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Congress eased interrogation rules under White House pressure

[JURIST] A Congressional committee negotiating an intelligence reform bill last month backed away from greater restrictions on interrogation by the CIA under pressure from the White House, the New York Times reported [registration required] Thursday. The restrictions were part of an initial bill that won overwhelming Senate support, but four Congressional leaders eliminated the provisions from a final version of the bill, after White House pressure. The final version of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 [PDF text], which was passed in December [JURIST report] leaves the CIA greater leeway in how it interrogates captured terrorists. The CIA interrogation tactics were the subject of dispute in several DOJ memos [JURIST report] that were viewed by some as condoning practices bordering on torture. One of the legislators involved in the negotiations, California Democrat Jane Harman, said the issue was too complex to resolve in the legislation. Reuters has more.

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