TIME movies

Watch the First Trailer for Michael Bay’s Benghazi Movie

The film depicts the U.S. diplomatic compound attack in Libya that killed a U.S. Ambassador and additional American personnel

The first trailer for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is out, offering a glimpse of Michael Bay’s latest directorial undertaking.

The red band trailer features plenty of Bay’s hallmark explosions and actions scenes, though with a decidedly more serious tone in its depiction of the 2012 attacks in Libya.

The movie is adapted from the book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, by Mitchell Zukoff. The acclaimed nonfiction book, released last fall, details the assault on a U.S. diplomatic compound. The attacks killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, two CIA contractors, and and approximately 100 attackers.

13 Hours — which stars John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Toby Stephens, and Pablo Schreiber — is due in theaters Jan. 15, 2016.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME 2016 Election

Inspector General Says Hillary Clinton Emails Contained Classified Information

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Stephen B. Morton—AP In this July 23, 2015 photo Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a campaign event in Columbia, S.C.

The Justice Department is mulling its own investigation

Federal officials have requested an investigation into a potential compromise of classified information related to the handling of documents once stored on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, government officials confirmed Friday.

Clinton and her current and former aides have not been named as targets of the investigation, and the scope of the investigation request has not been revealed.

A Department of Justice official confirmed to TIME Friday morning that there had been a “criminal referral.” Later that same day, the official sent an updated statement: “The Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a criminal referral,” it read.

Even if Clinton is not targeted in the probe, a Justice Department inquiry could be used to tar her presidential campaign. Her decision to use a private account for government business, and then choosing to delete ostensibly personal information from the server has already contributed to a decline in Clinton’s favorability rating and has provoked questions about her trustworthiness.

I. Charles McCullough III, the inspector general for the intelligence community, voiced concerns in a July 23 memo over information that passed through Clinton’s email server, was later given to her personal lawyer and returned to the State Department. McCullough said the data should have been treated with greater sensitivity, since it was derived from classified information produced by the U.S. intelligence community.

Clinton has repeatedly said she never allowed information that was marked classified to pass across her private email. “There have been a lot of inaccuracies,” she said on Friday of the latest reports. “Maybe the heat is getting to everybody. We all have a responsibility to get this right. I have released 55,000 pages of emails, I have said repeatedly that I will answer questions before the House Committee. We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right, and I will do my part.”

None of the investigating bodies, in Congress or elsewhere, have accused Clinton of wrongdoing. But questions have been raised about the judgement of State Department officials. “We note that none of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings, but some included [intelligence community]-derived classified information and should have been handled as classified, appropriately marked, and transmitted via a secure network,” wrote McCullough, the inspector general for the intelligence community, who described his review as incomplete.

A spokeswoman for McCullough, Andrea Williams, said Friday that there are at least four emails of concern, which have yet to be released by the State Department under the Freedom of Information Act. “They were not marked at all but contained classified information,” she wrote in an email to TIME Friday.

If documents had not initially been marked as classified, agency heads generally have significant legal leeway to decide how to classify most information, with the exception of some categories, like nuclear secrets, which are deemed classified by statute.

“The thing to understand about the classification system is that it is an administrative decision that is rooted in executive order,” said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Sciences. “The president delegates authority to agency heads. It’s up to an agency head to decide if something is properly classified or not.”

The request for an investigation, first reported by the New York Times, is in reference to “hundreds of potentially classified emails” contained among Clinton’s messages.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House committee investigating Benghazi, denied Friday that there was any criminal referral. “I spoke personally to the State Department inspector general on Thursday, and he said he never asked the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email usage,” Cummings wrote in a statement. “This is the latest example in a series of inaccurate leaks to generate false front-page headlines − only to be corrected later − and they have absolutely nothing to do with the attacks in Benghazi or protecting our diplomatic corps overseas.”

In May, when releasing the first batch of Clinton emails to the public, the State Department, at the request of the intelligence community, classified 23 words of an email relating to the arrest of a suspected assailant in the 2012 Benghazi attack which killed four Americans.

A senior State Department official told TIME then that the retroactive classification does not mean Clinton did anything improper, adding “this happens several times a month” when Freedom of Information Act reports are prepared for the public. The executive order under which the classification program operates allows for the reclassification of information, either because of initial misclassification or because subsequent events have made the information more sensitive.

At the time, the State Department said, the email was unclassified while it resided on Clinton’s server and when it was sent to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. McCullough, the inspector general, told Congress that he believes copies of the emails were also placed on a thumb drive that was given to David Kendall, Clinton’s personal attorney at Williams and Connelly.

