A nice catch from the Standard. Actually, John King never says that the FBI can’t find the Benghazi suspects, only that they’ve never contacted the guy whom CNN interviewed. Why? According to an AP story published in May, the feds are keeping their distance because they’re surveilling them electronically. (Them and everyone else in the world, right?) As of two months ago, they supposedly had enough evidence on the suspects to justify sending in troops to grab them but not enough to support either a drone strike or a trial in federal district court. A C-in-C who’s willing to authorize attacks from the air in Pakistan on targets whose identities he doesn’t even know is apparently a stickler for due process when it comes to Benghazi. Go figure.
That was two months ago, though. Two months later, they … still don’t have the evidence they need? My theory at the time, which I see no reason to revisit, is that O’s determined not to make any sudden moves militarily towards Libya while the new central government there is unstable. If he sends in the Marines to grab the suspects, it’ll give the local jihadis a pretext to rally Libyans against the new government for being “puppets of America” or whatever. (The Libyan government already released one Benghazi suspect whom they had in custody, in fact.) If anything, that logic is truer today than it was in May: Just look at what happened last week. Maybe O thinks that it’s fine to hold off on capturing them for now so long as America’s eye in the sky knows where they are; maybe he’s planning a big operation for around September 11, the one-year anniversary of the attack, to trump the inevitable headlines that nothing’s been done to get the bad guys if he fails to act. Or maybe Obama would prefer not to dredge up a political liability like Benghazi by grabbing these guys and bringing them back to America, where they’ll remind the world through their lawyers just how little security there was at the consulate. When the time is right, he’ll drone a few of them. Some of the others might solve his problem for him by decamping to Libya to fight against Assad, where they’ll be ostensible U.S., ahem, “allies.” We need able-bodied “freedom fighters” on the ground there and some of these degenerates would surely be both willing and able. See? He knows what he’s doing.