Benghazi scapegoat finally leaving federal custody

posted at 8:41 am on September 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

More than a year after the terrorist attack in Benghazi claimed the lives of four Americans, including the first American ambassador killed in the line of duty in 33 years, critics of the Obama administration like to point out that none of the terrorists have been apprehended, but the filmmaker that the White House scapegoated still sits in prison.  The latter half of that argument becomes moot today, as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula/Mark Basseley Youssef will officially exit federal custody:

The man behind a film that stoked anti-U.S. protests across the Muslim world was due for release from federal custody in California on Thursday after serving time for probation violations stemming from his role in making the video.

The 56-year-old Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, Mark Basseley Youssef, gained public notice for the crudely made 13-minute anti-Islam video he produced in Southern California that portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and sexual deviant.

The film, circulated online under several titles including “The Innocence of Muslims,” touched off a torrent of anti-American demonstrations in Arab and Muslim countries, where many consider any depiction of the Prophet as blasphemous.

The start of the unrest on September 11, 2012, coincided with an attack on U.S. diplomatic posts in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Links between the Benghazi assault and Youssef’s film have since been debunked.

Yes they have, although it took a concerted effort to get the White House and State Department to finally admit it.  They sent then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice out to do the full Ginsburg on Sunday talk shows to spin that fairy tale, even in one instance on the same program where the president of Libya tried to explain that it was a terrorist attack.  The purveyor of that debunked, fraudulent claim now works as National Security Adviser to the President, of course.

While the claim was still extant, though, federal officials seized Youssef/Nakoula from his house in my home town of Cerritos, California.  The Reuters account has federal officials changing the context just a tad:

Youssef, a former gasoline station owner who previously served time for a 2010 bank fraud conviction, was sent back to prison last year after admitting that he breached the terms of his probation in connection with the making of the film.

Federal prosecutors insisted his arrest last September had nothing to do with the film’s content but with conduct that violated the terms of his probation, such as his use of aliases and the Internet, in the course of making the video.

Really?  Had nothing to do with the film, eh?  I guess federal officials make bad cinema on YouTube a high priority, just on the off chance that indie filmmakers might be violating parole.

The timing of the targeting of Nakoula shows that this claim is nonsense, anyway.  Federal and local law enforcement swarmed Nakoula’s neighborhood in Cerritos to detain him on September 15th, the day before Susan Rice offered a fairy tale to the American public rather than level with us about the nature of the terrorist attack.  He didn’t get formally arrested until twelve days later, when Allahpundit wrote this:

No word yet on what the violation was, but I assume it must be far more serious than using an alias or a computer. Given the insanity of the past two weeks, replete with the White House nudging Google to pull the video off of YouTube and the State Department running ads on Pakistani TV to apologize for a movie they had nothing to do with, I can’t quite believe the DOJ would risk the perception that they’re punishing this guy for a thoughtcrime unless something serious was involved. There has to be a real crime underlying this. Right?

As it turned out … no. Nakoula will have spent a year minus one day in official federal custody for parole violations, which would be understandable had those come to light before the White House and State Department set him up as a scapegoat for their own failures.

Now he’s out and on four years of probation.  Can we now get some real answers as to how we let Benghazi fall, and start holding people accountable — other than producers of laughably bad cinema?


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Nothing will happen Ed sad to say

cmsinaz on September 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

The film, circulated online under several titles including “The Innocence of Muslims,” touched off a torrent of anti-American demonstrations in Arab and Muslim countries, where many consider any depiction of the Prophet as blasphemous.

Panties in a wad Muslim Extremists…..stirred up in Benghazi over our running guns and missiles to Syria’s Al Queda you mean?

And remember MITT ROMNEY wouldn’t go after Obama on this when he KNEW that Obama was in effect supplying guns and other weapons to freaking AL QUEDA affiliates in Syria.

The fix was in with the Ruling class on this one.

The whole think stinks like the Stockyard on Saturday.

PappyD61 on September 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM

What difference…oh never mind.

hillsoftx on September 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM

I honestly don’t know what to make of this guy.

Victim?

Idiot?

Moron?

Political prisoner?

