The U.S. government has filed the first charges in connection with last year’s attacks on a diplomatic post in Benghazi, with federal investigators filing a sealed complaint in New York against Libyan militia leader Ahmed Khattalah.
CNN’s sources wouldn’t reveal exactly what the charges against Khattalah are or when they were filed, but their mere existence is the most significant public progress the government has made to date on the Benghazi case.
Khattalah hasn’t exactly kept a low-profile. He allowed himself to be interviewed just last week, boasting that no one from either the Libyan or American investigative team has questioned him in connection with the attacks and acknowledging being on the ground at the compound when they took place.
Up until today, it’s seemed as if most news on the Benghazi front has been about the government either lacking factual information in the wake of the attacks, or attempting to hide information from the public about them.
Such was the case last week, when CNN reported that the CIA had dozens of agents on site during the attack, and has been instructing said agents to keep quiet on their involvement. The issue has become fodder both for Republicans seeking to damage the Obama Administration's credibility and garden-variety conspiracy theorists seeking to damage the Obama Administration's credibility.
The federal probe into what exactly happened on the attacks of September 11 2012 — in which U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed — has been led by FBI agents based in the New York field office. Washington-based agents have helped as well, traveling to Libya to interview hundreds of witnesses.