermind Behind Benghazi”

The NYTimes is as jubilant as it permits itself to be over the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala:

… During the assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, Mr. Abu Khattala was a flamboyant presence. Witnesses saw him directing the swarming attackers who ultimately killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Even after the attack, he offered only vague and contradictory denials that he had played a role, while apparently enjoying the notoriety it brought him. He sat for repeated interviews with Western journalists and even invited a correspondent for tea in the modest home where he lived openly, with his mother, in the Benghazi neighborhood of el-Leithi.

But for all his brazenness, Mr. Abu Khattala also holds many tantalizing secrets for the Americans investigating and debating the attack.

His apprehension by United States military commandos and law enforcement agents may finally begin to address some of the persistent questions about who carried out the attack and why. Those questions have spawned a small industry of conspiracy theories, political scandals, talk radio broadcasts, and a continuing congressional investigation….

The grifters behind that “small industry”, not so much, per Jon Chait at NYMag:

This does not seem to be the sort of accountability the Benghazi right appears to have in mind. Reactions on the right range from subdued to actually angry. Here is the lead to Ashe Schow’s story in the conservative Washington Examiner, which does not exactly convey the JAPS SURRENDER–type jubilation one might expect:

From one scandal to another.

The Obama administration is now shifting focus to Benghazi – which President Obama said was “phony” – announcing that one of the ringleaders of the attack, Ahmed Abu Khattala, had been captured on Sunday in Libya by U.S. forces.

To clarify, Obama never called the attack on Benghazi phony. He called the conservative conspiracy theories surrounding the attack phony. But never mind…

It has been reported that Abu Khattala will be tried in the U.S. court system, and props to President Obama for making that choice. His decision, of course, is sending the usual suspects to their joint and several fainting couches, with Fox News contributors reaching a new nadir in conspiracy-peddling. (Which does feed the suspicion that Fox will be pivoting to HRC-bashing, now that they’ve completely exhausted the market for Obama-bashing.)

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100 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    At his trial, Abu Khattala should testify that he led the attack because he hated Obama. He could end up with his own show on Fox.

  2. 2
    David Koch says:

    Charles Johnson @Green_Footballs · 4h

    Here comes the final collapse of the Benghazi Boogaloo.

    .

  3. 3
    WaterGirl says:

    I predict the right will soon float the idea that Obama had this guy tortured until he was wiling to say the movie was the cause of the attack. Except when they are saying that of course we have to torture people to get the truth in order to save lives.

  4. 4
    HelpThe99ers says:

    It’s not going to help at all that Khattala mentioned… the video:

    As the attack in Benghazi was unfolding a few hours later, Mr. Abu Khattala told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.

    But we’ve known about the video as a provocation since 2012:

    Okay, but that McClatchy report quoted above also says that a few days after the attacks administration officials started putting more emphasis on the “Innocence of Muslims” video. Why? It had nothing to do with the Benghazi attacks.

    That’s not what locals said. As David Kirkpatrick reports: “To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck the United States Mission without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video…The fighters said at the time that they were moved to act because of the video, which had first gained attention across the region after a protest in Egypt that day.”

    Not that facts are going to convince the Hashtag Benghazi crowd…

  5. 5
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @HelpThe99ers: Republicans should be shamed for their use of the Benghazi tragedy as a political game. Glad to see the truth getting out.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    The President just cracks me up when he does something to send these clowns into a frenzy.

  7. 7
    The Dangerman says:

    But what about the IRS emails that implicate Bowe Bergdahl?!!!

    /megyn kelly

  8. 8
    Hill Dweller says:

    @The Dangerman: Apparently Lerner was a clairvoyant who knew an investigation was coming after PO’s reelection, so she faked a computer meltdown in 2011.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    @The Dangerman: The guns used at Benghazi came from the Fast and the Furious …thing.

    Wheels within wheels, man.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    @Hill Dweller: Obama, using his well-known Time Lord abilities, pre-post-instructed her to do so.

