It’s been over 11 weeks since the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of four Americans. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged that those responsible would be brought to justice. So far, that hasn’t happened.
At the end of October, the fbi was granted permission by Tunisia to question one of the few suspects in the attack, Ali Harzi. He was being detained in Tunisia after being arrested in Turkey. Tunisia granted the U.S. permission to question the suspect after Republican senators Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham pressed Tunisian authorities. “It isn’t clear what pressure the Obama administration had been applying” prior to that, Fox News reported November 2. The letter said that not allowing the U.S. access “could damage relations and might result in an aid cutoff to the North African state,” the Jerusalem Post reported. Up until this threat of removing economic aid, Tunisia had refused to allow America access to the suspect.
The involvement of Harzi is not fully known, though he is “strongly suspected” of having been involved in the attack. Harzi was arrested along with another man on October 3 in Turkey when they tried to cross the border with fake passports. On October 11, the Turkish government repatriated the two to their native country of Tunisia, where arrest warrants were issued for both on charges of “membership of a terrorist organization in a time of peace in another country.”
Also in Tunisia, the first conviction was issued in October to a leading member of Ansar al-Sharia, the group considered most responsible for the Benghazi strike. He was sentenced to one year in prison for “inciting an attack.”
Getting to the bottom of the Benghazi attack is proving to be a long, drawn-out string of cover-ups and investigations that may never be fully resolved.
On October 4, Thomas Pickering was appointed by President Obama to head up the “Accountability Review Board” that is responsible for investigating the Benghazi attack. On the surface, Pickering looks like an excellent choice for the position. A retired diplomat and State Department official, he has been America’s ambassador to Russia, Israel, El Salvador, Jordan, India, Nigeria and the United Nations. Undoubtedly he is a skilled diplomat.
But underneath his impressive résumé lies a leftist ideology that falls right in stride with the current administration. Pickering has been involved with pro-Islamist organizations for years now. He has had ties to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (cair), which was listed in 2008 as “an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist money laundering case in U.S. history,” accused of funneling money to Hamas. To go along with that, he is currently a co-chairman on the International Crisis Group, an organization that is funded by billionaire George Soros and strives for better relations with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
With such a pro-Islamist heading the investigation committee, it is hard to imagine that we will ever find out what really happened in Benghazi. To keep an eye on Pickering’s investigation, the State Department is planning on conducting reviews of its own review board.
It makes sense to keep tabs on a man who has referred to America as “a seething hotbed for ‘Islamophobia,’” and has ties to the two principle individuals who wanted to build a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City. What doesn’t make sense is to place him at the head of an investigation trying to uncover the truth about the day four Americans died at the hands of radical Islamists. ▪