John Yoo says President Obama is too afraid of the politics of Guantanamo Bay to capture and interrogate terrorists.
The former George W. Bush administration lawyer, Yoo wrote the infamous torture memos used to justify the “enhanced interrogation techniques” that were a central legacy of Bush’s Global War On Terror. He now says that the killing of Osama bin Laden will go down in history as one of President Obama’s biggest national security fails.
Yoo told CNN on Thursday night that the special forces team sent to kill bin Laden should have instead taken him alive and kept him as a source of future intelligence. Failing to do that, Yoo says, cost the U.S. a valuable asset. That was a mistake, Yoo says.
“If they were going in with no options other than to kill him, then that’s a problem,” Yoo told CNN’s Eliot Spitzer.
In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, Yoo wrote that shooting the unarmed bin Laden meant “one of the most valuable intelligence opportunities since the beginning of the war has slipped through our hands.”
Yoo told Spitzer “that a deliberately small force was sent in” to Abbottabad, Pakistan by the White House because “they don’t want to capture high-level al Qaeda leaders.”
Why? As Yoo said in his op-ed, the administration is terrified of backing the Bush administration’s moves in the war on terror.
“Capturing [bin Laden] alive would have required the administration to hold and interrogate bin Laden at Guantanamo Bay,” Yoo wrote, “something that has given this president allergic reactions bordering on a seizure.”