TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Trying Ahmed Abu Khatalla: A military tribunal is the only appropriate venue

Daily Photo Galleries

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

First, all due kudos to those responsible for the capture, albeit tardily, of the terrorist thug suspected of directing the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Thanks to the intrepid work of Delta Force commandos and the FBI, a very bad actor is in American custody. The days of Ahmed Abu Khatalla sipping tea at his mother's house, entertaining the inquiries of Western journalists and publicly mocking the United States appear to be over. Or, when it comes to the latter, maybe not.

What's far from over is the debate about what Mr. Abu Khatalla is. Is he a civilian criminal who, as the Obama administration once again is planning, should be tried in our civilian criminal justice system and, in the process, handed a valuable propaganda tool? Or is he an enemy combatant, as more than a few veteran prosecutors contend, and a transnational terrorist, as others more adroitly characterize him, who should be tried by a military tribunal?

By definition, Abu Khatalla is the latter. As Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the former prosecutor leading a House committee's investigation into the Benghazi attack, succinctly put it, “A non-U.S. citizen who committed a crime outside of the United States in what can only be defined as an act of terror tantamount more to a war than a criminal code violation puts me in the camp of arguing for a noncivilian court trial.”

The venue question should be moot. That it isn't not only suggests that the Obama administration seeks its own propaganda pedestal but that it continues to fail to understand the true nature of the war Islamofascists are waging.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Starkey: Pitt does its duty
  2. Wedding aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper ends in arrests
  3. Steelers Lookahead: Previewing Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland
  4. RX Fit brings cross-training to Ford City
  5. Ford City explores beefing up code enforcement
  6. New Dayton food pantry sees more people each week
  7. Pirates notebook: Sanchez returns to Bucs in offensive slump
  8. Pa. judge identified who denied Trib request to view sexually explicit emails circulated in AG’s Office
  9. Virginia GOP Senate candidate Gillespie piles up mileage in pursuit of Warner
  10. If ‘evil’ doesn’t apply to ISIS, what does?
  11. TED Talks event to appeal to Pittsburgh millenials
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.