A former Justice Department official who wrote the notorious "torture memos'' has condemned the "slow boat interrogation" of Benghazi attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khattalah, which he says will likely be used by his defense attorneys to get the case tossed.
"They've got him on this ship, they're taking their time getting back to the United States, and [he] has not been given his criminal rights yet . . . Why should he cooperate in any interrogation for the few days before he gets his lawyer,'' John Yoo told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"And once they try to prosecute him in federal court, his lawyers are going to say, that whole period where you were interrogating him without Miranda has tainted the whole case and he cannot get a fair trial,'' he said Wednesday.
Yoo, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley Law, was deputy assistant U.S. attorney general in President George W. Bush's Justice Department and wrote the so-called "torture memos" about the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques,'' including waterboarding.
Ahmed Abu Khatallah — captured Sunday in the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, which claimed the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans — is being returned to the U.S. from the Mediterranean on a "slow'' U.S. Navy ship.
He is being grilled by interrogators from the FBI-led High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG, about his alleged participation in the bloodbath.
But Yoo said the trip presents an uneasy bump for the Constitution.
"What this administration has done is mixed the civilian law enforcement system, which protects all of us as Americans, and the rules for war, which we use against our enemies,'' he said.
"They've kind of mixed them in a strange way that actually threatens the effectiveness of both."
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