In a statement, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill brushed back on the assertion that Clinton had done anything wrong, noting that the New York Times had also changed the language of its initial story. At first, the Times described “a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information.” That was changed to “a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

“Contrary to the initial story, which has already been significantly revised, she followed appropriate practices in dealing with classified materials,” Merrill said. “As has been reported on multiple occasions, any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted.”

In a March news conference, Clinton denied that she used the unsecured account for classified information. “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” she said. “There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

In a statement Friday, Speaker of the House John Boehner criticized Clinton for “mishandling” classified email, though it is not yet clear whether that claim is a part of the potential Justice Department probe. He encouraged Clinton to turn over her private server to Congress for further investigation.

“Secretary Clinton has repeatedly claimed that the work-related emails on her private home server did not include classified information, but we know that is not true,” Boehner said. “She has claimed she is well-aware of what matters are classified and what are not, and yet she set up a personal email server to discuss matters of national security despite guidance to the contrary from both her State Department and the White House. Her poor [judgment] has undermined our national security and it is time for her to finally do the right thing.”

The State Department is in the midst of a review of 55,000 pages of emails from Clinton’s server, and is under court order to produce them regularly to the public in order to comply with overdue Freedom of Information Act requests.

The inspectors general of both the State Department and the intelligence community have asked the State Department to review the Clinton emails in a more highly classified environment, “given it is more likely than not” that such records exist in her messages. The department has declined, citing resource constraints.

In her public comments on the server issue, Clinton has at times been less than forthright, telling CNN earlier this month that she hadn’t received a subpoena for the records, for instance, when she had.

“The truth is everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure that if the State Department didn’t capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them,” Clinton told CNN this month. But Clinton was under a legal obligation to preserve all messages pertaining to her work and to hand them over to the State Department.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Investigators Seek Justice Department Inquiry Over Hillary Clinton Emails

Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Campaigns in Iowa
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, pauses while speaking during a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, July 17, 2015.

Clinton says she did not email any classified material to anyone from her email server

A pair of inspectors general have requested an investigation into the handling of potentially classified government information once stored on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the New York Times reported late Thursday.

The request reopens a fresh wound for Clinton — the decision to use a private account for government business, and then choosing to delete ostensibly personal information from the server after information was requested by Congress. The controversy has contributed to a decline in Clinton’s favorability rating and has provoked questions about her trustworthiness.

The request for the investigation, the New York Times reported, references “hundreds of potentially classified emails” contained among Clinton’s messages, though it is unclear whether the messages were marked as such when Clinton sent or received them. The Department of Justice has yet to decide whether to pursue charges, nor is it clear whom would be the target of the investigation.

A Department of Justice official said despite initially confirming that the request was not for a criminal investigation, that is not the case. “The Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information,” the official said. It is not a criminal referral.”

In May, when releasing the first batch of Clinton emails to the public, the State Department, at the request of the intelligence community, classified 23 words of an email relating to the arrest of a suspected assailant in the 2012 Benghazi attack which killed four Americans.

At the time, the State Department said, the email was unclassified while it resided on Clinton’s server and when it was sent to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. A senior department official told TIME then that the retroactive classification does not mean Clinton did anything improper, adding “this happens several times a month” when Freedom of Information Act reports are prepared for the public.

In a statement, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill brushed back on the assertion that Clinton had done anything wrong.

“Contrary to the initial story, which has already been significantly revised, she followed appropriate practices in dealing with classified materials,” Merrill said. “As has been reported on multiple occasions, any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted.”

In a March news conference, Clinton denied that she used the unsecured account for classified information. “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” she said. “There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

The State Department is in the midst of a review of 55,000 pages of emails from Clinton’s server, and is under court order to produce them regularly to the public in order to comply with overdue Freedom of Information Act requests.

In her public comments on the server issue, Clinton has at times been less than forthright, telling CNN earlier this month that she hadn’t received a subpoena when she clearly had, and suggesting she had gone above and beyond complying with government records rules.

“The truth is everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure that if the State Department didn’t capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them,” Clinton told CNN this month. But, in fact, Clinton was under legal obligation to preserve all messages pertaining to her work and to hand them over to the State Department.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect that after initially confirming it had received a criminal referral, the Justice Department now says the request was not for a criminal investigation.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s Trustworthy Trap

Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses supporters at an organizational rally on July 7, 2015 at the Iowa City Public Library in Iowa City, Iowa.
David Greedy—2015 Getty Images Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses supporters at an organizational rally on July 7, 2015 at the Iowa City Public Library in Iowa City, Iowa.

