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Obama administration releases highly anticipated CIA interrogation report

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Monday released a much anticipated 2004 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] inspector general report [text, PDF] detailing controversial interrogation techniques used on terror detainees. According to the report, interrogators threatened suspects' family members and conducted mock executions. The report also details other controversial techniques such as waterboarding [JURIST news archive] and acknowledges that interrogators used techniques that they knew had not been approved by DOJ lawyers. A heavily redacted version of the report was released last year, and Monday's release, which is still redacted, came after several delays [JURIST report] to allow government officials more time to decide which information could be released and which should be withheld in the interests of national security. The special report on counterterrorism and interrogation practices, authored by John Helgerson, was released pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text] lawsuit [complaint, PDF] brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website].

The release of the report comes as US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] announced [press release] Monday that the DOJ will "open a preliminary review" [JURIST report] into allegations of prisoner abuse by CIA interrogators during the Bush administration. Also Monday, a presidential special task force on interrogations and transfer policies issued its recommendations [press release] calling on the Obama administration to create a specialized interrogation group [JURIST report] to question top terrorism suspects. The White House confirmed the creation of a special panel Monday that will be spearheaded by the FBI, rather than the CIA.

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