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Cheney’s Legal Hit Man

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Posted on Jun 30, 2006
David Addington

David Addington, chief of staff to Dick Cheney, has been more responsible than perhaps any other member of the Bush White House for crafting the theory of the “unitary executive,” which holds that Congress has very limited power to keep the executive (the president) in check.

He’s been described as “the most powerful person you’ve never heard of,” and “Cheney’s Cheney.” He’s David Addington, the vice president’s chief of staff, and he’s behind the legal arguments to support presidential-sanctioned torture, the attempt to discredit Joe Wilson, and the bogus Niger uranium story. The New Yorker has a must-read profile.

The New Yorker:

On December 18th, Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, joined other prominent Washington figures at FedEx Field, the Redskins? stadium, in a skybox belonging to the team?s owner. During the game, between the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, Powell spoke of a recent report in the Times which revealed that President Bush, in his pursuit of terrorists, had secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on American citizens without first obtaining a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as required by federal law. This requirement, which was instituted by Congress in 1978, after the Watergate scandal, was designed to protect civil liberties and curb abuses of executive power, such as Nixon?s secret monitoring of political opponents and the F.B.I.?s eavesdropping on Martin Luther King, Jr. Nixon had claimed that as President he had the ?inherent authority? to spy on people his Administration deemed enemies, such as the anti-Vietnam War activist Daniel Ellsberg. Both Nixon and the institution of the Presidency had paid a high price for this assumption. But, according to the Times, since 2002 the legal checks that Congress constructed to insure that no President would repeat Nixon?s actions had been secretly ignored.

According to someone who knows Powell, his comment about the article was terse. ?It?s Addington,? he said. ?He doesn?t care about the Constitution.? Powell was referring to David S. Addington, Vice-President Cheney?s chief of staff and his longtime principal legal adviser. Powell?s office says that he does not recall making the statement. But his former top aide, Lawrence Wilkerson, confirms that he and Powell shared this opinion of Addington.


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By joey, July 8, 2006 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

David Addington
With some clamoring for accountability in education it should also be true at the other end of the spectrum. Hold colleges accountable for their graduates.  How could a university in good standing ,like Duke University,inflict upon our nation a lawyer who so detests or misunderstands the document on which all the laws and freedoms of the nation are based. The Constitution of the United States. A lawyer that systematical has destroyed the 4th amendment of the Constitution and has exposed its citizens to a loss of privacy, to 24 hour surveillance, to search and seizure, and to imprisonment without trial. Just how bad does a lawyer have to be before he is open to challenge from others in the legal community. Were the last 200 years of legal presidence such a thin veneer that they can be discarded in 10 minutes. Even the supreme court ,inspite of it.s present condition, took a stand against this outrage. Are there any other lawyers in this country? Where are Ben Franklin’s, the Thomas Jefferson’s, the Geo Washington’s of today.  Why can a third rate lawyer like Addington get away with this?

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By SPIIDERWEB™, July 2, 2006 at 6:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I even gave him more power in this post.

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By rachelle, July 1, 2006 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read the looong article. Some 25 pages of 8 1/2 X 11, font
size 12 Helvetica. I feel overrwhelmed by the conspiring and
unscrupulous ways of the current administration.

David Addington is the epitome of that. With him at the helm
alongside Dick Cheney, America doesn’t have a chance. There
had better be a concerted effort or else you’ll all be taken to the
hell of Nazi Germany. Good luck.

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