Time for a "phony" scandal update. Almost eight months after the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the US government finally released 'wanted' posters to help track down some of the perpetrators. It turns out that CNN wanted at least one of these jihadists -- for an interview. And they got their man, sitting down with him in northern Libya for two hours, according to the network's John King:
As the one-year anniversary of the Benghazi massacre approaches, none -- zero -- of the dozens of terrorists involved in the attack have been brought to justice. Then again, it's not a complete surprise that CNN was able to identify and locate their interview subject; the Obama administration knows where these monsters are, too. They've chosen not to take them into custody because they're hoping to tee-up an airtight criminal case against these terrorists, whom they intend to try in civilian courts. This president is totally cool with liquidating US citizens who've joined the enemy abroad via drone strike, but hey, he's no George W. Bush. Heaven forbid we grab these guys, render them to Gitmo, and give them a little rough treatment to find out what they might know prior to trying them in military tribunals -- the structure for which was meticulously crafted by Congress over a span of years. That would be inhumane. (Honest question: Why don't we just drone them?) Instead, they roam Northern Africa, free to shoot the breeze with Western journalists for hours on end. By the way, another reason CNN beating our government to the punch in Benghazi isn't too stunning is because they've done it before. Immediately after the attacks, it took federal investigators weeks to gain access to the bombed-out consulate -- at least partially because the Libyan government was furious at Washington for publicly contradicting Tripoli's (correct) account of what happened with (false, manipulated, and revised a dozen times) talking points. During that delay, news outlets combed through the attack site, discovering sensitive documents such as Amb. Stevens' personal journal. CNN broke that story, and they're about to break another. So while not surprising, this development is outrageous. How will Patricia Smith feel when she turns on her television and sees one of the men who murdered her son chatting up a CNN correspondent? The Obama campaign desperately tried to minimize the Benghazi as the fall election approached. The only Democrat-sanctioned take-aways for voters were the notions that the president was working tirelessly to visit justice upon those responsible, and to ensure that such a catastrophe would never occur again. Eleven months later, there have been no arrests, and more than a dozen high-risk American diplomatic facilities still lack ample security. And that doesn't even touch the unanswered questions that remain, despite the revelatory evidence that has emerged:
We still don’t know why the administration repeatedly denied urgent requests for enhanced security measures on the ground in Libya during the months preceding the attack, especially with conditions in Benghazi severely deteriorating. Nor do we know exactly what the chain of command looked like during the seven-hour raid, and who ultimately made the final call not to nix any potential rescue mission — even as ex-SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were under siege and begging for help. Where, precisely, was the Commander-in-Chief as the horror played out? And we still aren’t entirely clear on which elements of the State Department’s “building leadership” applied political pressure to rewrite history in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, leading to the creation of those infamous and genuinely phony talking points.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography