The paper reported on Saturday that senior Justice officials said they believed disclosing the methods will help put to rest the so-called public misperception that officials approved interrogation methods bordering on torture.

The interrogation methods have been classified since they were first used in questioning al-Qaida suspects picked up in Afghanistan and elsewhere after the 11 September attacks.

While the Justice Department has refused to release the documents because they are classified, officials there say they did not violate US laws banning the intentional infliction of severe or mental pain or suffering, the Post reported.

The rules in question concern the interrogation of senior al-Qaida leaders such as Abu Zubaida and Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, who are held at undisclosed facilities operated by the CIA.