Gonzales Dodges Question On Cheney and CIA

Posted by Sean Alfano
July 14, 2009

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales deflected questions Tuesday regarding whether he knew anything about former Vice President Dick Cheney's alleged orders to the CIA to keep its counterterrorism program secret from Congress.

"It's very difficult to talk about classified activities in an unclassified setting," Gonzales told CBS' The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

"We tried to work as hard as we could with Congress in making sure they understood what was going on," in the executive branch Gonzales said. ...

Gonzales' hesitancy to talk may stem from a 2008 Justice Department report that charged he mishandled highly classified and sensitive documents relating to the Bush administration's counterterrorism plans. He resigned amid controversy in 2007 after holding the attorney general post for more than two years. Prior to being attorney general, Gonzales served as President Bush's White House Counsel.

Questions about the CIA program followed a discussion about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings on The Early Show.

Gonzales, himself a former Texas State Supreme Court judge, said a good justice is "sensitive" to his or her biases.

"That should be the reality in every case, not an aspiration," Gonzales said.


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