Sealed Indictment Issued In Connection With Benghazi Attack

Benghazi-Consulate

CNN is reporting this afternoon that the first criminal charges have been filed in connection with the attack last September 11th on he U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi:

Washington (CNN) – Federal authorities investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi have filed charges against Ahmed Abu Khattalah, leader of a Libyan militia that officials believe was involved in the assault, people briefed on the investigation said. The charges under seal are the first criminal counts to emerge from the probe.

The investigation of the attack last September 11 that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others continues, these people said, as investigators try to build their case against Khattalah and others who authorities believe were involved.

Attorney General Eric Holder had earlier this year promised congressional lawmakers the Justice Department would soon make public what actions it would take.

(…)

[P]eople close to the case said the investigation has moved significantly in recent months.

The initial charges are filed in a complaint in New York, according to the people briefed on the matter.

The Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment. The agencies are prohibited from discussing matters that are under seal.

It couldn’t be learned when the United States plans to announce the charges or whether there are any plans to try to detain Khattalah.

None of the sources would discuss the precise counts against Khattalah in the sealed complaint.

It’s somewhat interesting that someone chose to leak  the news of this sealed indictment at this time. Last week’s we learned about the heavy CIA presence on the ground in Benghazi, which wasn’t really news given that it had been reported months previously, combined with the news that CIA officials were engaging in unusually frequent polygraphing of employees to ensure that news of the CIA’s involvement in the Benghazi affair. Is this an effort to deflect attention from that story, or simply an effort on the part of the Justice Department to push back against criticism that they haven’t done very much in their investigation? Without knowing the identity of the leaker, that’s hard to say, but it seems pretty clear that there’s some motive behind making this public at this time.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, National Security, Quick Takes, Terrorism, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    or simply an effort on the part of the Justice Department to push back against criticism that they haven’t done very much in their investigation?

    Well, yea, a lot of babes in short skirts on Fox have said just that.

    It would be nice if the GOP placed national security above its jihad against Obama. But we all know there is no danger of that.

  2. reid says:

    I thought surely the indictment would be someone high up in the Obama administration, if not Obama himself…. *snort*

    Must there always be a motive behind news?

  3. Tyrell says:

    In agreement with your comment on Fox. They found something that a lot of people must like.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    It’s not for Hillary???
    Jenos must be so disappointed.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    Should there be a suicide watch on Jenos ???

  6. Jeremy R says:

    Is this an effort to deflect attention from that story, or simply an effort on the part of the Justice Department to push back against criticism that they haven’t done very much in their investigation?

    If congress was briefed it could just as easily be a member of congress maintaining their relationship with their favored reporter.

  7. Scott O says:

    @Doug

    combined with the news that CIA officials were engaging in unusually frequent polygraphing of employees

    Maybe I’m nitpicking but is news really the correct term to use here? Wouldn’t rumor or allegation be more accurate?

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Well, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is about to get released from jail soon, so I’m not surprised that there’s a “sealed indictment” out. Can’t let the scapegoat actually go free…

  9. mantis says:

    I see Jenos/Jay Tea is here to tell us yet again how all a person should be absolved of all responsibility for crimes he commits as long as he publicly insults a religion Jay Tea/Jeno’s hates.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: You can spout all the snide bullshit you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Obama administration vowed to find and punish the filmmaker before they knew who he was and that he had violated his probation. They lucked out that the idiot had; otherwise, they’d have to treat him like that dumbass preacher who was going to burn the Koran.

    Here are two questions for you, cockroach: 1) will this guy or George Zimmerman be the victim of an attempted assassination first, and 2) which do you think deserves it more?

  11. anjin-san says:

    Shorter Jenos – “I’m still an idiot”

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Another question just occurred to me — we’re indicting someone over this? What the hell happened to drone strikes? Why don’t we just blow this guy/these guys straight to Allah?

  13. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    it doesn’t change the fact that the Obama administration vowed to find and punish the filmmaker before they knew who he was and that he had violated his probation.

