In the wake of Tuesday’s release of the CIA memo detailing Bush-era interrogators’ methods that extracted information from enemy combatants, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Breitbart News the Obama administration is mirandizing terrorists that the U.S. military is capturing on the battlefield, as opposed to locking them up and interrogating the combatants for new information.
According to the South Carolina Republican, some terrorists are being read their Miranda rights on ships coming back to the United States, while others are read their rights as they are touching land after being transported.
“Do you realize that of all the terrorists we have picked up since Obama’s been president, not one of them has been sent to Gitmo, and all of them have been given lawyers and have been read their Miranda rights within days of capture?”
Graham explained, “The way we got bin Laden was that we held people in Gitmo for years and put the puzzle together. So it seems to me that we’ve gone from one extreme to another. And I hope Republicans in January of 2015 will have hearings about how we’ve lost the ability to gather intelligence by reading Miranda rights and provide government-paid lawyers to terrorists as soon as they’re caught.”
A 30-year military lawyer, Graham is against water boarding enemy combatants but says the administration should not be giving taxpayer-paid counsel to terrorists after telling them they would have the “right to remain silent,” saying, “when they get their Miranda rights, they shut up.”
Graham says that intel operators are only getting a small amount of information from detainees now and that under the law of war, “an enemy prisoner is not entitled to a lawyer.”
“They’re plea-bargaining with them. Most of the good information comes a year or two later. So what they’re doing is within days of capture. They’re putting them into the federal legal system–treating them as a common criminal, rather than holding them as an enemy combatant,” he said.
“The prize of capturing a military prisoner is two-fold. You take one of their guys off the battlefield, so they have less capacity, but the big prize of capturing somebody alive is to gather information about enemy activity. The purpose of military law is to win the war. The purpose of criminal law is to prosecute a case. I don’t look at these guys as common criminals. I look at them as warriors–enemy combatants subject to being detained under the law of war.”