Justin King | The Anti-Media
The suspected ringleader of the assault on the Benghazi diplomatic compound was captured during a raid just outside of the city. Ahmed Abu Khatallah is currently aboard a ship heading back to the United States where he will be turned over to civilian authorities.
During his trip to the United States, Khatallah will be interrogated by the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HVDIG). HVDIG is a special inter-agency group designed to extract information from suspected terrorists. Transporting Khatallah by ship allows the team a lengthy period of interrogation in international waters. US laws do not apply in international waters. Thumbnail credit: 5newsonline.com
Once on US soil, Khatallah will be turned over to a US law enforcement agency, most likely another inter-agency task force for his protection and detention. Bringing Khatallah to trial in civilian courts is opposed by senior Republicans, including John McCain. McCain believes those accused of terrorist activity should be detained in Guantanamo Bay. However, many have pointed out that granting suspected terrorists special confinement status legitimizes their position as prisoners of war.
The Benghazi attack, in which four US citizens lost their lives, has created a scandal for the Obama administration. Both parties have accused the other of politicizing the event, and both sides are guilty of doing so. A trial in open civilian court may be the American people’s best chance to find out the truth behind the events that left Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods dead.
This raises the question of which agency can be trusted to hold Khatallah while he awaits trial. The FBI has a habit of killing terrorism suspects or witnesses in high-profile cases that might shed light on government misdeeds. The FBI was recently cleared in the killing of one of the only potential material witnesses in the Boston Bombing. Mr. Todashev was in an interrogation room and state troopers believed he was about to give details about the bombing and a triple homicide that occurred just before the bombing when an unidentified FBI agent shot him seven times, killing him. Khatallah’s testimony is likely to be more damaging to the US government than anything Mr. Todashev could say. It would probably be in the best interests of the American people if the FBI was not involved in Khatallah’s pre-trial detention, otherwise another unfortunate set of implausible circumstances might lead to his death as well.
Another candidate to hold Khatallah is the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA maintains several secret debriefing facilities within the borders of the United States. The sites were used to hold defecting Soviet spies while they gave up the USSR’s secrets to the agency during the Cold War. However, given the agency’s habit of settling old scores with those that harm their employees, and the fact the Tyrone Woods was employed at a CIA annex facility, this scenario might also result in Khatallah’s accidental death. There is also the general mistrust on the part of the American people of the agency. It is unlikely that any testimony given by a witness held by the CIA for any substantial duration of time would be believed by the American people.
The only remaining option is the United States Marshal’s Service (USMS). The service is tasked with transporting and managing federal prisoners in addition to its more well-known role of fugitive apprehension. USMS operates almost exclusively within the confines of the United States and had no active connection to the events that occurred in North Africa in 2012.
In order to lay this incident to rest once and for all, the American people must insist on an open trial that will allow the facts of the incident to see the light of day before being sanitized for public consumption by politicians in Washington, DC. If some untimely death befalls Khatallah prior to his trial or the trial is held in secret without international press access, it can be safely assumed that the United States was complicit in some manner with the events surrounding the Benghazi attack.
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