Hayden: Trying Terror Suspects Constrains Ability to Fight War

Sunday, 29 Jun 2014 02:02 PM

By Greg Richter

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Former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden says he is surprised by how quickly Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khatalla was taken off a Navy ship and brought into the federal court system.

Khatalla was being interrogated on the USS New York, and it was thought he would be kept at sea while the United States sought information from him before taking him ashore and putting him into the court system.

Khatalla pleaded not guilty on Saturday to charges related to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans when the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya was attacked on Sept. 11, 2012. Khatalla is believed by U.S. officials to be a ringleader in the attack.

"I just wish he had a little bit more time with the intelligence process before he began to get all of the protections that an Article 3 court gives him in the American system," Hayden said on "Fox News Sunday."

While Hayden believes Khatalla should have been "questioned extensively," he told Fox News' Chris Wallace he is "fairly indifferent" about whether that questioning takes place at Guantanamo Bay or somewhere else.

Hayden says he is worried that the United States doesn't want to put anyone at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay anymore, and that, therefore, the United States will capture only people it feels can be put through the criminal court system.

"I think that actually constrains our ability to fight what the president freely admits is a war," Hayden said.

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