Fox News contributor Allen West dismissed the recent capture of Benghazi terrorist suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala as a “smoke and mirrors” ploy and questioned whether Abu Khattala was really the “mastermind” behind the attacks or “the Obama administration's fall guy.” Yet West just months ago co-signed a letter calling for Khattala's capture because he was the “ringleader of the attack.”
During an appearance today on Fox News Radio, West said that Abu Khattala has been “seen out in public and everything, and now all of a sudden the American people are supposed to believe that he is the mastermind?” He added: “He ends up being the Obama administration's fall guy. Just the same as the poor guy who produced the quote, unquote, anti-Islamic video,” a reference to Innocence of Muslims filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
On January 6, West co-signed a letter to House Speaker John Boehner demanding a Benghazi select committee and calling for the capture of Abu Khattala. The letter, which is posted on West's website, states:
Not a single terrorist in this well-planned and executed military attack by radical Islamists has been apprehended. Ahmed Abu Khattala, a ringleader of the attack, granted long interviews to reporters in Benghazi cafes, while the Obama administration -- and you -- have done nothing. Nearly 16 months after the terrorist attack, American public has no accountability and no plan of action from House leadership.
On the radio, West also bizarrely claimed that the attention on Benghazi was distraction from matters such as Iraq and immigration, stating: “This is all smoke and mirrors. This all distraction. This all wag the dog stuff coming out of the Obama administration while we have a serious situation going on in Baghdad, while we have a serious situation going in on our southern border.” (To “wag the dog” means to “purposely divert attention from what would otherwise be of greater importance, to something else of lesser significance.” ) West similarly wrote on his website yesterday that Abu Khattala was “conveniently captured to deflect attention from all the other nightmares.”
Listen to West's comments from the June 18 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends:
WEST: This is the whole wag the dog thing when you have so many other things that are going bad and unfortunately, this is what the president thought he would have a good news story with the Bowe Bergdahl release and brought the family up there to the Rose Garden. That backfired on him. You know, 642 days from the attack in Benghazi to the time when we get one guy. One guy who has been giving interviews. One guy who has been, you know, seen out in public and everything, and now all of a sudden the American people are supposed to believe that he is the mastermind?
BRIAN KILMEADE: He was available. He said he would even talk to U.S. authorities, he just would not submit to an interrogation. So we can't pretend as if this is some huge get.
WEST: No you cannot pretend but the Obama administration -- I read The New York Times piece today -- they needed this good news story. But once again, as you peel back the surface, it's not really a good news story. It's more of a, 'Why did it take so long?'
WEST: He ends up being the Obama administration's fall guy. Just the same as the poor guy who produced the quote, unquote, anti-Islamic video. It was really interesting to hear Hillary Clinton, you know, stumble and mumble over the question that Bret Baier asked her last night about, you know, the whole story behind the video. This is all smoke and mirrors. This all distraction. This all wag the dog stuff coming out of the Obama administration while we have a serious situation going on in Baghdad, we have a serious situation going in on our southern border.