Image: Gonzales
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, seen Tuesday in Washington, D.C., has been questioned about his testimony on national security efforts.
updated 8/1/2007 7:07:08 PM ET 2007-08-01T23:07:08

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales conceded Wednesday he used confusing language when describing national security efforts during recent Senate testimony, seeking to set the record straight about the government's terror surveillance program and clear questions about his credibility.

"I am deeply concerned with suggestions that my testimony was misleading, and am determined to address any such impression," Gonzales wrote in a three-page letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a copy of which was sent to the panel's top Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

"I recognize that the use of the term 'Terrorist Surveillance Program' and my shorthand reference to the 'program' publicly 'described by the president' may have created confusion," Gonzales wrote.

Gonzales' admission comes after a week of withering criticism that he misled senators about a 2004 dispute between the White House and the Justice Department over the legality of a classified national security program. At the time, Gonzales was serving as White House counsel, and wanted to continue the program over Justice Department concerns that it was not legal.

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