POLITICS
06/17/2014 06:11 pm ET Updated Jun 17, 2014

HUFFPOST HILL - Actual Benghazi Truths

The captured militant allegedly behind the Benghazi attack says he was provoked by "The Innocence of Muslims" -- Secretary of State Susan Rice couldn't be reached for comment. Washington is becoming too expensive for most young people, evidenced by the spike in the region’s mixologists per capita. And Rick Perry says he's "more Jewish than you think I am," recalling the time someone asked him, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” and he replied, “We eat only matzah, we eat only bitter herbs... and... uh... um…" This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, June 17th, 2014:

U.S. CAPTURES BENGHAZI SUSPECT, DISTRACTING AMERICANS FROM BENGHAZI - Right now an intern is drawing up a bunch of Iraq talking points on flashcards for Lindsey Graham to memorize. AP: "A Libyan militant suspected in the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack on Americans in Benghazi has been captured and is in U.S. custody, marking the first U.S. apprehension of an alleged perpetrator in the assault that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Obama administration officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala, a senior leader of the Benghazi branch of the terror group Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, will be tried in U.S. court. He was captured by U.S. forces on Sunday and is being held in an undisclosed location outside of Libya, according to the Pentagon press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the capture makes clear that the U.S. is fulfilling its pledge to bring to justice those responsible 'The capture of Abu Khattala is not the end of that effort but it marks an important milestone,' Carney said...Last year, the U.S. filed charges against Khattala and a number of others in a sealed complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington. However, until now, no one had been arrested in the attack in which a group of militants set fire to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi...According to a U.S. official, the operation that captured Abu Khattala was planned over a long period of time and executed by U.S. special operations forces. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to disclose sensitive details by name, said the operation was conducted in conjunction with the FBI." [AP]

#Benghazitruths: "What he did in the period just before the attack has remained unclear. But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video." [NYT]

Reid MAD - Mike McAuliff: "After a handful of Republicans suggested on TV and social media that the apprehension of alleged Benghazi, Libya, attacker Ahmed Abu Khatalla was less than impressive, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used his weekly news conference to hammer the GOP response as 'pathetic' and 'disgusting.'" [HuffPost]

Peak McCain: "Moments after news broke that U.S. special forces had captured one of the suspected ringleaders in the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said they knew the perfect place to send him: Guantanamo Bay. McCain and Graham, two of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration's handling of Benghazi, both praised the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala on Tuesday. But they expressed reservations about bringing Abu Khattala, who U.S. officials say was captured on Sunday, to American soil. 'Guantanamo [is] where we put terrorists, where we apprehend them,' McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill. 'Where else can you take him to?'" [HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui and Grim]

Hi, you've reached the automated John McCain national security response hotline. Press 1 to demand troops be sent to quell you adversary. Press 2 to demand your adversary be sent to Guantanamo. Press 3 to indiscriminately ship arms to a rebel group opposing your adversary. Press 4 if your soup is too hot.

Most journalists bail to PR, academia or government if things don't work out -- apparently bounty hunting is also an appropriate career switch: "Ahmed Abu Khattala, the terror suspect apprehended Sunday by U.S. special operations forces, may have eluded capture by the U.S. government for 21 months, but he certainly didn’t hide from the media. Since the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, Abu Khattala has given interviews to The New York Times, Reuters, CNN, Fox News and the Times of London. The question of timing immediately became a hot topic on cable news following reports of his capture. And during Tuesday's press briefing, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was asked why it took so long to capture Abu Khattala, given that he seemed to be living out in the open and meeting frequently with journalists. 'Terrorists go to great lengths to evade capture,' Kirby responded. 'It can be a complicated process trying to get at them. You don't ever want to execute a mission like this, a complicated mission like this, without having the proper information and resources all in place.'" [HuffPost's Michael Calderone]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - PASTED: The Email of the Working Poor: "While I love my job I can't make ends meet on the salary I earn. I travel up to 60 miles a day to see the sick and dying, and it scares me that my car will leave me on the side of the road because I don't make enough to afford the repairs it desperately needs. I frequently eat at my elderly mother's house (thank God for mothers) because I can't afford to buy food either. After paying rent, utilities and gas, my hi-weekly paycheck is gone like yesterday's dreams." Hang in there.

