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Politics: Libyan official says they don't have the 'power' to catch embassy killers

Published by: Robert Laurie on Friday September 21st, 2012

Robert Laurie

By ROBERT LAURIE - Don't hold your breath waiting for Libya's assistance in capturing Ambassador's murderers

One day after the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, President Obama took to the airwaves.  “Make no mistake,” he said. “We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”

Two days later, on September 14th, Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf said everyone within his government was "determined" to catch those who destroyed the U.S. embassy and murdered four Americans.

Now, if Obama and Magariaf want to see justice served, they'll probably have to do it with the assistance of Libya's government.  According to Interior Ministry spokesman Izzedine Fezzen, Libya doesn't have the "power" to find, arrest, and prosecute whoever committed these crimes.

“We don’t have enough power to catch them,” Fezzen told CBS News.

His comments were reiterated by the Benghazi attorney general who said his country and city lacked the “expertise or technology to do a proper investigation.”

Clearly, Libya is a struggling nation, overrun with war, chaos, and *ahem* the Muslim Brotherhood. Their lack of investigative ability is hardly surprising, and their resolve in the matter was questioned from the instant the killings took place.  However, to hear such high-ranking officials downplay their know-how and technology is telling.

Given the obvious disdain with which Libyan citizens seem to view the U.S., it's fair to wonder: Is their government unable, or simply uninterested?

The United States has sent roughly $200 million to Libya since the rebel uprisings in 2011. Maybe - just maybe - they should consider spending some of that money on this effort. If they're not willing to do so, we have yet another reason to reconsider our generosity.