  11. 11
    Lizzy L says:

    Watching the right squirm is surely enjoyable, but I have to take issue with your final sentence, A. L. Fox has not exhausted the market for Obama-bashing. That well is inexhaustible, endlessly deep, because they Make Things Up. And they are never going to stop.

  12. 12
    Mnemosyne says:

    @HelpThe99ers:

    I remember reading reports in the immediate aftermath (on an al-Jazeera site, maybe?) that there was a protest going on at the US consulate over the video when the militia assholes pulled up with guns and attacked. So the claim that the video had nothing to do with the attacks was exaggerated at best.

  13. 13
    Little Boots says:

    this will never end. ever. certainly not when hillary is elected as president.

  14. 14
    SFAW says:

    @dmsilev:

    Obama, using his well-known Time Lord abilities, pre-post-instructed her to do so.

    Who?

    So you’re saying it’s eleven dimensional incarnational chess?

  15. 15
  16. 16
    gf120581 says:

    I don’t know which Republican is going to be more pissed; Darrell Issa, because he looks like a massive fool yet again (you’d think he’d be used to it by now) or Trey “Gomer” Gowdy, because his committe is even more useless than it was before.

    And then of course, the Old Man Who Yells at Clouds and Huckleberry Butchmeup (thanks, Charles Pierece) will be pissed off. But when are they ever not like that?

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I predict the right will soon float the idea that Obama had this guy tortured until he was wiling to say the movie was the cause of the attack.

    Yeah, I guess that’ll make Tom Levenson think twice before he puts up another “torture is bad” post.

  18. 18
    SFAW says:

    As others have said: this is just to distract from Benghazi the IRS Fast & Furious the “Whitey” Tape Bowe Bergdahl Benghazi.! ! 1 !

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Little Boots says:

    can we all just accept we don’t know what we are doing in the middle east? can we get that? probably not.

  21. 21
    Little Boots says:

    left, right center, we don’t get the mideast. we might as well be victorians.

  22. 22
    Jay C says:

    @-*+HelpThe99ers:
    /*
    I’m guessing that the Benghazi Boogaloo crowd is probably going to do a swift 180 – of they haven’t done so already: if the supposed “mastermind” behind the consulate attacks says the Innocence of Muslims “movie” was a contributing factor, I’m guessing that the usual suspects are going to leap at the opportunity for:

    a) Bloviating defenses of “freedom of expression” – larded with as much gratuitous Muslim-bashing as they can fit in – ignoring the insulting schlock video, while painting Middle-Easterners as violent barbarian fanatics who can’t take criticism.

    b) Opportunistic Obama-bashing: rehashing his “apologies” for IofM; a la Mitt Romney – probably along the lines of: “Violent barbarian fanatics kill Americans, and Obama apologizes to them,!!1!!1!!

    c) Full Guantanamo Panic: foolish, if you think about it, but always good for fear-mongering: which is really all the Right has these days…..

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: it’s the strangest political thing ever. The thing the Republicans deride as a lie and a cover-up is actually true, and it’s been obvious from the beginning, and Rice said it exactly accurately from the start. Two years of this. Jesus H. “Charlie” Crist.

  24. 24
    gian says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    her resume’ has her tied to W Bush and R Reagan too.

  25. 25
    Little Boots says:

    do the sunnis and shias simply have to bash each other to death? I don;’t know.

  26. 26
    Little Boots says:

    is it omnes’ fault?

  27. 27
    lamh36 says:

    Obama’s Just Trolling Them Now

    Booman

    If the president is doing this to make right-wingers’ heads explode, it is definitely going to work…

    The White House will honor 10 young adults on Tuesday who came to the United States illegally and qualified for the president’s program to defer deportation actions.

    Each person has qualified for the government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, which delays removal proceedings against them as long as they meet certain guidelines….

    Heralding “illegal immigrants” as “champions” in the White House is the kind of catnip that folks like Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh cannot resist.

    IMPEACH!!

    More seriously, this is kinda ballsy and demonstrates that Obama doesn’t really care about what the right has to say anymore.

  28. 28
    Belafon says:

    @Little Boots: No, because then conservatives would be agreeing with liberals.

