A good question, implicitly posed by the existence of a two-hour interview CNN got with a “person of interest” in the Benghazi attack now explicitly posed by a group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill:
A Republican lawmaker demanded Wednesday to know why investigators have not captured or killed any of the suspects in the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, pointing out that CNN was able to find a man who some say was the ringleader in the assault that left the ambassador and three other Americans dead.
Eight GOP lawmakers are asking that new FBI Director James Comey brief Congress within 30 days about the investigation. They say the administration’s inquiry into the September 11, 2011, attacks in Libya has been “simply unacceptable,” according to a draft letter obtained by CNN.
“One of the pertinent questions today is why we have not captured or killed the terrorist who committed these attacks?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told reporters. “News out today that CNN was able to go in and talk to one of the suspected terrorists, how come the military hasn’t been able to get after them and capture or kill the people? How come the FBI isn’t doing this and yet CNN is?”
No word on why CNN is sending assets all the way to Libya hot on the trail of a “phony scandal” when even the FBI has decided not to bother interviewing the principals. Some news judgment, guys. Sheesh.
Ed Henry of Fox News picked up the thread at the press briefing today, and was told, well, pretty much the exact same thing President Obama said after the attacks in September of last year:
How is it that someone who’s potentially a lead suspect in this terror attack could sit down with a media organization for a couple of hours and never be contacted by the FBI? How serious is–
CARNEY: Well, I would refer you to the FBI for details of their investigation. I”m not aware of anything beyond what you just said in terms of that report. The President has absolutely instructed his team to do everything they can to bring to justice those who are responsible for the deaths of four Americas, and that has been his priority from Day 1, as he made clear from Day 1. And, he will make that clear repeatedly as he’s updated on this process, but in terms of that specific report, I would refer you to the FBI.
Are you not assured, America? You know who the real culprit is, here? The nation’s most-wanted, most-elusive, dastardly criminal— the guy who keeps the president from being clear. Because I’m sure it will be of great comfort to the families of the fallen that he promises to continue to be clear about his fierce commitment to getting justice for four Americans killed in a “phony scandal” while possible suspects in their deaths sit around enjoying baklava in their balaclavas.
It seems like the barest of bare minimums to have tracked down a few of these people for interviews, just as it seemed like the barest of minimums to have investigated the attack site fewer than two weeks after it happened. Executing actions that reflect one’s words are traditionally a pretty good way of making sure one is clear. In counter-terrorism, I’m sure circumstances sometimes dictate the hot pursuit of justice looks rather cold from the outside, but the behavior of the administration on Benghazi, up to and including calling it “phony,” has suggested that if Republicans, conservatives, and reporters weren’t asking questions, no one would be. As of today, it seems that’s literally the case.