Inhofe: White House handling of al-Libi case 'despicable'

But President Obama's "despicable" decision to try al-Libi in civilian court and not remand him to the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is a clear national security failure, according to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). 

"Now that [al-Libi] is on U.S. soil, he will be read his Miranda rights making it much more difficult to gather intelligence to prevent future attack," Inhofe said in a statement.  

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Obama is "failing to consider our national security when he gives enemy combatants the right to remain silent," the Nebraska Republican added. 

U.S. Special Forces took custody of al-Libi during a daylight capture mission in Tripoli less than two weeks ago. 

Since then, U.S. military and intelligence officials have been interrogating the al Qaeda leader aboard the U.S.S. San Antonio, somewhere in the Mediterranean. 

Before his capture, al-Libi was indicted in absentia for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998.

Al-Libi is the second high-ranking al Qaeda suspect the Obama administration has opted to try in civilian court this year. 

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a member of al Qaeda's senior command and son-in-law to Osama bin Laden, was captured by Jordanian intelligence in March. 

He plead not guilty to terrorism charges on during a pre-trial hearing in federal court in New York later that month. 

Handing Abu Ghaith and now al-Libi to the Justice Department, rather than the Pentagon, is part of the White House's plan to eventually shutter the military prison in Cuba by the end of Obama's presidency. 

But Inhofe and other congressional Republicans claim Obama is putting politics ahead of national security by refusing to send al-Libi to the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Trying al-Libi and other terror suspects in civilian court, while pushing for Guantanamo's closure, "is a blatant unwillingness to confront global terrorism and it only emboldens our enemies to continue their despicable acts against humanity," Inhofe said Tuesday. 

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said it would be “absolutely unacceptable” if the chance to interrogate al-Libi was sacrificed in pursuit of Obama’s first-term promise to close the prison, shortly after his capture by U.S. forces. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) echoed Ayotte and Inhofe's concerns, noting that “in criminal [court] you are trying to solve a crime — in war you are trying to defeat the enemy." 


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