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Former Bush Attorney General: Torture Report Shows CIA Went Beyond Guidance

Gonzales also said he thinks the drone program has done "equal damage" to the United States standing in the world community.

Last updated on July 3, 2018, at 1:02 p.m. ET

Posted on December 12, 2014, at 6:21 p.m. ET

Former Bush Attorney General and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales said CIA interrogators went beyond the Justice Department's guidance in their treatment of detainees.

"You know, we provided a guidance, and, you know, it was up to the CIA to comply with that guidance. As I started hearing about some of the items in the report, I became a little — I became troubled, because some of those things, some of what was being referenced appear beyond the guidance," Gonzales said on NewsMaxTV's Steve Malzberg Show Friday. "Yesterday, CIA Director John Brennan confirmed that there were some activities that went beyond the guidance, and that, of course, was inappropriate. And I think that's a very important point to understand."

Gonzales added he was unclear of how much trust to put in the report, saying it was one-sided and partisan.

Gonzales also said he thinks the drone program has done "equal damage" to the United States standing in the world community.

"To the extent that waterboarding may hurt our standing in the world community, I think that the way the drone program is being operated does equal damage," said the former attorney general.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's 525-page report released Tuesday details cases of detainees being waterboarded to near-death, days worth of sleep deprivation, a detainee chained to the ceiling while clothed in a diaper to go to the bathroom, rectal feeding and rectal rehydration, and a detainee spending more 10 days in a coffin-shaped box, among other details.

A man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by U.S. drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sanaa November 13, 2014.
Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

A man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by U.S. drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sanaa November 13, 2014.

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