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WHITE HOUSE TO MEET WITH LGBT ACTIVISTS - The gay agenda stretches all the way to the West Wing. Amanda Terkel: "The White House has scheduled a meeting Thursday with gay rights activists, to discuss moving forward on barring workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and providing benefits to same-sex couples. According to a copy of the invitation obtained by The Huffington Post, the meeting will focus on the fallout from the Supreme Court's United States v. Windsor decision, which overturned a major portion of the law that barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages. It will also address the White House's announcement on Monday that President Barack Obama has directed his staff to draft an executive order that would ban LGBT workplace discrimination among federal contractors...According to a source with knowledge of Thursday's meeting, Social Security and veterans benefits are expected to be brought up as two areas where the administration has not been able to apply the Windsor ruling and needs legislation to make them accessible to all gay married couples regardless of where they live." [HuffPost]

Series of tubes update: "The book “Flash Boys” sounded the alarm about a potentially rigged stock market system, prompting the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs' investigative subcommittee to hold a hearing on high-frequency trading. But only three of the committee's 14 members showed up to ask questions. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) attended the hearing, which probed investor confidence in the stock market and potential conflicts of interest stemming from flash trading. Finance experts Robert Battalio and Bradley Katsuyama testified during the hearing's first panel." [HuffPost]

Good news from our ongoing mission to preserve Iraq's territorial integrity! "In a statement that could have a dramatic impact on regional politics in the Middle East, a spokesman for Turkey's ruling party recently told a Kurdish media outlet that the Kurds in Iraq have the right to self-determination. The statement has been relatively overlooked so far, but could signal a shift in policy as Turkey has long been a principal opponent of Kurdish independence, which would mean a partitioning of Iraq." [HuffPost's Sophia Jones and Grim]

OBAMA MAKING FEDERAL JUDICIARY MORE DIVERSE - Jen Bendery: "The Senate made history on Tuesday with its vote to confirm Darrin Gayles to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Gayles, who was confirmed 98-0, is the nation's first openly gay African-American man to be confirmed to the federal bench. His vote came just after the Senate confirmed Staci Yandle to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, by a vote of 52-44. She marks some milestones of her own as the first black lesbian federal judge in two decades and the second one in the nation's history. The first, Judge Deborah Batts, was sworn in during June 1994....By a vote of 92-4, the Senate also confirmed Salvador Mendoza to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, making him the first Hispanic federal judge to serve in that region of Washington. The latest confirmations come as the Senate has been plowing through President Barack Obama's nominees, and they reflect the diversity that will remain on the federal judiciary long after he is gone. A White House aide said Obama has appointed more female judges than any other president, breaking the record previously set by President Bill Clinton. He has also appointed more Hispanic judges than any other president, breaking the record previously held by President George W. Bush. Obama has also appointed more Asian-American judges than all presidents combined and has nominated 12 openly gay federal judges. Last month, the Senate confirmed the first-ever Native American female federal judge in the nation's history." [HuffPost]

World Cup play-by-play or Economist headline? "Algeria and Belgium: Back on Equal Terms" "Belgium Back in Business"

IRAQ WAR HAWKS MAKING COMEBACK TOUR - The best part was when the lights dimmed and Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol did a solo acoustic rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Amazing. Michael Calderone: "In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Paul Bremer criticized the Obama administration’s policy in the Middle East and argued that the United States needs to make “a clear commitment to help restabilize Iraq.' Notably, Bremer’s op-ed -- 'Only America Can Prevent a Disaster in Iraq' -- neglected to mention his own role in helping to destabilize Iraq following the Bush administration’s disastrous 2003 invasion. As U.S. presidential envoy to the nation, Bremer disbanded the Iraqi army at the beginning of the occupation, a critical blunder that was followed by years of sectarian violence...Now Bremer and others who were largely discredited when it comes to Iraq are back in the spotlight, and they're being treated as credible experts on the growing chaos in the country...Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who pushed for the Iraq invasion soon after the unrelated 9/11 attacks, appeared Sunday on NBC’s 'Meet the Press.' Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, one of the most influential media figures to have promoted the war, could be found talking Iraq across the dial on ABC’s 'This Week.' In recent days, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose legacy is inextricably linked to his backing of Bush in Iraq, called for intervention. Former Bush-era officials Doug Feith, in Politico, and Andrew Card, on CNN and Fox News, have taken aim at the Obama administration for its Iraq policy and the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December 2011. Historian and prominent Iraq war-supporter Robert Kaganexpressed support for U.S. intervention Monday in a New York Times profile." [HuffPost]

