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US Attorney-General Eric Holder is mulling over whether to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate claims CIA staff tortured terrorism suspects after the September 11, 2001 attacks, a report says.
Citing three unnamed sources, The Washington Post said such a move could set the stage for a conflict with officials in US President Barack Obama's administration who want to leave these issues in the past.
According to the newspaper, Mr Holder's decision could come within weeks, when the Justice Department releases an ethics report on former Bush administration lawyers who drafted memoranda supporting harsh interrogation practices.