Unforced factual errors tarnish an early interview

Trustworthiness is a tricky thing in politics, a label that everyone demands but no one fully deserves. The reason has less to do with the integrity of the players than the rules of the game. Distortion, denial, defamation—they all work. Only a straight-talking sucker would really play it straight all the time.

So one must be careful not to pass too harsh a judgement on Hillary Clinton, for whom polls reveal a real perception problem when it comes to being honest or trustworthy. CNN’s national polling sample says 57% of Americans don’t think she is either. ABC News and the Wall Street Journal put that number at 52%.

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton blamed the numbers on her political enemies. “This has been a theme that has been used against me and my husband for many, many years,” she said. “And at the end of the day, I think voters sort it all out.”

Then she proceeded to demonstrate why voters may not ultimately come down on her side. While casting herself as the victim of false smears, she mischaracterized the circumstances surrounding her handling of records kept in a private email server Secretary of State. The comment that set off the fact checkers was a five-word sentence.

“I’ve never had a subpoena,” Clinton said, even though she has been subpoenaed. Her allies tried to clean up the flub the next day by explaining that she seemed to be answering a narrower question than the one that was asked. “Obviously everyone—including Secretary Clinton—knows Chairman Gowdy issued a subpoena,” explained Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the ranking member of the committee that issued the subpoena. “It appears clear that Secretary Clinton was answering a question about whether she deleted emails ‘while facing a subpoena.’ ”

But Clinton’s interview betrayed a larger pattern of dissembling, based either on a misunderstanding or a misrepresentation of the rules and law. “When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system,” she said. “Now I didn’t have to turn over anything. I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.”

This is not true. She was required by law and rule to turn over the official records that she stored on her private server. “At the time she left office, the existing rules that were in place said that she was under a duty to transfer to an official record keeping system any email records on a commercial account that pertained to official business,” says Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle, and former director of litigation at the National Archives.

Federal records are legally defined to include all recorded information made “in connection with the transaction of public business” that show “evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the United States Government.” As Clinton’s office has admitted, this would include emails she sent and received about government business that did not ever show up in official State Department email accounts.

Federal rules (36 CFR 1234.24) clearly require agencies to collect those records from “external electronic mail systems” so that they can be stored inside the government. There is also a federal law (44 USC 3106) that authorizes agencies to take legal action through the Attorney General “for the recovery of records” that are threatened by destruction, deletion or erasure. Willfully destroying a federal record is a crime, punishable by fine and prison.

How did Clinton get it all so wrong? Her campaign has not volunteered a response. But it is clear that she was recounting her email story as part of a larger effort to portray herself as a victim of political enemies. “This is being blown up with no basis in law or in fact. That’s fine. I get it,” she told CNN. “This is being, in effect, used by the Republicans in the Congress, OK. But I want people to understand what the truth is.”

There is an irony here worthy of Shakespeare. In fighting back against what she sees as unfounded attacks, she threatens to become the thing her foes always accused her of being—not someone who can be seen as honest or trustworthy.

Read next: How Elizabeth Warren’s Populist Fury is Remaking Democratic Politics

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TIME Hillary Clinton

State Department Releases Hillary Clinton’s Emails on Benghazi

Hillary Clinton Campigns In Iowa, Meeting With Small Business Owners
Scott Olson—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosts a small business forum with members of the business and lending communities at the Bike Tech bicycle shop on May 19, 2015 in Cedar Falls, IA.

The State Department released hundreds of emails Friday that were stored on Hillary Clinton’s private server during her time as Secretary of State.

The emails, which pertain to the Benghazi terror attacks in September 2012, do not change the official assessment of the incident in which a U.S. ambassador was killed, the State Department said. “The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks, which have been known since the independent Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi attacks was released almost two and a half years ago,” wrote spokeswoman Marie Harf.

Clinton, who wants to avoid the controversy over her emails and Benghazi stretching into the primary and general election next year, told reporters in Hampton, N.H. on Friday that the released emails had previously been sent to the committee investigating the Benghazi attack in 2012. “I’m glad that the emails are starting to come out. It is something that I’ve asked to be done, as you know, for a long time. Those releases are beginning,” Clinton said.

But the release further complicates Clinton’s unusual set-up of using a personal email server for official use. Sensitive information and email addresses in dozens of emails have been redacted under privacy and exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act protecting internal agency deliberations.

