WASHINGTON - House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and 15 other Democrats on the panel asked Attorney General Eric Holder to name a special counsel to probe the interrogation of terrorism suspects during the Bush administration for possible violations.
"The authorization and use of interrogation techniques that likely amounted to torture has generated tremendous concern and outrage in this country and has harmed our legal and moral standing in the world," Conyers and the others said in a letter. "We must investigate and demand accountability for acts of torture committed by or on our behalf."
Earlier this month the Justice Department released memos showing that department lawyers authorized the CIA to use such techniques as sleep deprivation, slapping, nudity and waterboarding, which simulates drowning. The memos, written in 2002 and 2005, were released in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
President Barack Obama left open the possibility of taking action against Bush administration officials for authorizing the techniques. He said CIA operatives who acted based on the memos shouldn't be prosecuted.