With tears of gratitude for manna brought from heaven via U.S. special forces, the White House is embracing with all its might a rare piece of good news and an unusual Mission Accomplished Moment, the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, mastermind of the Benghazi attack.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, because it’s his job, hyped the capture as a “milestone.” And Obama said Tuesday that other bad guys need to be very afraid:
It’s important for us to send a message to the world that when Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice. And that’s a message I sent the day after it happened. And regardless of how long it takes — we will find you.
But Khattala’s denouement, which will feature a trial in criminal court with all the protections of the U.S. justice system, including an expert legal defense, will neither scare anyone who means to do us harm nor benefit Obama politically.
Because the context of the capture says everything to the world about Obama.
We picked up one particularly bad guy at almost the same time we released FIVE of them, hardened Taliban killers, for a soldier who deserted the U.S. Army. The world must see a very soft U.S. leadership indeed.
What’s more, Obama’s braggadocio, that we’ll take whatever time’s needed to settle scores, ironically highlights that WE NEEDED A LOT OF TIME to settle this one.
What does it say about the focus on the administration that it took more than two and a half years to grab Khatala, who reportedly was living fairly openly in the vicinity of the scene of the crime and even took expresso with journalists?
The White House thinks this as a bullseye. The rest of the world is more likely to view it as a lucky shot.
Here’s James Rosen of Fox News trying to get State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to explain why it took so long to pick up Khattala. She can’t.