Ex-AG Gonzales Defends Holder’s Decision to Probe Interrogation Abuses
Posted Sep 2, 2009 6:08 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says the new Justice Department chief is asking legitimate questions in a probe of interrogation abuses of terrorism suspects.
Gonzales told the Washington Times that Attorney General Eric Holder has a great deal of discretion in such matters. 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 told America's Morning News, a Washington Times radio show.
Gonzales said that interrogators who went beyond the guidelines set by his Justice Department should be investigated. "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."
Gonzales expressed confidence that Holder is concerned only about the "1 percent of actors" who violated the ground rules. The other 99 percent “are heroes and should be treated like heroes for the most part, not criminals," he said.