CAITLIN MACNEAL – JUNE 17, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT
The news that U.S. Special Forces captured a Libyan militant accused of leading the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi in 2012 was clearly meant to distract from the real scandal at hand, whatever that is.
Almost immediately following the reports that Ahmed Abu Khattala was in U.S. custody, conservatives furthered their distraction meme, questioning the motives and timing behind Khattala's capture.
Fox News' Kennedy suggested that the the news was timed to boost Hillary Clinton's book tour and distract from her role in the administration's response to the Benghazi attack.
“You have a former Secretary of State who is in the middle of a high profile book tour, I think this is convenient for her to shift the talking points to some of the things she has been discussing," Kennedy said on Fox's "Outnumbered" right after the news of the captor broke, as recorded by Think Progress.
Fox News contributor Peter Hegseth said on "Outnumbered" that the news timed before Hillary Clinton's interview with Fox News Tuesday night was "all too neat."
"I think this thing needs to be tied in a bow for certain individuals to have a clean break from an incident that have become and will continue to be a scandal and an anchor around a certain individuals neck who may want to run for president," he said, as recorded by the Huffington Post.
Fox News' "Happening Now" host Jon Scott also questioned the timing of Khattala's capture, criticizing the administration for taking so long to bring a suspect who was "out sitting in sidewalk cafes meeting with reporters."
Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) charged that the Benghazi news, typically the scandal everything else is meant to distract from, was planned to distract from Obama's other scandals.
Allen West ✔ @AllenWest
Squirrel! #Benghazi suspect conveniently captured to deflect attention from all the other nightmares http://bit.ly/1uB6eCN #tcot
12:31 PM - 17 Jun 2014
Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) was also skeptical of the Obama administration's timing.
Joe Walsh @WalshFreedom
Glad we nabbed a #Benghazi suspect, but the timing is questionable. Did they let him wander, waiting for the perfect political opportunity?
10:53 AM - 17 Jun 2014
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh chimed in to question the timing of the news, pivoting to the Obama administration's talking points following the 2012 Benghazi attack and the IRS scandal.
"Isn't it an amazing, timely coincidence here that they have found a militia leader of the Benghazi attack and they've arrested him?" Limbaugh asked on his show Tuesday. "So I guess the video really wasn't to blame. Because the guy that did the video is in jail, he's who knows where anymore. Remember the video made these guys do it, so whoever did this really can't be blamed. They were just incited by this video. But all of a sudden we've got the militia leader."
"But isn't it fortunate that President Obama get a headline using the US military when he really needs one," Limbaugh continued. "So I'm now waiting for FBI Special Forces to capture Lois Lerner's missing e-mails. Of course that's not a headline Obama wants, so that probably isn't gonna happen."
Rory Cooper, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) communications director, quickly pointed to the fact that journalists had already interviewed Khattala before he was captured.
Rory Cooper @rorycooper
While it's great to see they caught the Benghazi suspect, it's important to remember, he wasn't really hiding: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-calderone/benghazi-journalists-ahmed-abu-khattala_b_4397963.html …
10:43 AM - 17 Jun 2014
The Media Has No Trouble Finding Benghazi Suspect
It hasn't been hard for western media outlets to find Benghazi attack suspect.
HuffPost Media @HuffPostMedia
And Sen. Lindsey Graham took the opportunity to criticize the Obama administration's interrogation policies.
Lindsey Graham ✔ @GrahamBlog
Holding Khattala on a ship shows the haphazard approach which comes from not having rational detention & interrogation policies. #Benghazi
11:17 AM - 17 Jun 2014