Not that sure I care.

Unless he’s a political prisoner. That would be shameful.

trigon on September 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Links between the Benghazi assault and Youssef’s film have since been debunked.

Who made these mysterious disembodied links that required debunking?

And who promised to punish this guy for something he had nothing to do with?

forest on September 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Now he’s out and on four years of probation. Can we now get some real answers as to how we let Benghazi fall, and start holding people accountable — other than producers of laughably bad cinema?

I actually commend this man for having the bravery to mock that vile, violent “religion.”

I will not jump on the bandwagon and put him down for the quality of this work.

Nakoula, many of us feel for you and wish we could support you!

bluegill on September 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Quick, let’s find him a free speech zone.

mjbrooks3 on September 26, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Remarkable that Reuters could cover this guy coming out of Hillary’s dungeon without mentioning Hillary – or Obama – or Susan Rice.

The Sec of State, Hillary Clinton, publicly announced that she was going to get this guy and punish him for her own screw ups in Benghazi. something he had nothing to do with. Then the guy ends up in prison for a year on an unrelated charge, and the threat doesn’t warrant a mention?

forest on September 26, 2013 at 8:59 AM

This would be a good time for someone in the GOP to publicly demand that President Obama and Hilliary Clinton apologize for repeatedly lying to the American people about the Benghazi attack, and in the process attacking the 1st Amendment.

They should be publicly shamed at every opportunity for this.

Rich H on September 26, 2013 at 9:03 AM

They sent then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice out to do the full Ginsburg on Sunday talk shows to spin that fairy tale, even in one instance on the same program where the president of Libya tried to explain that it was a terrorist attack

.

It was more nefarious than that. The Egyptian Embassy pre-apologized for the video on September 11th, 2012. On September 12th, 2012, both the rat-eared coward and Killary made the claim. Over $100K was spent in an ad campaign apologizing for the video. The rat-eared coward went before last year’s UN “dictator week” and made the claim about a video being responsible. In January of this year Killary’s “at this point, what difference does it make” comments suggested that there was still some credibilty to this claim.

It is more than time that the lazy stupid President come clean and tell the American people the truth about Benghazi.

What was the CIA doing in Benghazi?

How did Christopher Stevens die?

Whose blood was on that column?

Why has the CIA put some of those involved in witness protection programs?

Why wasn’t there a military response in the eight hours that the battle waged on?

Where was Killary on the night of the attack?

Who gave the order to stand down?

…… Bottom line, we know nothing about Benghazi except that it was not the result of a spontaneous attack, high administration officials lied their asses off about that video, and there is a massive cover-up that continues to this day.

Happy Nomad on September 26, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Remember fellow freedom fighters, if we speak too loudly on this issue the Ruling Class will condescendingly scold us for not realizing that this is a procedural dead-end – or in today’s Ruling Class parlance a “culdesac.”

mjbrooks3 on September 26, 2013 at 9:08 AM

An Egyption born Coptic Christian. You think maybe he has a little knowledge of the horrors of Islam??

TerryW on September 26, 2013 at 9:08 AM

A year less a day in prison, and four years of probation… for image management.

That’s worse than some “serious” cases of political imprisonment, when an opposition leader or someone like that is locked up; someone the regime fears, someone who is a real problem.

This is more like a tyrant locking up “one of the little people” out of whimsy, to strike a pose, and because they can do it and why not?

David Blue on September 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM

The 56-year-old Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, Mark Basseley Youssef, gained public notice for the crudely made 13-minute anti-Islam video he produced in Southern California that portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and sexual deviant.

After reading about the “sex jihads” and how they pack explosives up their heinnies for islam, hell yeah, they’re a bunch of fools and deviants.

Blake on September 26, 2013 at 9:10 AM

13-minute anti-Islam video he produced in Southern California that portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and sexual deviant.

It’s called a “documentary.”

mankai on September 26, 2013 at 9:14 AM

He was not the druid they were looking for….

joeeddie on September 26, 2013 at 9:15 AM

I actually commend this man for having the bravery to mock that vile, violent “religion.”

bluegill on September 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM

I agree.

