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US President Obama Approves New Interrogation Team


U.S. President Barack Obama has approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key terrorism suspects.

A White House spokesman (Bill Burton) said the team will be headquartered at the FBI and will bring together all "different elements" involved in interrogations. He said the team's operation will be consistent with U.S. Army Field Manual regulations.

The team, to be known as the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, is expected to be made up of experts from several intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and will be overseen by the National Security Council, giving the White House direct oversight of it.

President Obama already has banned severe interrogation measures such as waterboarding (simulated drowning), which were permitted under the previous administration of President George W. Bush. Consistent with the Army Field Manual, techniques such as playing loud music and depriving prisoners of sleep will be banned.

Separately, The New York Times reports that the Justice Department ethics office is recommending reopening some prisoner abuse cases from the Bush administration, which could expose CIA employees and contractors to criminal prosecution.

A White House spokesman said the decision on whether to reopen cases is solely up to Attorney General Eric Holder.

Also Monday, a report by the CIA's internal investigator is to be released, providing details of the controversial Bush-era interrogation techniques.

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