By Dan Eggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 8, 2008; Page A04
The attorney general yesterday rejected growing congressional calls for a criminal investigation of the CIA‘s use of simulated drownings to extract information from its detainees, as Vice President Cheney called it a “good thing” that the CIA was able to learn what it did from those subjected to the practice.
The remarks reflected a renewed effort by the Bush administration to defend its past approval of the interrogation tactic known as waterboarding, which some lawmakers, human rights experts and international lawyers have described as illegal torture.
Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Justice Department lawyers concluded that the CIA’s use of waterboarding in 2002 and 2003 was legal, and therefore the department cannot investigate whether a crime had occurred.