[JURIST] The US Department of Justice has opened an internal probe into whether DOJ lawyers acted improperly when advising the US Department of Defense [official websites] in a 2003 memorandum [PDF text; JURIST report] that military interrogators could employ a wide range of interrogation methods when questioning foreign detainees outside the United States without fear of criminal liability or constitutional sanction, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) [official website] said Thursday. While the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility declined to speak about the investigation, Whitehouse said the investigation will help explain how DOJ lawyers reached the conclusion to authorize harsh interrogation methods.
The 2003 memo was released publicly earlier this month, showing that the DOJ approved a wide range of interrogation methods for the military to use – the same broad limits that the DOJ had earlier approved for the CIA. The 81-page memo was later rescinded by the DOJ. AP has more.