LUBBOCK, Texas - Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says a criminal investigation into whether CIA interrogations after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks crossed legal lines could have a chilling effect on U.S. anti-terrorism efforts.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Gonzales said a Justice Department investigation "could discourage" CIA operatives from "engaging in conduct that even comes close" to department guidelines.

Gonzales says operatives are concerned about their legal liability when questioning terror suspects, "and that's the danger with launching some kind of investigation."

Attorney General Eric Holder is weighing whether to name a criminal investigator to determine whether laws were violated during interrogations of terrorism suspects after 9/11.