John McCaslin

"These are the techniques in the CIA interrogation program. Although they remain classified (as were some techniques in previous editions of the Army Field Manual), they have been fully briefed to the intelligence oversight committees and their lawfulness confirmed by the Department of Justice," he says.

Choosing icons

Word of William F. Buckley Jr.'s death this week brought back memories for Inside the Beltway reader Peter Wingate of Winchester, Va., who recalls that in 1984 he was fortunate to witness a debate between the conservative leader and economist John Kenneth Galbraith at Texas A&M University.

"Since I majored in economics, it was a thrill for me to be in the audience," Mr. Wingate notes. "Although Galbraith had had such a significant impact on economics textbooks, I found myself intuitively gravitating towards Buckley's way of thinking.

"Imagine my surprise when, six years later, I was working at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington and I saw through the chamber's television studio window Mother Teresa being interviewed by Buckley," he continues. "As a Roman Catholic, it was heartwarming for me to watch Mother Teresa quietly pray the rosary with the small audience. ...

"After Buckley had finished his interviews and was leaving, I stood in his way and introduced myself, told him he was an important influence on me in school, and that I was at his debate with Galbraith," he says. "He spent quite some time visiting with me in that hallway, telling me about that night and how he remembered it because Ambassador Galbraith had to leave from there for the funeral of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

"I told my mother that I was embarrassed to admit that I was more excited that day to meet Buckley than I was to see Mother Teresa. It didn't occur to me to seek out Mother Teresa and introduce myself. ... Of course, I now regret missing that chance."


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.