Tales from the Trail

Ex-Attorney General Gonzales backs CIA prison abuse probe

September 1, 2009

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been under fire in some circles for naming a special prosecutor to investigate alleged abuses of prisoners by CIA interrogators or contractors, but on Tuesday he got some unexpected support from a former Bush administration official.

USA-MEXICO/DRUGSFormer Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who oversaw the Justice Department or was White House counsel during the period when some of the controversial interrogation techniques were authorized — such as lengthy sleep deprivation and repeated waterboarding – in a radio interview backed Holder’s decision to review the cases that went outside the limits set.

“We worked very hard to establish ground rules and parameters about how to deal with terrorists,” Gonzales said in an interview with The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show.

“And if people go beyond that, I think it is legitimate to question and examine that conduct to ensure people are held accountable for their actions, even if it’s action in prosecuting the war on terror.”

In new details released last week from a CIA inspector general report, among the most controversial interrogation methods were brandishing a gun in front of a prisoner, using  a power drill to intimidate a blindfolded prisoner, and threatening to hurt their families.

Gonzales said that despite the potential “chilling effect” the probe could have on CIA officers seeking intelligence during interrogations, those who went beyond permitted interrogation techniques should be investigated.

He also said that he believed that Holder was only concerned about those who went beyond approved techniques.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Attorney General Eric Holder)

Comments
9 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Is this another example were we see Obama hide behind his appointees,hoping if the decision back fires he can distance him self? He tried this approach when he allocated the drafting of the government health care plan to congress and look at the problems it has caused him!

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive
 

What a sleaze. Gonzales is willing to sacrifice the CIA agents that carried out the illegal torture authorized by Bush/Cheney’s Justice Dept. This would be a joke if it were not such a serious matter. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Posted by carly | Report as abusive
 

The Atty. Generals are ganging up on the “bad apples” who tortured beyond the memos to protect the lawyers who wrote the memos. The torture never stops…

 

Wow! Gonzales is as much a clueless incompetent out of office as he was in office …

Posted by WB | Report as abusive
 

According to Gonzales:

“those (CIA officers) who went beyond permitted interrogation techniques should be investigated.”

According to current CIA Director Panetta the entire IG report has been in the hands of the Department of Justice since 2004.

The Justice Department investigated and declined to prosecute.

Well, at least we know there was no political interference in that decision — since the guy who was in charge of DOJ — Gonzales — seems unaware of what his own department decided.

What a knucklehead.

Posted by Pete Sakes | Report as abusive
 

granted it’s important to support cia employees

why were cheney, libby et al. so eager to out a cia employee doing sensitive work?

Posted by horace manoor | Report as abusive
 

Boy this just goes to show how incompetent Gonzales is. It also shows how incompetent Texas Tech and their chancellor, Kent Hance is for hiring him to teach one course a year for $100,000.00. The fact that Hance is a republican lobbyist (Wickopedia) might have something to do with it.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive
 

Ok I say let investigation go on. Imprison our nations best, or those who had the best of intentions in mind. The lesson learned from this is, we should have milk and cookies with our enemies. And if they act bad by killing our families, they get a “time out”.

Posted by bach62 | Report as abusive
 

Well, yesterday, Gonzalez was for an investigation. I guess he got a fish in his mailbox this morning. Today, he says that just because he thinks it’s “legitimate to question and examine” the interrogators’ conduct, he doesn’t endorse an investigation:

Sept 3, (Washington Times)–”I don’t support the investigation by the department because this is a matter that has already been reviewed thoroughly and because I believe that another investigation is going to harm our intelligence gathering capabilities and that’s a concern that’s shared by career intelligence officials and so for those reasons I respectfully disagree with the decision.”

Posted by TDI | Report as abusive
 

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