Gonzales Buck-Passing on Torture: Back to You, Dick and Karl!
So much for that acceptance of responsibility and honor legacy restoration push. Looks like another round of finger pointing amongst the W versus Cheney brigades has begun anew:
Among other things, Mr. Gonzales said Tuesday that he didn’t play a central role in drafting the widely criticized legal opinions that allowed the Central Intelligence Agency to use aggressive interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects and expanded the president’s power to hold "unlawful combatants" and terrorism suspects indefinitely. He also said he told the truth to Congress about a classified eavesdropping program authorized by the president, and admitted to making mistakes in handling the U.S. attorney firings while maintaining that he made the right decisions. He says that while he bears responsibility as former Attorney General that "doesn’t absolve other individuals of responsibility." (emphasis mine)
Gonzales also goes on to finger John Yoo as the named culprit in his WSJ interview:
"In the end it was up to the department. John Yoo had strong views. No one could make him do anything he didn’t want to do."
Shorter Gonzo: "If it weren’t for that meddling minion at DOJ." Except last time Gonzales tried his "I know nothing" routine, Yoo put Gonzales squarely in the center of all the torture discussions in an interview with Barton Gellman.
But the "torture memo," as it became widely known, was not Yoo’s work alone. In an interview, Yoo said that Addington, as well as Gonzales and deputy White House counsel Timothy E. Flanigan, contributed to the analysis.
The vice president’s lawyer advocated what was considered the memo’s most radical claim: that the president may authorize any interrogation method, even if it crosses the line into torture. U.S. and treaty laws forbidding any person to "commit torture," that passage stated, "do not apply" to the commander in chief, because Congress "may no more regulate the President’s ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield."
Well, well. Guess the question now becomes which Cheney lackey will be sent forth to give anonymously sourced, closely held dirt on Gonzales. Addington? Mary Matalin? Probably not Scooter, since he’s still bucking for a full pardon and won’t want to anger W by smacking Fredo. But you know it’s coming from someone, don’t you?
And the US attorney firings questions? Sounds to me like Rove may want to help with the job search beyond a Monster.com reference. . . stat. Where’s that wingnut welfare rescue plan for Gonzales when he needs one?
Back to you, Dick and Karl. . . .