If you've ever wondered who this chap is - he appears regularly at the Corner opposing abortion - you will learn something from the bowels of the Senate Armed Services Intelligence Committee Report (PDF):

In the spring of 2003, the DCI asked for a reaffirmation of the policies and practices in the interrogation program. In July 2003, according to CIA records, the NSC Principals met to discuss the interrogation techniques employed in the CIA program. According to CIA records, the DCI and the CIA?s General Counsel attended a meeting with the Vice President, the National Security Adviser, the Attorney General, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General, the Counsel to the President, and the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council to describe the CIA's interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. According to CIA records, at the conclusion of that meeting, the Principals reaffirmed that the CIA program was lawful and reflected administration policy.

My italics. In the spring of 2003, that post was held by M Edward Whelan III, an arch-Catholic. Whelan is the head of - wait for it - the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Speaking of which, where are the Catholic bishops? They can manage to get into the news opposing a commencement speech by the president, but when incontrovertible evidence that the Bush administration tortured prisoners emerges, the silence from the top is deafening.

[Update: Whelan denies everything, and says he was not at the meeting at all and opposes torture in all forms. I have corrected this post to reflect that, have no reason to disbelieve him and apologize to him for my first impression that he was a supporter of torture. He has no comment on the interrogation techniques approved by his former colleagues at the OLC. My apology can be read here.]

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