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Khatallah’s Acquittals on Benghazi Murders Show, Again, Need for New System

Clifford D. May, Thomas Joscelyn
29th November 2017 - Quoted by Andrew C. McCarthy - National Review

There was never going to be justice for the American war dead of the Benghazi attack. The jihadist strike on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities was too bound up in the politics of the 2012 presidential election. Moreover, the prosecution of the lone defendant charged in the attack was a product of the progressive ideological insistence that acts of war can seamlessly be downgraded into mere penal offenses, adjudicated with all the due-process strictures that implies.

This bull-headed conceit is a fiction, and thus the experiment is a failure.


In addition, an overseas military battlefield is patently not a domestic law-enforcement crime scene. Case in point, again, the Khatallah trial: Unable to secure the Benghazi compounds from jihadist militias, and angry at the Obama administration for fraudulently claiming that the attack was instigated by an anti-Muslim video, what passes for the Libyan authorities delayed for three weeks the FBI’s access to the relevant sites for an all-too-brief brief forensic examination. This delay fatally compromised the integrity of physical evidence. As my friend Cliff May has quipped, we are not filming an episode of “CSI Kandahar” here. When civilian due-process protocols apply but the exigencies of a war zone taint the FBI’s retrieval and processing of evidence, cases are easily dismantled by competent defense lawyers.


As the incomparable Tom Joscelyn relates, Khatallah was a member of a Libyan jihadist militia, Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, that was absorbed into Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) after Qaddafi was overthrown. In Libya, AAS has factions in Derna and Benghazi that have close ties to al-Qaeda. (The head of AAS-Derna, Suffian bin Qumi, was an al-Qaeda operative before being detained for a time at Guantanamo Bay.) The two chapters of AAS, along with three other al-Qaeda tentacles that emerged in the post-9/11 years (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and the Mohammad Jamal network), colluded in the Benghazi attack.


Read more here.


benghazi, libya, north-africa