    ETA: And well, cleek’s law…

  29. 29
  30. 30
    amk says:

    @lamh36:

    Lame duck prezinent. How is it working out for ya, gop?

  31. 31
    Little Boots says:

    @Belafon:

    yup.

    it is just so stupid.

    oh well.

  32. 32
    Belafon says:

    @Little Boots: See my update.

  33. 33
    mai naem says:

    Why was Bush given a pass when he couldn’t get OBL even seven years later but Obama has to get the Benghazi perpetrators right away. Republicans are such assholes.

  34. 34
    Little Boots says:

    @Belafon:

    wait, where?

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Little Boots: Jesus, follow the links up the chain.

  36. 36
    scav says:

    @mai naem: It’s just so. un. fair! Govt is ‘sposed to be incompetent and those people just keep accomplishing shit and all. Repeatedly! I mean.

  37. 37
    nellcote says:

    @gf120581:

    I don’t know which Republican is going to be more pissed; Darrell Issa, because he looks like a massive fool yet again

    from the twitter machine:

    Darrell Issa ✔ @DarrellIssaFollow

    There is evidence that he is one of dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals involved in the murder of four Americans in Benghazi.

  38. 38
    Little Boots says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    sorry, wasn’t aware of the chain, or the anger.

  39. 39
    lamh36 says:

    Obama to create world’s largest ocean preserve
    Associated Press // JOSH LEDERMAN
    9:05 AM
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is looking to create the largest marine preserve in the world by protecting a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean from drilling, fishing and other actions that could threaten wildlife, the White House said.
    Aiming to protect marine wildlife, Obama will also direct the government to create a program to deter illegal fishing. The executive steps come as Obama is searching for ways to leave his second-term mark on the environment despite opposition from many Republicans in Congress.

    Obama was to announce the steps Tuesday in a video message to those participating in an “Our Ocean” conference that the State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry are hosting.
    Officials said Obama is considering a massive expansion to the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The protected waters surround a group of mostly uninhabited islands, controlled by the U.S., that sit between Hawaii and American Samoa.

    But the White House hasn’t settled on the final boundaries for the preserve. The administration said it planned to solicit input from fishermen, scientists, politicians, experts in conservation and others before the new protections take effect…

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/s.....TE=DEFAULT

  40. 40
  41. 41
    eemom says:

    @Little Boots:

    hey, have you ever used Soft Cell and The Clash together in the same sentence? Just curious.

  42. 42
    Kropadope says:

    @scav: Obviously the government is capable of accomplishments. It accomplished a coverup more perfect than the world has ever known. It has withstood every single Congressional investigation into Benghazi photo-op ignoring all relevant questions surrounding Benghazi.

  43. 43
    Little Boots says:

    @eemom:

    maybe. why?

  44. 44
    danielx says:

    OT but too good to pass up: must credit Powder Blue Satan for coining the term ammosexuals. It’s gonna be big.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @eemom: No, you are the only one.

  46. 46
    Belafon says:

    @Little Boots: I made an update to the comment you replied to, so I wanted to let you know I had added to it.

  47. 47
    Little Boots says:

    @Belafon:

    that makes sense. not sure why omnes yelled at me. although there was an incident.

  48. 48
    Mike in NC says:

    Credit must go to Huckleberry Closetcase (Tea Party-SC).

  49. 49
    Little Boots says:

    still think it is up to omnes to weight in. miss him.

  50. 50
    Little Boots says:

    @Little Boots:

    although, he gets angry.

  51. 51
    Felixmoronia says:

    @danielx:
    I believe it was Mr. TBogg that coined the term.

  52. 52
    magurakurin says:

    @danielx: I noticed that Atrios’s meme has been spreading as well. He suggested mockery….I saw that Bill Maher must have picked up on it, because he mocked the gun lovers hard last week. Good way to go.

  53. 53
    Little Boots says:

    @Felixmoronia:

    I think you might be right.

  54. 54
    Suffern ACE says:

    But if there is a trial, how will we ever know what happened?