According to a senior State Department official, 23 words in a single email were classified Friday at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The email was unclassified while it resided on Clinton’s server and when it was sent to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The official said the retroactive classification does not mean Clinton did anything improper at the time, adding “this happens several times a month” when FOIA reports are prepared for the public.

“I’m aware that the FBI has asked that a portion of one email be held back. That happens in this process,” Clinton said on Friday. “That doesn’t change the fact that all of the information in the emails was handled appropriately.”

The email in question is in reference to reports that Libyan police arrested several individuals believed to have been involved in the Benghazi attack, and the classified portion appears to refer the details of the local regional security officer’s report on the arrests. State Department Office of Maghreb Affairs Director William V. Roebuck sent the note to Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Beth Jones, who forwarded it to top Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who forwarded it to Clinton at her personal address.

Those 23 words will be classified through November 18, 2032—twenty years after the email was first sent.

Clinton has asked that the State Department speed up the release of her work emails. “I’ve said from the very beginning that I want them to release all of them as soon as possible. They are in the process of doing that. I understand that there is a certain protocol that has to be followed,” Clinton said. “It’s beginning. I would like to see them expedited to get more of them out, more quickly.”

The emails provide insight into Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, and Clinton herself has said she wants the public to learn more about her role as the country’s chief diplomat.

With reporting by Phil Elliott

TIME Congress

The 7 Biggest Things That Didn’t Happen in D.C. in 2014

Commuter, Horse Race Breaks Said to Get Senate Panel Vote
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images The U.S. Capitol stands surrounded by fog in Washington, D.C., March 20, 2014.

No immigration reform. No Supreme Court fight. No shutdown.

Let’s face it: 2014 was no 2008. As far as politics goes, this year won’t go down in American history as one of the more notable ones.

But sometimes it’s the things that didn’t happen that are more interesting. And some very big things didn’t happen this year, even though pundits and commentators once thought they might.

Here’s a look at the seven biggest things that didn’t happen in Washington in 2014.

The House never passed an immigration reform bill.

What might have happened: In June of 2013, the Senate passed a bipartisan overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. The House could have voted on that bill or passed its own version.

Who thought it would happen: Some Republicans. Many party leaders thought Republicans needed to put the immigration issue behind them in order to win the White House in 2016.

Why it didn’t happen: House Republicans sat the issue out. Speaker John Boehner never brought the Senate bill to the House floor or offered an alternative.

Could it happen next year? Not likely. When President Obama deferred deportation for millions on his own in November, Boehner argued that he had poisoned the well.

There was no big Supreme Court nomination fight.

What might have happened: With four justices born in the 1930s, one could have retired, following in the footsteps of former Justices David Souter, Sandra Day O’Connor and John Paul Stevens.

Who thought it would happen: Some liberal court-watchers suggested that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81, should step down to ensure a Democratic-appointed successor.

Why it didn’t happen: They weren’t interested. For her part, Ginsburg noted that she’s still capable of doing the work and she seems to be having the time of her life.

Could it happen next year? Unlikely. The combination of a Democratic president and a Republican Senate would give both liberal and conservative justices pause.

Republicans never settled on an alternative to Obamacare.

What might have happened: Republicans in Congress could have gotten serious about the “replace” in “repeal and replace” and introduced an official alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

Who thought it would happen: Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. In January, he said the party would “rally around an alternative to Obamacare and pass it on the floor of the House.”

Why it didn’t happen: Election-year politics. An official Republican alternative would have been a sitting target for Democratic candidates.

Could it happen next year? Not likely. Republicans may now control all of Congress, but as long as they can’t get their plan past the president’s desk, there’s little incentive to produce one.

Congress didn’t debate tax reform.

What might have happened: The House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp’s tax reform plan, unveiled in February, could have sparked a serious effort to reform the tax code.

Who thought it would happen: Camp. He argued that Congress has an “obligation to debate the big issues of the day.” His plan was also praised by Rep. Paul Ryan, who called it a “terrific first step.”

Why it didn’t happen: Election-year politics. Passing tax reform would mean picking fights with a number of special interests and handing the president a win.

Could it happen next year? Probably not. Political observers now think the tax reform debate probably won’t begin in earnest until at least 2017.

The government didn’t shut down.

What might have happened: Conservatives angry over President Obama’s immigration and liberals angry over the repeal of some Wall Street oversight could have shut the government down.

