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Some Democratic senators are calling for an investigation after learning Congress wasn't briefed about an covert CIA counterterrorism program allegedly ordered to be kept secret by former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Eric Holder, the US attorney general is reported to be considering assigning a prosecutor to investigate interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects by the government of George Bush, the former US president.
Such an appointment could lead to a criminal inquiry into the treatment of prisoners by the CIA following the 2001 attacks in New York.
The move is seen as being controversial as Barack Obama, the US president, had previously said he wanted to leave the issue "in the past".
An official from the US justice department said Holder planned to "follow the fact and the law".
Holder's decision is expected to be made in the next few weeks.