    That’s hardly a fact. One person claimed (to Glenn Beck) Sec. Clinton said that, and he also said she was lying about everything.

    otherwise, they’d have to treat him like that dumbass preacher who was going to burn the Koran.

    Who wasn’t arrested, despite your repeated assertions that that’s what they do.

    Once again, you’re just full of shit, defending criminals.

  14. Tyrell says:

    I wonder who it is they arrested and why it is a secret. Certainly there are more involved. That guy in the photo has to be involved considering the weapon he has; needs to be locked up on the spot.
    “Round up the usual suspects”

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: Once again, you’re just full of shit, defending criminals.

    Jackhole, I’ve cited exactly three people in this thread: Nakoula, Zimmerman, and the Florida preacher. Exactly one of them is a convicted criminal. That’s singular.

    And just what do Nakoula and the preacher have in common? They deliberately chose to do things that piss off Muslims. And there ain’t no law against that.

    Yes, by doing so they risked Muslims getting mad and killing and rioting. Maybe here, maybe somewhere else in the world. And there are two ways to see that.

    The first way is to say that it’s an entirely predictable response, and it’s utterly irresponsible and immoral to do things that risk provoking such a response, and those doing so are morally culpable for the deaths and injuries and damages that follow.

    The other way is to say that it’s not our problem that so many Muslims are so immature and insecure and borderline psychotic, that it’s time that they grow the eff up and at least learn how to pretend to be civilized human beings. And that means not throwing temper tantrums when someone says something you don’t like.

    A few years ago, Iran reacted to the Mohammed cartoon contest by holding their own contest for anti-Semitic cartoons. Israel responded by encouraging its cartoonists to participate.

    I don’t recognize Islamic law. I don’t follow it. And it’s downright unconstitutional for the government to attempt to coerce American citizens — even convicted criminals like Nakoula — to abide by it.

    Just come out and admit it, cockroach. Your concerns about not offending Muslims isn’t based on any kind of moral principle, it’s based on fear. You know what “provoking” Muslims can result in — and that terrifies you. That’s why you have no problems with people offending other faiths — I don’t recall you ever denouncing those here who constantly bring up the Catholic pedophile priest scandal, or the anti-Mormon comments brought on by Mitt Romney’s candidacy. That’s because you know that Catholics and Mormons aren’t in the business of killing blasphemers, or anyone who looks like a blasphemer, or whoever happens to be nearby when they hear about blasphemy.

    You’re a coward, and you are such a coward you won’t even admit that you’re a coward. Instead, you pretend you’re not acting out of fear, but out of principles. And you can’t even apply those principles evenly.

    Now scurry back into your hole, cockroach.

  16. mantis says:

    Now that was a nice pile of bigoted shit, there. Have you ever even met any Muslims up there in White Hampshire? I’ve known hundreds. I’m not afraid of them. You are.

  17. JD says:

    @anjin-san: Anjie baby – You need a check up from the neck up.

    Go back to sandland and babble there.

    What an ignorant moron.

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: You’re so rude to me because you know you can be. You know you’re safe — I’m too civilized to even try to use violence against you for mere words.

    But you fear those who aren’t so civilized, so you act to prevent them from being provoked.

    “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” — Winston Churchill.

    But back to the topic at hand — why are we indicting anyone over Benghazi? They aren’t criminals, they’re terrorists. I thought it was Obama’s policy to just kill them, preferably with drone strikes.

  19. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    I’m too civilized to even try to use violence against you for mere words.

    Well, there are those who would say you are just too much of a wuss 🙂

    I seem to remember you getting very hot and bothered about the “highway of death” massacre. Yea, you are really a civilized cat. Bottom line is you get off on it when people you don’t like (Muslims) are being slaughtered, as long as others do the dirty work, and there is zero risk to your sorry ass.

  20. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You’re so rude to me because you know you can be. You know you’re safe — I’m too civilized to even try to use violence against you for mere words.