Who thought it would happen: After last year’s bruising shutdown, no one thought it would happen again, but Congress came pretty close in December.

Why it didn’t happen: Both sides punted. The trillion-dollar spending bill passed earlier this month funded the government through September, but it left open a fight over immigration funding.

Could it happen next year? It’s unlikely. Even if conservatives pick a fight over immigration next year, it would only affect one federal agency, Homeland Security.

Obama didn’t become a powerless lame duck.

What might have happened: President Obama could have coasted into the final, lame-duck years of his presidency, wary of taking risks that might hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Who thought it would happen: Some commentators and pundits already said that it had, slamming him for being passive and uninspiring.

Why it didn’t happen: Obama got energized. After Democrats lost the midterms, Obama took bold steps on immigration and reopening diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Could it happen next year? Certainly. There’s only so much the president can do on his own, so at some point he’ll be stuck either vetoing or approving Republican plans.

Congress didn’t find an intelligence failure on Benghazi.

What might have happened: The House Intelligence Committee could have unveiled dramatic, damning findings after a two-year investigation into the Benghazi attacks in Libya.

Who thought it would happen: Republicans. Despite multiple investigations into the attacks, many conservatives have been certain they’ll find a smoking gun.

Why it didn’t happen: The House committee didn’t find anything. The report, which was pushed out quietly on a Friday, found “no intelligence failure prior to the attacks.”

Could it happen next year? Unlikely. Rep. Trey Gowdy, who chairs the House Benghazi Committee, has promised more hearings, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll find anything new.

TIME Libya

Libyan Officials Urge the Evacuation of Benghazi Port District

LIBYA-UNREST-BENGHAZI
ABDULLAH DOMA—AFP/Getty Images A picture taken on October 22, 2014 in the Libya's eastern coastal city of Benghazi shows smoke billowing from buildings after the Libyan airforce, loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar, pounded the buildings were reported to be used for storing ammunition belonging to Benghazi-based Islamist Ansar al-Sharia group. Fierce fighting have been raging for days in several parts of Libya's second city between pro-government forces led by Haftar and Islamist militias. AFP PHOTO / ABDULLAH DOMA (Photo credit should read ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Islamist-controlled Assabri district boasts a seaport used for crucial wheat and petrol imports

The Libyan Army is urging the evacuation of a central neighborhood of Benghazi, the country’s second largest city, in preparation for a military offensive against Islamist groups.

“The chief of staff asks all residents of the Assabri district to leave by 12:00 noon [local time on Monday],” Ahmed al-Mesmari, spokesman for the chief of staff, told Reuters.

Located in Benghazi’s main commercial zone, the Assabri district boasts a seaport used for crucial wheat and petrol imports. The Ansar al-Sharia militant group fled there after the army seized other areas of the city.

Clashes between the Libyan Army, which is backed by loyalists to a former general, and Islamist groups in the east of the city have killed at least 230 people since the start of a recent army offensive, medical authorities said. In addition, one of the city’s main childbirth hospitals has been evacuated and moved to another location.

In August, an armed group seized the capital Tripoli and forced Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni to move east, leaving Libya divided between two governments struggling for overall political control.

In the three years since the ousting of longstanding dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, rival rebel groups that helped achieve his overthrow have been competing for power and control of the nation’s precious oil reserves.

[Reuters]

TIME Libya

Libyan Rebels Capture Special-Forces Base in Benghazi

A girl stands next to the wreckage of a government MiG warplane which crashed during Tuesday's fighting, in Benghazi
Esam Al-Fetori —Reuters A Libyan girl stands next to the wreckage of a government MiG warplane that crashed during clashes in Benghazi, Libya, on July 29, 2014

Libya is quickly sliding into the realm of a failed state as rebel forces and Islamist militants battle against government troops

A special force’s base in Benghazi has fallen after a coalition of rebel militias and Islamist militants pounded the enclave with salvos of rocket fire and artillery.

“We have withdrawn from the army base after heavy shelling,” Libyan Saiqa Special Forces officer Fadel al-Hassi told Reuters.

Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, has been home to fierce fighting between government special-forces troops and former rebel fighters from the Benghazi Shura Council who are now allied with the Islamist force Ansar al-Sharia, according to Reuters.

Since the ousting of former strongman Muammar Gaddafi, the country has gone through periods of perennial chaos, as the militias who overthrew the regime have refused to give up their arms and Islamic groups have steadily grown more powerful.

