Total number of Benghazi attackers in custody: zero
I know we’re all supposed to forget about the four Americans killed in Benghazi – that was ages ago, and we had a presidential election that validates all the lies Obama and his people told about the incident, so it’s a clean slate all around. Those four “bumps in the road,” as Obama called them, have been paved over with a steamroller.
But for anyone who still cares, all of those big investigations and partnerships with local law enforcement touted by the President have resulted in exactly zero terrorists in custody. The one and only person held thus far in connection with the attacks, was just released by Tunisian authorities, as reported by the McClatchy News Service:
Tunisian authorities on Tuesday released the only man held so far in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, according to the suspect’s lawyer, reaffirming fears that the Libyan-led investigation into the deaths is foundering.
Authorities extradited Ali Harzi, a 26-year-old Tunisian, from Turkey last fall, saying they “strongly suspected” that he had been involved in the attacks. But he was released Tuesday after a Tunisian judge agreed with his lawyer that there was not enough evidence to hold him, according to news reports from Tunis, the Tunisian capital.
The Tunisians made a mockery of the investigation:
Col. Abdel Salem Ashour, the Libyan official in charge of the investigation, told McClatchy that his investigators had not talked to Harzi before his release and that he had learned of Harzi’s release from news reports only after it had taken place. He said he was still waiting to learn the details of what took place from Tunisian officials.
In a statement condemning the release, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said that Tunisian authorities had obstructed the investigation, preventing the FBI from questioning Harzi until last month.
“I have every reason to believe that Harzi was involved in the attack,” Wolf said. “For months following the attack, the Tunisian government blocked the FBI from interviewing Harzi. Now Harzi walks the streets of Tunisia a free man – facing no consequence for his role in the Benghazi attack.”
“Keep in mind that, since 2011, the American government has given $320 million in taxpayer dollars to the Tunisian government,” Wolf added. “I find it morally wrong to support a country that has obstructed FBI efforts to bring these terrorists to justice.”
Contrary to all that Obama bluster about a “decimated” al-Qaeda and a foreign-policy triumph in Libya, the Libyan government hasn’t been making much headway against these powerful terrorist groups. The lead Libyan investigator in the case was assassinated days after taking the job. Last week, the official investigating his assassination got rubbed out. The investigation of the Benghazi attack is no longer based in Benghazi, because the investigators are “too fearful and inexperienced” to operate there, according to McClatchy. In a PBS interview, Nancy Youssef of McClatchy repeated that “the authorities are afraid to arrest people because of their ties to the militias.”
How is this all going over in Washington? CNN brings less-than-encouraging news:
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland referred questions to the FBI, which she said “has the lead on the Benghazi investigation.”
[The Tunisian state news agency] reported that Harzi had been questioned by Tunisian authorities and the FBI “as a witness and not a suspect.”
But a U.S. federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the Benghazi investigation said the freed man remains a suspect.
The fact that Harzi’s been freed from detention “doesn’t mean he’s any less a suspect,” the official said, adding Harzi does not appear on video taken of the Benghazi compound.
Investigators have identified at least 15 individuals that “we’re taking a serious look at,” the official told CNN, indicating some of them were identified on the video.
Ultimately, the official said, “we will get indictments, but it’s not possible to put a timetable on it.”
Upwards of 70 people were involved in the attack, which the Obama Administration falsely depicted as a spontaneous protest over a YouTube video offensive to Islamic sensibilities. The Obama team felt good about sending a U.S. ambassador virtually unprotected into Benghazi… a place so dangerous his murder can’t be investigated properly, because the militias kill the investigators, and then kill the people investigating the murder of the investigators. Nobody is in custody, four months later. And nobody in the Administration lost their jobs over any of this. They even felt free to lie to us about holding a few obscure mid-level bureaucrats responsible.
Thankfully, ailing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not subject to the restrictions of ObamaCare, so she’s back on the job and ready to answer questions about Benghazi. She should spend the rest of her career doing so.