Photo of sad-looking Chuck Schumer carrying a sixer of Brooklyn Lager.

RICK PERRY, LADIES AND GERMS - The opener from Mark Leibovich's latest for the Times Magazine: "'Boys, I am going to bless this meal,'" Rick Perry said, ducking his head and folding his hands under his chin. We were sitting at Nate ’n Al, the Jewish Deli in Beverly Hills, and the governor of Texas was looking every bit the regular customer in a tight black polo shirt and designer glasses. His face was nicely tanned; his hair, as ever, was coifed and TV-ready. He had just ordered a corned-beef Reuben ('I worked out this morning') and a Diet Dr Pepper ('you got those critters?' he asked the waiter). But before diving in, Perry took a moment to appreciate his surroundings. 'I’m more Jewish than you think I am,' he told me. 'I read the part of the Bible that said the Jews are God’s chosen people.' He boasted that he has been going to Israel since 1992. Then Perry got down to business, thanking the Lord for His many blessings, and asking Him to be with 'our men and women who defend our freedom, bring ’em home safe, be with the president, give him wisdom.'" [NYT]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a dog being serenaded.

WASHINGTON IS EXPENSIVE - Case in point: If you were on 14th Street last night, finding a bar to watch the World Cup was tremendously difficult. Finding a bar airing a black-and-white Groucho Marx movie or one with a happy hour deal on sweetbreads was... far easier. WaPo: "Amid the talk of young newcomers and their fondness for social leagues and artisanal-coffee shops, another reality exists: Many are struggling to keep pace with the city’s rising cost of housing. And as new millennials move into the District, older members of that generation — loosely defined as ranging from 18 to 34 years old — are heading out. The churn adds another layer to the District’s affordable-housing debate as rents skyrocket and thousands of low-income residents struggle to find places to live. Young transients are feeling that squeeze in another way, residents and experts say, cramming into apartments and forgoing cars to be able to make rent. But those conditions can wear thin... The most recent city data show that while the median age of those moving into the District is about 26, the median age of those migrating out is 29. Of the 59,000 people who left the District in 2012, about 44 percent ranged from 20 to 34 years old. Those leaving were likely to be college-educated and have an income above $50,000." [WaPo]

COMFORT FOOD

- OK Go's latest music video is predictably gimmicky. [http://bit.ly/1lBecLl]

- Imagining an algorithm that figures out which of your survivors inherits your assets. [http://bit.ly/1vB0k72]

- A roundup of terrible American things that cost a fortune in China ($44 PBR, for one). [http://bit.ly/1ni9fFu]

- A song from "The Book of Mormon" animated with a music video set in South Park, that other creation of Matt Stone and Trey Parker. [http://bit.ly/U6K5Bs]

- Bear interrupts baseball game in Juneau, Alaska. [http://uproxx.it/1r1uga1]

- Boy runs onto the pitch during team Brazil's practice and gets souvenir from his favorite player. [http://bit.ly/1i88XDQ]

- Why Facebook is building server centers in a remote corner of Sweden. [http://bit.ly/1pddMfI]

- Why Betamax lost to the VHS recorder. [http://bit.ly/1i88Ec5]

TWITTERAMA

@mollyesque: Why didn’t she call the book “wicked problems”? What’s the diff between a wicked problem and a hard choice? Ugh, do I have to read the book

@bendreyfuss: I used to be a Democrat but then I spoke to this orange conservative squirrel and now I’m all, "fuck the poor"

@dceiver: Send the giant orange squirrel to go fight ISIS, pls

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