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Report: CIA Dropping Harsh Tactics

The CIA has suspended use of some White House-approved aggressive interrogation tactics employed to extract information from reluctant Al Qaeda (search) prisoners, The Washington Post said.

Citing unnamed intelligence officials, the newspaper reported in Sunday's editions that what the CIA (search) calls "enhanced interrogation techniques" were put on hold pending a review by Justice Department and other lawyers.

The techniques include such things as feigned drowning and refusal of pain medication for injuries.

The paper quoted current and former CIA officers aware of the recent decision as saying the suspension reflects the agency's concern about being accused of unsanctioned and illegal activities, as it was in the 1970s.

The decision applies to CIA facilities around the world, but not to military prisons at Guantanamo Bay (search), Cuba, and elsewhere, the Post said. A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the issue, it said.

It said CIA interrogations will continue, but without the suspended techniques, which also include feigning suffocation, "stress positions," light and noise bombardment, sleep deprivation, and making captives think they are being interrogated by another government.

The newspaper said the interrogation methods were approved by Justice Department and National Security Council lawyers in 2002, outlined to congressional leaders and required the authorization of CIA Director George J. Tenet (search) for use.