Apologia for me but not for thee
Oh pish-posh. It was just a simple disagreement and Alberto Gonzales would never do anything intentionally wrong.
Older Doug Kmiec:
And in a January 6 Wall Street Journal commentary, Kmiec credited (login required) Gonzales with the Justice Department’s ultimate rejection of the memo:
Even before confirmation, Mr. Gonzales has demonstrated that no presidential or personal friendship will oblige him to persist in the errors of others. He deserves substantial credit for returning the whole torture memo matter to the Department of Justice for rethinking. It is the hallmark of a wise counselor who has the courage — even in the face of national embarrassment — to see error, and to correct it in a fashion that does not undermine the necessary authority of the president to engage in the humane interrogation of those captured in the war on terror.
But the suggestion that Gonzales recognized the problem and took the initiative in “returning the whole torture memo to the Department of Justice for rethinking” is misleading. On December 27, 2004, Newsweek reported that Gonzales distanced himself from the memo only after “Jack Goldsmith, then head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, told Gonzales he was withdrawing the Aug. 1  memo” and subsequently resigned. According to a Washington Post article, Gonzales — responding to “pressure from Congress and outrage around the world” — described the memo as “controversial” and “subject to misinterpretation.” But his comments did not come until June 22 — several weeks after the Post first made the memo public. And it was not until December 30, 2004, more than two years after the memo was delivered, that the Justice Department issued a revised version.
For even better Doug Kmiec, please turn to page 48 in The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton. and read on.
The folks at The Volokh Conspiracy aren’t buying Kmiec either.