July 13, 2008
Attorney General Michael Mukasey has notified the House Judiciary Committee that he will not appoint special counsel to investigate the actions of CIA officers and agents who conducted detainee interrogations that included controversial methods such as waterboarding, which simulates drowning.
The controversial interrogation practices were authorized by lawyers from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.
In a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who had requested special counsel on the matter, Mukasey noted that “it would be unwise and unjust to expose to possible criminal penalties those who relied in good faith on those prior Justice Department opinions.”
Referencing “The Terror Presidency,” a book by Jack Goldsmith — former head of the Office of Legal Counsel — Mukasey said that the intelligence community was exposed to “cycles of timidity and aggression.”