A draft report of a Justice Department inquiry recommends the officials face professional sanctions, but no criminal charges.
A five-year-long internal Justice Department inquiry into the origin of Bush-era interrogation techniques has recommended that government lawyers who defended the legality of practices like waterboarding not face criminal charges, according to media reports.
It is the latest volley in a drawn-out political debate over whether former Bush officials should be held legally accountable for the interrogation techniques, which were approved in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. At the time, many feared that a second strike on the US was imminent.
President Barack Obama calls the techniques torture, but former President George W. Bush viewed them as an acceptable way to interrogate suspects who may know information about possible future attacks.
The legal arguments in favor of the techniques were revealed last month when President Obama released classified Justice Department memos written by John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Steve Bradbury, who all served in the Office of Legal Counsel under President Bush.
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