MILITARY

Justice Dept. appears open to interrogation suit proceeding

FILE - In this May 14, 2013, file photo, the Department of Justice headquarters building in Washington is photographed early in the morning. The Justice Department has signaled that it won’t try to block a lawsuit arising from the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques, leaving the door open for a court challenge over tactics that have since been discontinued and widely discredited. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

FILE - In this May 14, 2013, file photo, the Department of Justice headquarters building in Washington is photographed early in the morning. The Justice Department has signaled that it won’t try to block a lawsuit arising from the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques, leaving the door open for a court challenge over tactics that have since been discontinued and widely discredited. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Justice Department has signaled that it won't try to block a lawsuit arising from the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques.

The move leaves the door open for a court challenge over tactics that have since been discontinued and widely discredited.

Lawyers call the government's stance unprecedented, but also a recognition that a once-secret program is now largely out in the open.

They say it's the first time the Justice Department has not sought, as its first step, to dismiss a lawsuit over the interrogation program by arguing that it's too secret to discuss in court. Judges have accepted that assertion, turning aside multiple cases.

The lawsuit at issue accuses the two Air Force psychologists who designed the interrogation program of endorsing torture tactics under the guise of science.