WOODWARD: Well, still, you know, so much of what we are talking about and living through now is the overhang from 9/11. It just doesn't go away.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The irony here, Sam, is that President Obama is threatening to veto the intelligence authorization bill because the Democrats in the House want to expand the number of people who are briefed. And the president is saying, nope, I don't want to go down that road.
DONALDSON: Once again, candidate Obama has met President Obama and has discovered maybe he needs to do different things. I think the key here is the words "planning." What does planning mean? A bunch of people sitting around, blue skies, let's have this study. You're right, I guess under the law, that doesn't need to be reported.
But was there ever any execution? Let's have a pilot program in the field and try this. On real people. Needs to be reported. And if they didn't do that, they need to be brought to task. They need to be brought to justice.
ROBERTS: What's so interesting is that it was people in the CIA who apparently brought this to the attention of the CIA director, Leon Panetta, because obviously, they wanted that out of there.
STEPHANOPOULOS: From the minute he heard about it, he shut it down.
ROBERTS: And went to Congress.
BRAZILE: So why don't we just put it all out on the table? There's already investigations. Many of them will be revealed this summer. So there's no reason why the attorney general should not have a special prosecutor.
DONALDSON: The president doesn't want to do that.
BRAZILE: Well, you know, the attorney general is a little bit independent of the president.
WOODWARD: After all those independent counsels that Janet Reno when she was attorney general appointed and Clinton would go purple each time.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And there has been some tension there between the attorney general and the White House. But based on my reporting overnight, George, the way this has been described, one, no final decision is made yet. Number two, it's not going to be a broad investigation. Not going to be an investigation of policymakers like Secretary Rumsfeld or Vice President Cheney. Not going to be an investigation of anyone who followed the instructions they were given. This is designed to go after rogue interrogators who just weren't following the guidance they were given.
ROBERTS: How do you even find those people?
STEPHANOPOULOS: The CIA inspector general report has already got a lot of the specific charges.
WILL: beyond that, is this going to be independent counsel? Because independent counsels have to be independent. Look at the example of Ken Starr. Ken Starr did not want to go all the places he went, but he was drawn by the logic of his unfolding investigation. And if they think they can control the parameters of this, they are very much mistaken.
WOODWARD: Whether it's an independent counsel or whether it's just a prosecutor within the -- there's a momentum that gets going and these things tend to unravel.
DONALDSON: You're shocked that the CIA keeps secrets. I'm shocked that Vice President Cheney would, you know, give orders, if in fact, he did. It's unlikely.
ROBERTS: I must say, I have very mixed minds about this. Because on the one hand, the whole idea of a prosecution gets Washington into that kind of horrible slog where everybody hates each other and the poison just gets very thick.
DONALDSON: Unlike at the moment, right?