"There is a myth that somehow having counsel prevents information from being obtained through interrogation. That is exactly wrong," Shamsi said.
The Obama administration’s decision to hold captured Al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi aboard the USS San Antonio in the Mediterranean sea without access to a lawyer is drawing fire from both the left and right.
While many on the left have decried the lack of due process, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) have attacked the administration for not immediately transferring al-Libi to Guantanamo Bay.
HIna Shamsi, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project joined NOW with Alex Wagner Wednesday to discuss the Libi case and the Obama administration’s hazy detention policy.
“He should immediately be transferred to civilian custody, brought before a judge and yes, given his right to counsel,” Shamsi said. ”There is this myth that somehow having counsel prevents information from being obtained through interrogation. That is exactly wrong.”
Shamsi argued that civilian trials are the best venue for trying terror suspects and argued against the common misconception that affording terror suspects due process compromised intelligence-gathering.
“Hundreds of federal prosecutions in the criminal justice system prove that wrong,” Shamsi said. “Indeed having counsel means that we’re going to get more and better information that can be used at trial and is not going to jeopardize the fair trial rights that our system affords.”