U.S. special forces' capture of a notorious al-Qaida leader in Libya has been hailed as a coup in the war against terrorists. It also is a reminder of how badly President Barack Obama's administration handled regime change in that country.
American Delta Force troops staged a raid in Libya's capital, Tripoli, on Sunday. In it, they captured Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, who had been on the FBI's most wanted list.
U.S. officials were patting themselves on the back, saying the capture was a significant blow to al-Qaida. There seems to have been many of those - yet the terrorist organization and its offshoots remain capable of staging murderous attacks on a regular basis.
Since Obama employed U.S. force to oust former Libya dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, conditions in that country have deteriorated. It has become a haven for lawless militias and terrorists. The deaths of four Americans in a terrorist attack last year on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi made that clear. And Libya's economy has crashed; the country now produces only about one-tenth the oil it did under Gadhafi.
So Sunday's raid was a success, but it and other events raise serious questions about U.S. policy in Libya and elsewhere - including Syria. Don't look for Obama to address those concerns, however, in view of his administration's attempt to cover up what really happened in Benghazi.