  55. 55
    Little Boots says:

    for omnes, cause, I don’t know. he doesn’t deserve my taste, but I have to:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUL68ZeclcA

  56. 56
    r€nato says:

    @danielx: nope, sorry. Atrios cribbed it from Bill Maher, whose writers in turn cribbed it from somewhere in the blogosphere. I recall seeing it pop up in May, about a couple weeks or so before Maher used it during a recent (two episodes back?) “New Rules”. TPM mentioned it, I believe, at least a week before I saw Maher use it. Wish I could recall where I first saw the term.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    But if there is a trial, how will we ever know what happened?

    It’ll all become clear when Issa and Gowdy subpoena the judge and jury and tell them what actually happened.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Little Boots says:

    still think omnes should be here.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Little Boots: Why?

  62. 62
    Little Boots says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    why not?’ you don’t hate me, do you? I was so obnoxious that one time.

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): She probably has a question about stone washed jeans.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t believe in them.

    ETA: Debating whether to watch all of Witness for the Prosecution on TCM or get a decent night’s sleep. It is a fantastic movie.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @Little Boots: Oh, it’s no biggie.
    What you need to understand about Omnes is that he’s a very judgmental asshole.
    And I don’t mean that just because he’s an actual judge, or a real deal asshole. I mean he likes to pop into threads and explain shit to other people.
    I could go on, I guess.

  66. 66
    Little Boots says:

    @Corner Stone:

    yeah, he is, but honestly, sometimes he’s right.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Little Boots:

    Omnes gets a little cranky late at night. But don’t tell him that, because it only makes him crankier.

  68. 68
    David Koch says:

    It doesn’t matter what your ideology is, you should feel good about this. There’s no conspiracy here, this is actual news.

    But the reaction of some of the Republicans, I’ve been told, is to downplay and insult the brave men and women of our special forces and the FBI. They’re trying to say, oh, it’s no big deal. I wonder if the men and women who captured the terrorist agree. But the Republicans said it’s no big deal.

    Even in these days of polarization, created by the obstruction, the delay, and diversion of the Republicans, even in these days of polarization, their reaction is shocking and disgusting.

    They’re so obsessed with criticism, criticizing anything President Obama does. They’ll go so far as to sit here and insult the men and women in uniform and in law enforcement.

    They should stop and think, just for a little bit, about what it’s like to put your life on the line and to do something for our country — that’s what they did. They’re insulting these good men and women who did some courageous things, heroic things, in order to criticize President Obama.

    I think they’ve lost touch with reality; it’s really pathetic, there’s no other word for it.

    Harry Reid

  69. 69
    Little Boots says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    he does. I love that everyone gets that.

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    I’ve seen them, man!

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Corner Stone: I could explain that you are an asshole, but that is rather unnecessary.

    @Mnemosyne: You are right that I sometimes get less tolerant of your tendency to attribute to people views that they did not express.

  72. 72
    Little Boots says:

    omnes, don’t be bitter. show up.

  73. 73
    Little Boots says:

    oh, wait, you did.

  74. 74
    Little Boots says:

    don’t be angry. nobody like you angry.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    And what crime did maeve commit against you last night?

    Seriously, dude, the other night you were ready to start a battle with me over a jocular interstate rivalry. Good thing I didn’t call you a cheesehead or you really would have gone ballistic.

  77. 77
    Little Boots says:

    omnes, are you in a mood?

  78. 78
    Little Boots says:

    for omnes, cause he gets angry, but he is still a good guy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6Kspj3OO0s&list=PLCAA9EBE3D9D145F5

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sorry, I just don’t trust your interpretation of anything anymore. I am not the only person to have suggested that you serially mischaracterize the arguments of others. You leap to maximalist interpretations in a heartbeat and then accuse the other party of saying things that were not directly said. Good for you. Me, I am going to bed.

    As far as the Cheesehead thing goes, I hope you do realize that I was born in Aurora and lived in Geneva until I was 11? Get a sense of perspective.

