As we’ve said many times before, you’ve gotta hand it to the Obama administration for making its priorities crystal clear.
While we’ve marveled at the speed with which Obama’s Department of (No)Justice took action against the state of North Carolina for daring to uphold its own state law, Attorney General Lynch has made it clear that there’s no timetable on wrapping up justice around mishandling of our nation’s classified information at the hands of our former Secretary of State. Never mind that she is running for president — something for which there is most definitely a timetable.
Speaking of the former Secretary of State, remember that little incident in Benghazi, Libya, in which a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed?
Well, Obama’s Justice Department, led by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, has just announced it will not seek the death penalty against the mastermind behind that terrorist attack.
Via Fox News:The Justice Department will not seek the death penalty against Ahmed Abu Khattala, the suspected Libyan militant charged in the Benghazi attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, federal officials announced Tuesday. The department revealed its decision in a brief court filing that offered no additional explanation.
In a separate statement, spokeswoman Emily Pierce said Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the decision after consulting with prosecutors. Pierce said the department remains “committed to ensuring that the defendant is held accountable” for the 2012 attacks.
With the death penalty now off the table, he would face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Khattala, captured by U.S. special forces in Libya two years ago and brought to the U.S. aboard a Navy ship, has been awaiting trial in federal court in Washington in connection with the September 2012 violence at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi.
Prosecutors have described him as a ringleader of the attacks, which quickly emerged as a political flashpoint and became the topic of congressional hearings involving Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, secretary of state at the time of the rampage.
The 18-count indictment arises from a burst of violence that began the night of Sept. 11, 2012, at a State Department diplomatic compound, an attack prosecutors say was aimed at murdering American personnel and plundering maps, documents and other property from the post. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, along with Sean Patrick Smith, a State Department information management officer.
The charges against Khattala include murder of an internationally protected person, providing material support to terrorists and destroying U.S. property while causing death. He has pleaded not guilty.
The case represents one of the most significant tests of the Obama administration’s commitment to prosecuting terror suspects captured overseas in U.S. civilian courts.
The decision comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of death penalty protocols at the state and federal levels. Executions in the federal system are exceedingly rare; the last defendant put to death was in 2003. The Justice Department has said it is reviewing the policies, though nothing has been publicly announced, and President Barack Obama has said he’s “deeply concerned” about the death penalty’s implementation.
At her January 2015 confirmation hearing, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she thought the death penalty still can be an effective punishment.
Leave it to the Obama administration to be “deeply concerned” about applying the death penalty to a terrorist behind the murder of four Americans, including one diplomat. Funny, I haven’t seen a whit of real concern from them about the brutal murder of these four Americans. In fact, Obama and his cohorts on the left — led by poster child former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — have done everything they can to paint the tragedy of Benghazi as nothing more than a right-wing conspiracy — all in the name of covering their own rears.
Today’s decision from the DoJ is just another way of saying, “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”