Share This Page

GOP: Send terrorist suspect to Gitmo

| Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 8:45 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration's detention of a high-profile terrorist suspect aboard a Navy vessel drew sharp opposition on Tuesday among Republicans in Congress, who said Abu Anas al-Libi should be sent to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay for indefinite interrogation.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte and Saxby Chambliss said intelligence officials need far more than a couple of months at sea to sufficiently question al-Libi over the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa and any other al-Qaida terrorist plots he participated in. They called a potential civilian trial in New York for al-Libi misguided.

“Putting him on a Navy vessel for a matter of days or weeks is not a proper way to gather intelligence in the war on terror,” Graham said at a news conference in the Capitol. “The best tool we have in intelligence gathering is time itself.”

Graham, from South Carolina, cited the years of intelligence work that enabled U.S. special forces to kill al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. “Contrary to popular belief, what led to the bin Laden raid was not information obtained from torture,” Graham said. “It was from good, long, hard intelligence gathering from Gitmo detainees.”

Al-Libi, one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists, was captured Saturday in Libya.

Questioning him aboard a U.S. warship in international waters is President Obama's answer to Bush administration detention policies he has vowed to end. Obama has sought to close Guantanamo and shift trials to U.S. civilian courts but has run into fierce resistance from Republicans and some Democrats over the last five years.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.