In an interview with Fox News Channel “On the Record” anchor Greta van Susteren on Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) criticized the Obama administration’s decision to slow-walk Benghazi terror suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala to the United States for his legal proceedings.
Graham explained that in view Khattala should be treated as a prisoner of war and that every step necessary should be taken to determine if any further terror action is planned. Graham also pointed out that the White House’s action of putting him on a boat sets a bad precedent that undermines the Geneva Convention and could put American servicemen at risk in the future.
“This is really the most ill-conceived idea coming out of an administration that seems to have no limits on ill-conceived ideas,” Graham said. “Instead of a slow boat to New York should be on a fast plane to Gitmo. Taking the guy to New York on a ship and when you dock you read him his rights destroys the ability to gather intelligence. I never want this guy to hear ‘you have the right to remain silent’ any time soon. I want him to talk. And under the law of war, putting people on ships is frowned upon. How would you like an American to be put on ships and driven around slowly? Actually, we’re setting a precedent that undercuts the Geneva Convention. This is a haphazard approach because they won’t use Gitmo. We are actually bastardizing the law of war, setting a bad precedent and this is a horrible idea.”
Van Susteren pointed out to Graham the White House could be leaning on the fact it has a nearly 100 percent conviction rate, to which Graham replied, “Who cares?”
“We are fighting a war not a crime,” he added. “The guy didn’t steal a car. I don’t want a history lesson on Ansar al-Sharia. I would like to hold him for months, if not years, to find out what he knows about future attacks, how Benghazi unfolded. You are gathering intelligence to win a war. Obama is fighting a crime. I am trying to fight a war. This president’s policies are coming home to roost — withdrawing from Iraq, now Afghanistan, failing to deal with Syria and having detention interrogation policies that deny us the ability to gather intelligence to keep this country safe. This guy is not a common criminal. He is a terrorist.”
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