Americans are shocked by Tuesday’s verdict clearing Benghazi terrorist Ahmed Abu Khattala of murder.
Khattala was tried by a federal jury and found guilty on four counts, Fox News reports. The convictions include counts of providing material support for terrorism and destroying property and placing lives in jeopardy at the US government facilities in Benghazi, where US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed.
But Khatala was acquitted on 14 counts, including some of the most serious charges–like murder.
The family of two of the four Americans killed in the 2012 attack condemned the verdict.
Charles Woods, father of slain CIA contractor Tyrone S. Woods, lamented the Obama administration’s handling of Khattala, whom he believes should never have been given constitutional rights in an American court.
“I am very bothered by the fact the U.S. government gave constitutional rights and due process rights to a foreign national who allegedly killed Americans outside the US,” Woods said. “This is what bothered me from the very beginning.”
Khattala’s defense team has been the subject of intense criticism, particularly for their reasoning that no one could prove that the Libyan terrorist “hated America.”
Woods, who is a retired lawyer, also called Khattala’s acquittal on the murder charges a “total miscarriage of justice.”
“An accessory to murder is also guilty of murder. Speaking as a retired attorney, if you have a bank robber who’s driving the getaway car, he is just as responsible for murder as his accomplice that goes into the bank and pulls the trigger. For that reason, Khattala should have been convicted or murder as well as being an accessory.”
The grieving father accused the Obama administration of granting more rights to foreign terrorists than to American citizens.
“In the previous administration, they were known for taking away from American citizens our constitutional rights. Our due process rights, First Amendment rights, Second Amendment rights. Yet they were willing, the previous administration was willing to give constitutional rights to a terrorist who committed murder of American citizens outside the United States. Should have been tried and convicted in a military trial.”
Another outspoken parent Pat Smith, the mother of US Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.
“I think the people who bear responsibility — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — aren’t even touched,” Smith said, who claims former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stilled not called her despite promising to do so.
Mark Geist, a CIA contractor who survived the Benghazi attack, spoke respectfully about his colleagues, saying “[i]t was an honor to be able to testify at the trial and be the voice for Ty and Glen [and to] finally have the government validate the truth as we told it.”
Geist also believes Khattala will ultimately face divine justice.
“As for Abu Khattala, through his belief he thinks he will be martyred,” Geist said. “But he will have to enter a greater court, and have to give an account to a greater judge and I have no doubt he will receive a greater sentence.”