    I have no confidence you are so civilized, but please keep complaining about others’ rudeness. It’s hilarious.

    But you fear those who aren’t so civilized, so you act to prevent them from being provoked.

    I do nothing to prevent them from being provoked. What I do is point out how you think criminals should be absolved of responsibility as long as they are provocateurs against your chosen enemies. I do nothing whatsoever to stop the provocateurs. You just make that up to distract attention from your stupidity.

    I thought it was Obama’s policy to just kill them, preferably with drone strikes.

    But you always find a way to make your stupidity shine through.

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: I do nothing to prevent them from being provoked. What I do is point out how you think criminals should be absolved of responsibility as long as they are provocateurs against your chosen enemies.

    You keep saying “criminals.” Of the three mentioned, only one broke any laws. Well, any American laws.

    And it’s hardly “absolving” the criminals to note that the Obama administration was looking to find and punish Nakoula before they knew his name and probation status. They just lucked out that they had an excuse to lock up their designated scapegoat.

    And here are a few fun facts for you to spin away:

    More people are killed by Islamists each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined. (source)
    Islamic terrorists murder more people every day than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 50 years. (source)
    More civilians were killed by Muslim extremists in two hours on September 11th than in the 36 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. (source)
    19 Muslim hijackers killed more innocents in two hours on September 11th than the number of American criminals executed in the last 65 years. (source)

  22. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You keep saying “criminals.” Of the three mentioned, only one broke any laws. Well, any American laws.

    When you are failing, switch tactics and argue about spelling and semantics instead.

    And it’s hardly “absolving” the criminals to note that the Obama administration was looking to find and punish Nakoula before they knew his name and probation status.

    By “note” you mean ‘assert without evidence.”. But that’s pretty much all you do, so I guess it should be assumed.

    Anyway, tell us, should Nakoula face punishment for his crimes and parole violations or not?

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: One of the reasons Nakoula was locked up was for being “a danger to the community.” Just what kind of danger did he pose by posting a crappy trailer for a nonexistent movie?

    the guy’s a dirtbag. But that doesn’t mean he — or anyone, even you — deserve to be a scapegoat for the Obama administration’s incompetence (giving them the best possible benefit of the doubt).

    BTW, Nakoula and Preacher Jones have been tried and sentenced to death in absentia in Egypt for “insulting Islam.” Think we oughta deport them? Or make them apologize?

  24. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    : One of the reasons Nakoula was locked up was for being “a danger to the community.” Just what kind of danger did he pose by posting a crappy trailer for a nonexistent movie?

    He was locked up for several probation violations, and the judge noted that he “posed some danger to the community” in those violations, not because he posted a video on the internet, for which he was not in any way charged.

    He was a danger to the community because he fraudulently tricked people into helping him in his cause, putting them in possible danger without their knowledge. They are suing him, by the way.

    But that doesn’t mean he — or anyone, even you — deserve to be a scapegoat for the Obama administration’s incompetence

    He wasn’t the scapegoat. They are going after the perpetrators. Or are you just too stupid to know what a scapegoat is?

    Think we oughta deport them? Or make them apologize?

    Of course not.

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: He wasn’t the scapegoat. They are going after the perpetrators. Or are you just too stupid to know what a scapegoat is?

    I know what a scapegoat is. From the dictionary:

    2
    a : one that bears the blame for others
    b : one that is the object of irrational hostility

    Nakoula was blamed for inciting the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi, by officials that knew damned well it wasn’t true. And he’s under a death sentence for “insulting Islam.” So there are both definitions.

    So you’re just fine with the Obama administration lying and blaming people for things they didn’t actually do, as long as they’re people who have done something else bad. How noble of you, cockroach.

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Oh, and someone has finally noticed something that should have been blazingly obvious to everyone at once, but we all overlooked: that a “sealed indictment” is supposed to be kept sealed, and not discussed openly by those in the know.

    Whoops, my bad. I forgot about the “if it helps Obama politically” exception. That lets him ignore all the laws he wants…