[JURIST] US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile; JURIST news archive] is expected to name a special prosecutor [Los Angeles Times report] who will be tasked with investigating the alleged abuse of detainees and other terrorism suspects by CIA interrogators, according to a Sunday Los Angeles Times [media website] report. The report cites a senior Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] official who says that Holder will limit the probe to determining whether individuals went beyond authorized techniques when interrogating suspects. The official said that no final decision has been made, but last month it was reported that Holder had requested a list of 10 possible candidates [JURIST report].
Last month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] sent an open letter [text; JURIST report] to Holder in order to "express [the organization's] strong support for opening a criminal investigation into abusive interrogation practices by the US government since the attacks of September 11, 2001." In April, Democratic members of the US House Judiciary Committee sent Holder a letter urging him to appoint a special counsel [JURIST report] to investigate torture allegations made against Bush administration officials. Earlier that month, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official profile] reiterated his calls for a non-partisan truth commission [JURIST report] to investigate those responsible for authorizing certain interrogation techniques. Also in April, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website] released a DOJ report [JURIST report] indicating that in 2002 former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice approved the use of waterboarding and other extreme interrogation techniques used by CIA agents against Guantanamo Bay detainees.