The Washington Post reported Sunday the "enhanced interrogation techniques" -- including feigned drowning and refusal of pain medication for injuries -- have been used to elicit intelligence from al-Qaida leaders such as Abu Zubaida and Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
The Post said current and former CIA officers believe the suspension reflects the CIA's fears of being accused of unsanctioned and illegal activities, as it was during the 1970s.
The decision applies to CIA detention facilities, where the agency is interrogating al-Qaida leaders and their supporters, but does not include military prisons, such as at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"Everything's on hold," a former senior CIA official aware of the agency's decision told the Post. "The whole thing has been stopped until we sort out whether we are sure we're on legal ground."
A CIA spokesman declined comment.