Sunday, October 30, 2005

Meet the new boss....

Vice President Dick Cheney's counsel, David Addington, may succeed the recently indicted "Scooter" Libby as Cheney's Chief of Staff. His potential elevation may only serve to increase the difficult questions the V.P. is likely being bombarded with. Murray Waas and Paul Singer lay out Addington's role in several controversial administration actions in today's National Journal.
…Addington worked with Libby and Cheney in a broader effort to blunt congressional criticism that the administration selectively used intelligence information, and misrepresented other information, to make the case to go to war. In that instance, Addington played a key role in withholding information from Congress.

… a CIA representative, as well as one from at least one other agency, believed that Addington selectively released classified information to damage Wilson…it was believed that Addington was holding back other documents that would portray the administration in an unfavorable light.

National Journal reported last week that Vice President Cheney, Libby, and Addington, overruled advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers and decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence.

Addington shares with Cheney and Libby the view of increasing presidential power and authority and setting strict limits on the release of executive branch information to both Congress and the public.

As early as May 2001, Addington was the point person for the White House in deflecting requests by congressional Democrats and later the General Accounting Office (now named the Government Accountability Office) for information about the energy policy task force convened by Cheney's office.

…Addington helped draft the White House memo that concluded that the Geneva Convention against torture did not apply to prisoners captured in the war on terror. The memo declared that terrorism "renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."

- Murphy

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