"Still, Mr. Cheney and top C.I.A. officials fought to revive the program. Steven G. Bradbury, the head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and author of the recently declassified 2005 memorandums authorizing harsh C.I.A interrogations, began drafting another memorandum in late 2006 to restore legal approval for harsh interrogation. Mr. Bradbury noted that Congress, despite the public controversy, had left it to the White House to set the limits.
Early drafts of the memorandum, circulated through the White House, the C.I.A. and the State Department, shocked some officials. Just months after the Supreme Court had declared that the Geneva Convention applied to Al Qaeda, the new Bradbury memorandum gave its blessing to almost every technique, except waterboarding, that the C.I.A. had used since 2002.
Forced as secretary of state to defend the C.I.A. program before angry European allies, Ms. Rice and her aides argued that it had outlived its usefulness.
In February 2007, Mr. Bellinger wrote to the Justice Department challenging Mr. Bradbury's position. He called Mr. Bradbury's memorandum a "work of advocacy" that gave a twisted interpretation of the Geneva Conventions and told colleagues he might resign."
"When Mr. Obama was sworn in on Jan. 20, the C.I.A. still maintained a network of empty jails overseas, where interrogators were still authorized to use physical pressure. Within 48 hours, he banned the methods.
Finally, last month, the program that had been the source of so many vigorous fights in Washington’s power corridors met a prosaic end.
Leon E. Panetta, the new C.I.A. chief, terminated the agency's contracts providing the security and maintenance for the prisons, emphasizing the economic benefits. Closing the C.I.A. prisons, Mr. Panetta said, would save taxpayers $4 million."