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Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the suspect captured by U.S. special forces on Tuesday for his role in the 2012 Benghazi attack, reportedly said he was motivated in part by the anti-Islam online video made in America, according to the New York Times.

"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," Times reporter David Kirkpatrick wrote in a story on Khattala on Tuesday.

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The news that U.S. Special Forces captured a Libyan militant accused of leading the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi in 2012 was clearly meant to distract from the real scandal at hand, whatever that is.

Almost immediately following the reports that Ahmed Abu Khattala was in U.S. custody, conservatives furthered their distraction meme, questioning the motives and timing behind Khattala's capture.

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The State Department announced on Sunday that it would be increasing security at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad due to the recent violence in northern Iraq.

"The Embassy of the United States in Baghdad remains open and will continue to engage daily with Iraqis and their elected leaders – supporting them as they strengthen Iraq’s constitutional processes and defend themselves from imminent threats," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement. "Some additional U.S. government security personnel will be added to the staff in Baghdad; other staff will be temporarily relocated – both to our Consulate Generals in Basra and Erbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday warned that Islamic militants' insurgency in northern Iraq could lead to another massive terrorist attack.

"This is another 9/11 in the making. The FBI director has warned us in Congress that Syria and Iraq present a direct threat to our homeland," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on Sunday indicated he won't go into lobbying now that he lost the Republican nomination for his seat to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat.

"I don't think that I want to be a lobbyist, but I do want to be -- play a role in -- in the public debate. I've had a lot of experience, obviously, in the intersection of government and politics and issues affecting the global economy," Cantor said on ABC's "This Week" when asked if he would ruled out lobbying.

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After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) criticized conservative pundit Laura Ingraham's comment that he should have been traded to the Taliban for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Ingraham made fun of Cantor for not being able to take a joke.

"He has no sense of humor, that's why he lost," Ingraham said on ABC's "This Week" about Cantor's reaction to her comment.

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