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The accounts of the White House-supervised interrogation unit and the ethics recommendation to Holder were first reported, respectively, by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

The recommendation by the Office of Professional Responsibility was recently presented to Holder, an official, speaking on grounds of anonymity, told The Associated Press.

The structure of the new unit the White House is creating would depart significantly from such work under the previous administration, when the CIA had the lead and sometimes exclusive role in questioning al-Qaida suspects.

Associated Press Writer Pamela Hess contributed to this story.