Sunday, June 29, 2014

Libya/US: Update--Khatallah, 43, Pleads Not Guility in the Murders of 4 Brave Americans After WH Refuses to Rescue Them

According to Reuters and CNN, the Libyan militia leader, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, 43, accused of being part of the deadly September 11, 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound at the US Consulate in Benghazi, has been "compliant, but hardly cooperative," say US interrogators, according to US Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) said on Sunday (June 29).

As is well known, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, captured in Libya earlier this month by US special operators and held for nearly two weeks aboard a US Navy vessel, was transferred to federal custody on Saturday (June 28). 

Khatallah pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges in the attack that killed Christopher Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans who gave up their lives when The White House failed to rescue them. 

Rogers, a Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" program that Khatallah was being held in the metropolitan Washington, DC area after his arraignment and plea. 

COMMENT: What is most unsettling from the senior levels of the Obama Administration is that while the US goes out of its way to ensure that all due process elements of US jurisprudence  are provided to the accused, what justice do the victims receive? Very few from my perspective.

Khatallah denied in a Reuters interview in October 2012 that he was a leader of Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamist group Washington accuses of carrying out the assault on the consulate.

The Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, has been a long-running political issue, with Republicans contending that the Obama Administration initially misrepresented the circumstances and did far too little to ensure the safety of  US personnel. 

Although then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did virtually nothing to protect four Americans from death and failed to dispatch a team to rescue them, will no doubt face sharp criticism if she decides to run in the 2016 presidential race.

Rogers, echoing criticism by other Republicans since Khatallah's capture, said it would have been preferable to treat him as an enemy combatant, hold him at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay and put him before a military tribunal rather than try him as a criminal through the civilian justice system, where is accorded due process, which he hardly deserves.