With suspect under arrest, GOP finally decides to praise Obama on Benghazi. Ha ha, just kidding.

by Jed Lewison –    

McCain and Graham talk at the Fiscal Responsibility Summit at the White House in Washington

attribution: REUTERS

Last month, Sen. John McCain released a statement with his sidekick Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham accusing the Obama administration of sitting on its hands while letting Benghazi suspect Ahmed abu Khatallah roam freely. “Since we know where Ahmed abu Khattala is,” they asked, “why hasn’t he been detained?” Well, Khatallah has now been detained and is en route to the U.S. where he will face justice. Moreover, we’ve learned that far from sitting on its hands, the administration had a plan to capture him late last year, but postponed it because the operation would have been too risky. So given those facts, McCain and his pals should be pleased, and maybe even apologize for suggesting that Obama wasn’t trying hard enough to capture Khatallah, right? Of course not.

A pair of hawkish Republican senators [McCain and Graham] who have been outspoken critics of the Obama administration’s response to the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, swiftly called Tuesday for a captured suspect in the attacks to be held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Yes, this is the same McCain who just last year vowed to close Guantanamo, saying in a joint statement with Sen. Dianne Feinstein that he would “take the steps necessary to make that happen.” And it’s the same Lindsey Graham who along with McCain had falsely accused the administration of letting Khatallah off the hook.  But they’ve got a president to attack, and that’s more important than being consistent or conceding that they’ve been wrong at every step. Ayotte is no better, releasing a statement in which she suggested the administration was more concerned with legal process than protecting the nation:

Rather than rushing to read him his Miranda rights and telling him he has the right to remain silent, I hope the administration will focus on collecting the intelligence necessary to prevent future attacks and to find other terrorists responsible for the Benghazi attacks.

Ayotte has absolutely zero evidence to suggest that the Obama administration is doing anything that would make future attacks more likely, but that didn’t stop her from raising the possibility that the president is effectively on the terrorists’ side. And both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner are saying the same thing.

For two years they’ve been attacking Obama for not capturing anyone responsible for Benghazi, but now that Khatallah has been captured in a flawless operation, they’ve decided its time to launch a new attack. Their collective response should make it clear to anyone who had any doubts that the GOP’s Benghazi attacks aren’t really about Benghazi: They’re about the GOP’s opposition to Obama, no matter what he does.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos


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