Gonzales Changes Tune on 'Legitimate' CIA Probe

Ex-AG compares torture to speeding (really)
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2009 4:53 PM CDT
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2006.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Alberto Gonzales did not mean to endorse Eric Holder’s probe of alleged CIA torture during the Bush administration by calling it “legitimate,” the former AG tells the Washington Times, which broke the story. “I don't support the investigation by the department because this is a matter that has already been reviewed thoroughly,” he says. “Another investigation is going to harm our intelligence gathering capabilities.”

The backtracking continues: Gonzales’ “legitimate” comment was “an endorsement of [Holder’s] right to exercise his discretion,” he says. “I'm just saying I would have exercised my discretion in a different manner, given the information I have.” The former AG likens the situation to “when a police officer sees someone perhaps speeding, there is discretion in the law enforcement community.” If just “1% of actors” in the CIA broke the law, he says, a new investigation is unnecessary.