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Transcript of Gonzales interview
Question of the Day
Q: I think the point I’m trying to get at though is that this small, this “1 percent” you’re talking about who maybe didn’t follow the rules, what should happen to them?
A: That is a decision, again, that is up to the prosecutor looking at the totality of the circumstances. Again, I’m going to repeat this, this is important: this is a matter that has already been looked at, someone’s already made a decision about what should happen, and when you also evaluate what are the consequences of another investigation, how is it going to harm the United States of America gathering intelligence, then the prosecutor has the authority to exercise his own judgement.
Q: OK, sure. Fair enough. But how would the prosecutor know to exercise that judgement without investigating?
A: It’s already been looked at.
Q: Since it has already been looked at, do you remember anything about these cases that you could shed light on?
A: I’m not going to talk about anything related to these cases beyond what’s already been in the public record. No.
Q: OK, but in your opinion there is nothing to… (Interrupted).
A: Again, based on what I know, based on the information available to me and what I recall, and given the fact that it is going to hurt our intelligence gathering capabilities this is not just me talking, this is not just Republicans talking, we’re talking about career individuals who are saying this. I just don’t support this decision.
Q: With that previous investigation before, are you comfortable with saying that no one should be charged criminally as a result of this?
A: What I’m saying is this has been looked at and I agree with President Obama that we ought to be looking forward. That’s what I think. As I’ve said before these individuals they place their lives in physical risk and no apparently they place themselves in legal jeopardy as a result of gathering information to protect our country and I just think we ought to consider them as heroes and we should recognize their service.
Q: OK and there’s nothing else you can tell me from your experience of having knowledge of these cases why this is a misguided investigation?
A: I’m not going to say anything beyond what I said. I’ve given you the two reasons why I do not support the investigation, contrary to what’s been reported in the press. But I want to emphasize that people somehow want to conflate the two. I do respect the role of the attorney general to make this decision based upon his judgement of the facts, I just respectfully disagree with the decision.
Q: I want to read you a quote from someone from Human Rights Watch, Tom Malinowski and I want to get your reaction to this. His quote is: “There is no reason why he shouldn’t support this investigation because, at least on the face of it, it appears to validate the Bush-era legal memos concerning interrogations. The indications are Holder’s investigation will focus on interrogators who went beyond the Justice Department guidance and what that suggests to Mr. Gonzales is that those who authorized techniques like waterboarding have nothing to fear.”
What’s your reaction to that, the implication being that ultimately this is a way to save you from falling under investigation? What is your response to that?
A: I’m not going to comment on that. I’m not going to comment on what he said.
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