Senate Panel to Pursue Investigation of C.I.A.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee is completing plans to begin a review of the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program, another sign that lawmakers are determined to have a public accounting of controversial Bush administration programs despite White House concerns about the impact of unearthing the past.

The review, Congressional officials said, will focus in part on whether harsh interrogation procedures authorized by President George W. Bush actually succeeded in extracting important intelligence, as Mr. Bush and his advisers have asserted. The full scope of the inquiry is still being debated on the panel, but it is expected to address broader questions of whether the steps taken by the Central Intelligence Agency to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects were properly authorized.

The Obama administration has been cool to proposals by Democrats to investigate the previous administration, fearing that any protracted inquiry could alienate some within the C.I.A. and have a chilling effect on operations at the spy agency. On Wednesday, the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, said he opposed a blanket investigation into the C.I.A. program, saying agency operatives had been carrying out orders and acting with approvals from the Justice Department.

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