The Benghazi Trial is Under Way

Sadly, however, Hillary Clinton will not be taking the stand in Washington, D.C.

But some of the arguments she used when trying to obfuscate what happened on September 12, 2012 when four Americans died at the Benghazi compound and the CIA Annex nearby seem to be alive and well in the trial of Abu Khatallah, the man charged with planning the attack.

Abu Khatallah is facing 18 counts related to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, including murder and providing material support to terrorists. His long-awaited trial began Monday in Washington, D.C.

Federal prosecutors said that Khatallah planned and oversaw the attack, and that he bears responsibility for the four Americans that died on the night of September 11, 2012. Defendants, meanwhile, described Khatallah as a “soft target”—someone the U.S. government could easily blame for the violence at the U.S. mission and CIA annex…

The defense argued that Khatallah was not the ringleader or mastermind behind the attack, nor did he participate in it. Other individuals masterminded the attacks and boasted about it, Robinson said—information that he described as classified.

The U.S. and Libya had chosen Khatallah as someone who “can be blamed,” Robinson said.

“Why is Mr. Abu Khatallah the only defendant here?” he continued. “He’s sitting there because he was easy.”

Sounds like the defense for Mr. Khatallah is trying to co-opt the public disgust at Hillary Clinton’s post-attack attempt to finger the “easy” filmmaker of “The Innocence of Muslims.” Filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian is now living in poverty following the former Madam Secretary’s erroneous allegations that led to his unjustified jailing.

The prosecutors in Khatallah’s case asserted that he was the planner of the attack and that he manned the perimeter of the Benghazi compound once the attack began so that no locals could help the Americans.

“Why?” asked Assistant U.S. attorney John Crabb. “Because they were Americans, and that man right there hates America with a vengeance.”

Neither side brought up Khatallah’s alleged ties to terrorist organizations. The rumor is those associations are currently classified and cannot be revealed in court. Although, “early on [Crabb] mentioned [Khatallah’s] role in the Islamist militia Ubaydah Bin Jarrah (UBJ). UBJ aimed to establish Sharia law in Libya, and the government has previously said that Khattalah was its commander. Crabb also mentioned Ansar al-Sharia (AAS), which he said was affiliated with UBJ, and which the government has said merged with AAS around 2011. AAS in Libya has been linked to al-Qaeda.”

The trial is expected to last several weeks and jurors were told they would hear from a man paid by the U.S government to get close to Khatallah, Libyans and Americans who were on the scene at the time of the attack, and technical experts.