Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Justice Served

From the Washington Post:

The United States has killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda and one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists, who, alongside the group’s founder, Osama bin Laden, oversaw the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Biden announced Monday evening.

Zawahiri was killed in a CIA drone strike in Kabul over the weekend, according to U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

When U.S. forces withdrew from Afghanistan last August, Biden administration officials said they would retain capability for “over-the-horizon” attacks from elsewhere on terrorist forces inside Afghanistan. The attack against Zawahiri is the first known counterterrorism strike there since the withdrawal.

Speaking in a live television address from a balcony at the White House, Biden announced that days ago he had authorized a strike to kill Zawahiri. “Justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said.

The strike occurred at 9:48 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on the operation. A drone fired two Hellfire missiles at Zawahiri as he stepped onto the balcony of a safe house in Kabul, where he had been living with members of his family, the official said.

And then there’s this:

The first U.S. Capitol riot defendant convicted at trial was sentenced to more than seven years in prison Monday, the longest punishment handed down to date over the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress.

Guy Reffitt, a recruiter for the right-wing Three Percenters movement in Texas, was convicted March 8 of five felony offenses, including obstruction of Congress as it met to certify the 2020 election result, interfering with police and carrying a firearm to a riot, and threatening his teenage son, who turned him in to the FBI. Prosecutors said Reffitt led a mob while armed at the Capitol and asked a judge to sentence him to 15 years after applying a terrorism sentencing penalty.

U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich condemned Reffitt’s conduct in handing down an 87-month sentence, saying in a nearly six-hour hearing that his views espousing political violence were “absurd,” “delusional” and “way outside of the mainstream.”

What Reffitt and others did at the Capitol “is the antithesis of patriotism,” Friedrich said, adding: “Not only are they not patriots, they are a direct threat to our democracy, and will be punished as such.”

Reffitt, who has proclaimed himself a “martyr” from prison, sought to legitimize efforts by himself and others to foment a rebellion against so-called government tyranny, “believing he was going to forcibly remove [state and federal] legislatures and install a new government that will be approved by judges and the Constitution,” the judge said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing. And to this day, he has not disavowed these comments,” said Friedrich, a 2017 Trump appointee.

One was an Egyptian surgeon, the other a Fox-addled gun nut from Texas. Other than that, they’re basically the same: terrorists with no respect for human life.


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