  80. 80
    Little Boots says:

    omnes, you can still like me. it’s okay. I know I can be annoying, but still.

  81. 81
    Little Boots says:

    what is pissing you off? you do not get this angry, usually.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I am not the only person to have suggested that you serially mischaracterize the arguments of others. You leap to maximalist interpretations in a heartbeat and then accuse the other party of saying things that were not directly said.

    I ask people for clarification of their points. And, yes, sometimes I play devil’s advocate to see if they really understand the implications of their points.

    As far as the Cheesehead thing goes, I hope you do realize that I was born in Aurora and lived in Geneva until I was 11? Get a sense of perspective.

    Lighten up, Francis.

  83. 83
    eemom says:

    @Little Boots:

    dude. One time several years ago, in a late night haze of alcohol and exhaustion, I got The Clash mixed up with Soft Cell….because I’m a sad and senile old woman and also likely because 30+ years ago when I was a jubilant and joyous young woman they were frequently on the same dance mix.

    Omnes. Has. Never. Forgiven. Me.

    So the point is, bootsie, you can push Omnes only so far. And no farther. Believe me. I know.

  84. 84
    Little Boots says:

    everyone come upstairs.

  85. 85
    Little Boots says:

    @eemom:

    and I like him, always have, always will. but he can be a bit ,..

  86. 86
    David Koch says:

    Shin Inouye ✔ @Inouye44

    President Obama has now appointed more female judges and more Hispanic judges than any other President

    Add to this he’s appointed more women to the Supreme Court than all of his combined predecessors, as well as Janet Yellen at the fed.

    But yet progressive betters still tell me he’s a sexist

  87. 87
    gwangung says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I could explain that you are an asshole, but that is rather unnecessary.

    Well, no, he’s honing his craft at being a dick (a distinct difference, you know). And the blog is better for it….

  88. 88
    PIGL says:

    @danielx: I am disappointed that my own invention “gunbuggers” has never caught on.

  89. 89
    Groucho48 says:

    @gnomedad:

    Nice little mock! I especially liked this zinger:

    It would seem that Fox News and the GOP alike can’t wrap their head around the fact that the Obama administration actually knows how to capture people who attack the United States. It’s something they’re not used to from their side of the aisle.

  90. 90
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    Anyone ever hear about the night that The Clash and Soft Cell got together in a recording studio that straddled the Wisconsin-Illinois border? This was the result…Oh, and Topper Headon died during the session, too, so two results.

    What are your plans for the evening?

  91. 91
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    But if there is a trial, how will we ever know what happened?

    Indeed. The capture of the most knowledgeable source of information about the Benghazi assault was obviously intended to obstruct the inquiry into it.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Betty Cracker says:

    @eemom: LMAO!

  94. 94
    another Holocene human says:

    @lamh36: It’s amazing, tough, the hold that hate talk has on people. This guy whose father is an immigrant and involved in shady stuff and whose wife’s family are Mexican immigrants in the food business tells me yesterday that Not slamming minors crossing the board in detention means argle bargle gang members.

  95. 95
    another Holocene human says:

    @David Koch: My progressive betters don’t talk about sexism because they know bringing it up is an own goal but they might talk noise about Marxist theory to try to justify their wacky priorities.

  96. 96
    Someguy says:

    Awesome. Al Qaida is really on the run now.

  97. 97
    C.V. Danes says:

    His apprehension by United States military commandos and law enforcement agents may finally begin to address some of the persistent questions about who carried out the attack and why.

    I’m sure they will be helping him learn to breathe water through a towel as a part of addressing some of these persistent questions.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    I’m sure they will be helping him learn to breathe water through a towel as a part of addressing some of these persistent questions.

    I doubt it. They are planning on trying him in a regular court.

  99. 99
    D58826 says:

    @nellcote: Darrel has a mind like a steel trap (rusty of course). Since everyone agrees that it was a ‘mob’ that implies more than one. The video also show a mob. But I guess Darrel has to restate the obvious since he couldn’t find the nose on his face with a flashlight and a mirror.

  100. 100
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Baud: Thread won, first post here.

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