Published September 02, 2009
Former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, a man widely criticized for politicizing the Justice Department and providing legal justifications for detainee abuse in the Bush administration, praised as an independent legal decision his successor's probe into whether CIA agents tortured terrorist suspects, the Washington Times reported.
In stark contrast to former Vice President Dick Cheney's vigorous criticisms over the weekend of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s reopening of investigations of CIA employees, Gonzales said Tuesday that Holder was correct to pay no heed to President Obama's often-stated desire to look forward on the issue and instead to make a legal decision based on the facts.
"As chief prosecutor of the United States, he should make the decision on his own, based on the facts, then inform the White House," Gonzales said Tuesday on The Washington Times' "America's Morning News" radio show.
Gonzales said Bush administration attorneys clearly defined what interrogation techniques were legal and those who went beyond the rules should be investigated, despite any chilling effect it might have on future intelligence-gathering.
"We worked very hard to establish ground rules and parameters about how to deal with terrorists," he said. "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."