Oh this is good…
Remember how Alberto Gonzales came out the other day and said he supports Eric Holder’s decision to investigate torture, as long as the probe is limited to CIA personnel who exceeded the lawyers’ legal guidance?
Well it looks like even that qualified position was too much for torture supporters on the right. Because now Gonzo has crawled back to the Washington Times to say that, actually, he didn’t really mean it.
“Contrary to press reporting and based on the information that’s available to me,” he told the paper, “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.”
As you’ll remember, Gonzo had left little doubt earlier this week that he supported the probe:
We worked very hard to establish ground rules and parameters about how to deal with terrorists. 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’ volte-face on the issue echoes that of his Bush administration colleague Tom Ridge on the question of whether the Bushies played politics with the terror alerts. In excerpts from his book reported recently, Ridge asserted that they had. But — presumably under pressure from fellow Republicans — Ridge this week backtracked on the claim.
As for Gonzo, he spent a portion of the rest of the interview twisting himself into knots to explain why his new position isn’t really a contradiction of his old one.
And to think, this is the man who used to be the country’s top prosecutor.