I feel the same way about Tommy Robinson of the English Defence League. I don’t agree with everything he does and says, but it takes a lot of courage to take on a religion that habitually beheads its critics, and a politically correct government that prefers to continue full speed ahead with Islamic mass immigration, and lock up non-Muslims that talk back too vociferously.

The real criminals are in our treacherous governments.

David Blue on September 26, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Remember fellow freedom fighters, if we speak too loudly on this issue the Ruling Class will condescendingly scold us for not realizing that this is a procedural dead-end – or in today’s Ruling Class parlance a “culdesac.”

mjbrooks3 on September 26, 2013 at 9:08 AM

You are using vocabulary associated with resistance to Obamacare. Benghazi is “opportunist hype” over a non-scandal.

Happy Nomad on September 26, 2013 at 9:20 AM

It’s called a “documentary.”

mankai on September 26, 2013 at 9:14 AM

If that were true, Michael Moore would have been given the electric chair by now. ;0

Happy Nomad on September 26, 2013 at 9:21 AM

In other news, Ambassador Stevens has decided to stay in his grave because he’s dead.

Bishop on September 26, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Well, if we have to live in a totalitarian country at least it’s not the worst of the worst totalitarian countries…

BJ* on September 26, 2013 at 9:23 AM

In other news, Ambassador Stevens has decided to stay in his grave because he’s dead.

Bishop on September 26, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Even if we don’t know the location of that grave, the cause of death, or the reason why.

Happy Nomad on September 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Can we now get some real answers as to how we let Benghazi fall, and start holding people accountable — other than producers of laughably bad cinema?

No.

Oldnuke on September 26, 2013 at 9:33 AM

If that were true, Michael Moore would have been given the electric chair by now. ;0

Happy Nomad on September 26, 2013 at 9:21 AM

In California? To fry that much fat they’d have to put San Onofre back on line.

Oldnuke on September 26, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Im surprised the guy is still alive.I figured he would somehow hang himself in his cell.

docflash on September 26, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Well, if we have to live in a totalitarian country at least it’s not the worst of the worst totalitarian countries…

BJ* on September 26, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Our dictator has a Nobel, can Zimbabwe, China, North Korea, or Syria say that? Hell no they can’t. USA!

Bishop on September 26, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Glad to see that justice was served in this case…

Khun Joe on September 26, 2013 at 9:53 AM

In California? To fry that much fat they’d have to put San Onofre back on line.

Oldnuke on September 26, 2013 at 9:34 AM

I would guess that is the least of the problem. Where do you find an “extra husky” electric chair?

Happy Nomad on September 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Yes, never mind that the film had been online for weeks before the protests, much less the arrest, and that making an online video really has nothing at all to do with bank fraud.

The Schaef on September 26, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Has anybody seen Tony Rezko?

Fallon on September 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM

President Obama and Mrs. Clinton immediately created the unrest over the film, by deliberately calling endless attention to it, for the purpose of concealing the real reasons we were so vulnerable to (and unprepared for) the terrorist attack in Benghazi. In other words, were willing to sacrifice the filmmaker, and risk unleashing even greater violence against people belonging to the religious group of which the filmmaker is a nominal member, in order to cover their own backsides.

ansonia on September 26, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I would guess that is the least of the problem. Where do you find an “extra husky” electric chair?

Happy Nomad on September 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

That part is simple engineering. You just find another one and bolt the two together. That much power draw though could cause major problems for the already strained California grid. They may just have to resort to starving him to death. That could take a long time.

Oldnuke on September 26, 2013 at 10:59 AM

ore than a year after the terrorist attack in Benghazi claimed the lives of four Americans, including the first American ambassador killed in the line of duty in 33 years, critics of the Obama administration like to point out that none of the terrorists have been apprehended, but the filmmaker that the White House scapegoated still sits in prison. The latter half of that argument becomes moot today, as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula/Mark Basseley Youssef will officially exit federal custody:

I wonder if it feels moot to the scapegoat, after a year in prison for blaspheming the prophet of Islam.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 26, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Hillary has blood on he big body, along with obama, not only on Benghazi.

Schadenfreude on September 26, 2013 at 12:36 PM