From NBC's Mark Murray
In a brief press availability after his talks with King Abdullah of Jordan, President Obama left the door open to possible prosecution of Bush administration officials who drafted interrogation memos permitting practices like waterboarding.
"For those who carried out some of these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance that had been provided from the White House, I do not think it's appropriate for them to be prosecuted," he told reporters.
But then Obama added that prosecutions for those who drafted the memos would be up to Attorney General Eric Holder. "With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say that that is going to be more of a decision for the Attorney General within the parameters of various laws, and I don't want to prejudge that. I think that there are a host of very complicated issues involved there."
Asked about his opinion of a congressional investigation into the matter, Obama refrained from taking a position -- but maintained that such an investigation should be bipartisan if it happens. "As a general deal, I think that we should be looking forward and not backwards. I do worry about this getting so politicized that we cannot function effectively, and it hampers our ability to carry out critical national security operations."