Gates supported release of torture memos.

Following President Obama’s decision to release four Bush administration legal memos authorizing torture, former Bush CIA director Michael Hayden and former Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey co-authored an Wall Street Journal op-ed decrying the move as “a terrible problem for our national security.” But Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served in the Bush administration and is also a former CIA director, told reporters today that he supported Obama’s decision:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates indicated Thursday that he supported the release of sensitive memos on detainee interrogation methods last week because he viewed their ultimate disclosure as inevitable. […]

In light of congressional probes and lawsuits on detainee operations, there was “a certain inevitability that most of this would come out,” he said.

“All of us wrestled with it,” he said when asked whether he personally supported the release of the memos. But he added that his own view was shaped by his belief that the methods would ultimately become known.

Gates said he deferred to the Justice Department on the extent of the redactions to the memos.