Earlier this month, heavy fighting among rebel bands near the capital resulted in the closure of Tripoli International Airport after rockets crashed into the facility, killing one person and damaging at least a dozen planes.

Late last week, the U.S. embassy in the capital was evacuated and shuttered amid the increasing unrest. Over the weekend, the U.S. State Department issued an official travel advisory, warning American citizens to avoid any trips to the conflict-riven country.

“The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution,” read the notice. “Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation.”

TIME Libya

U.S. Evacuates Libyan Embassy

Secretary of State John Kerry blamed the rise of "freewheeling militia violence" in the country where an attack by Islamic militants killed four Americans in 2012

Updated 10:59 a.m. ET

The State Department relocated all personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, on Saturday following an outbreak of violence between Libyan militias, the department announced.

“A lot of the violence is around our embassy but not on the embassy, but nevertheless it presents a very real risk to our personnel,” Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Paris, ABC reports.

Kerry blamed the “freewheling militia violence” that has flourished since the ousting of former president Muammar Gaddafi.

“We are committed to supporting the Libyan people during this challenging time, and are currently exploring options for a permanent return to Tripoli as soon as the security situation on the ground improves,” deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement.

U.S. military assisted in the operation and drove personnel to Tunisia. The relocation took five hours and was “without incident,” according a statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.

Embassy staff will now work out of Washington, D.C., and other locations in the region.

The relocation occurred the same day the State Department issued a new travel warning that strongly advised U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to Libya and to leave immediately if already visiting.

In 2012, an attack on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya, by Islamic militants killed four Americans.

“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly,” Harf’s statement continues. “Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.”

TIME Terrorism

Capture of Benghazi Suspect Again Raises Question: Guantanamo or the Courts?

U.S. President Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq at the White House
Kevin Lamarque—Reuters U.S. President Barack Obama on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, June 13, 2014.

Obama Administration opting for courts, after a Navy cruise

The capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, the recently-snatched alleged ringleader of the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, once again highlights the split in the national debate over how to handle terrorists: Are they prisoners of war, or are they criminals?

Many terrorists linked to al-Qaeda were sent to Guantanamo Bay during George W. Bush’s presidency. Many others have been tried in civilian courts. According to the nonprofit group Human Rights First, there have been almost 500 people convicted on terror-related charges in federal civilian criminal courts since 9/11, compared to eight convictions in the Pentagon’s military commissions.

The Obama Administration prefers the federal court route, which is how it plans to proceed with Khattala—generating Republican criticism. “The Obama Administration should immediately transfer him to the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay for detention and interrogation,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

“Rather than rushing to read him his Miranda rights and telling him he has the right to remain silent, I hope the Administration will focus on collecting the intelligence necessary to prevent future attacks,” added Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).

Who’d have thought a 1966 Supreme Court ruling designed to protect Ernesto Arturo Miranda’s confession to kidnapping, rape and armed robbery while under police interrogation would become the rope in a tug-of-war between the White House and Congress nearly a half-century later on how to handle captured terrorists?

Legal expert Jack Goldsmith. a former Pentagon lawyer now teaching at Harvard Law School, doubts the U.S. could hold Khattala in military detention, or try him before a military commission. That’s because Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has said the Benghazi attack didn’t fall under the congressional authorization for the use of military force, nor, in Goldsmith’s view, did it amount to a “conflict subject to the rules of war.”

Sending Khattala to Guantanamo is “the easy way out,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.), chairman of the judiciary committee, who applauded his move into the federal court system. “We will try Khattala just as we have successfully tried more than 500 terrorism suspects since 9/11.”

The Obama Administration is actually straddling the issue, by housing Khattala aboard a Navy vessel in the Mediterranean for questioning (the Los Angeles Times reports he did get a Miranda warning “shortly after his capture” following initial questioning about other potential terror threats under a “public safety” exemption). “We should have some quality time with this guy—weeks and months,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an Air Force reserve lawyer, said Tuesday. “Don’t torture him, but have some quality time with him.”

The Administration has questioned at least two other terror suspects aboard ships for up to two months before dispatching them into the federal court system.

“The only reason for having him on a U.S. warship is to provide a nice quiet environment where the investigators can work their wiles on him,” says Eugene Fidell, a military-law lecturer at the Yale Law School and former president of the National Institute of Military Justice. “If the government wanted to have Khattala at the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse [in Washington, D.C.] by four o’clock, he’d be there. The notion seems to have taken root that the government has, if not all the time in the world, as much time as it reasonably wants to see if can coax these people into making statements.”

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