David Addington

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David Addington

David S. Addington (b. January 22, 1957, Washington, D.C.), was chief of staff and former legal counsel to former Vice President Dick Cheney.[1] He was appointed to replace I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr. as Cheney's chief of staff upon Libby's resignation after being indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on October 28, 2005.[2] He was described by U.S. News & World Report as "the most powerful man you've never heard of."[3]


[edit] Family

Addington is the son of Eleanore and Jerry Addington, a retired brigadier general and West Point graduate.[4] He is married to Cynthia Mary Addington; the couple have three children. Previously, Addington had been married to Linda Werling, whom he met while the two were both attending Duke University.[5]

[edit] Education and career

Addington graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1974. He is a graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and holds a J.D. from Duke University School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1981.

Addington was assistant general counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1981 to 1984.[6] From 1984 to 1987 he was counsel for the House committees on intelligence and international relations. He served as a staff attorney on the joint U.S. House-Senate committee investigation of the Iran-Contra scandal as an assistant to Congressman Dick Cheney, and was one of the principal authors of a controversial minority report issued at the conclusion of the joint committee's investigation.[7]

Addington was also a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan for one year in 1987, before becoming Reagan's deputy assistant. From 1989 to 1992, Addington served as special assistant to Cheney who was then the Secretary of Defense, before being confirmed as the Department of Defense's general counsel in 1992.[8]

From 1993 to 2001, he worked in private practice, for law firms Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz and Holland & Knight, and the American Trucking Association.[9] He headed a political action committee, the Alliance for American Leadership, set up in large part to explore a possible presidential candidacy for Cheney.

[edit] Vice President's office

After he began working for Vice President Cheney, Addington was very influential in many different areas of policy. He authored or helped to shape many of the most controversial policies of the Bush administration.[3] Addington's influence strongly reflects his hawkish views on U.S. foreign policy, a position he had apparently already committed to as a teenager during the late phase of the Vietnam War in the early 1970s.[10]

Addington has consistently advocated that under the Constitution, the President has unlimited powers as commander-in-chief during wartime.[11] He is the legal force behind over 750 signing statements that President Bush has added to bills passed by Congress. Addington was a legal advisor to President Reagan, and suggested that such signing statements be used to exempt President Reagan from responsibility for the Iran-Contra scandal.[citation needed] Charlie Savage, the former national legal affairs writer for The Boston Globe who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on signing statements, quotes former associate White House counsel Brad Berenson saying that Addington "would dive into a 200-page bill like it was a four-course meal" as he crafted the statements.[12][13]

Addington helped to shape an August 2002 opinion from the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that said torture might be justified in some cases.[14] He reportedly took a leading role in pressing for the use of harsh interrogation methods when a delegation of top Bush administration attorneys traveled to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in September 2002 to observe operations there.[15] Addington advocates scaling back the authority of lawyers in the uniformed services. In November 2006, the German government received a complaint seeking the prosecution of Addington and 15 other current and former U.S. government officials for alleged war crimes.[16]

According to Jack Goldsmith, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel from 2003 to 2004, Addington once said that "we're one bomb away from getting rid of that obnoxious court," referring to the secret United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court court, which oversees clandestine wiretapping. [17] Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman writes that Addington was the author of the controlling legal and technical documents for the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program, typing the documents on a Tempest-shielded computer across from his desk in room 268 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and storing them in a vault in his office.[18]

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is alleged to have remarked in private, regarding who was responsible for the NSA wiretapping of U.S. citizens without a warrant: "It's Addington," and further, that "he doesn't care about the Constitution." [19] when speaking with friends at a Washington Redskins game. Further, it is alleged, at least during Cheney's term as Secretary of Defense from 1989-93, that Addington and Cheney were deeply and eagerly interested in the U.S. Continuity of Operations Plan [20] (CO-OP), to be used in the event of a nuclear attack on the U.S. (and first partially implemented after 9/11/01). This plan is alleged to provide "enduring Constitutional government" under a "paramount unitary executive" with "cooperation from" Congress and the several Courts. This deep and eager interest in the CO-OP was reported by the New Yorker[21] to extend to drills where Cheney spent his nights in a bunker, perhaps that "secure undisclosed location" where, following 9/11, he was later described to be occupying. Apparently Addington has taken this interest to the point where "For years, Addington has carried a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his pocket; taped onto the back are photocopies of extra statutes that detail the legal procedures for Presidential succession in times of national emergency..."[22] perhaps, even a national emergency that involves the CO-OP.

He consistently advocates the expansion of presidential powers and the unitary executive theory, a nearly absolute deference to the executive branch from Congress and the judiciary. In a June 26, 2007 letter to Senator John Kerry, Addington asserted that by virtue of Executive Order 12958 as amended in 2003 that the Office of the Vice President was exempt from oversight by the National Archives' Information Security Oversight Office for its handling of classified materials.[23] He had previously pushed for elimination of the position of director of the oversight office after a dispute over what should be considered classified information.[24] The story was broken after the Chicago Tribune noticed an asterisk in an ISOO report "that it contained no information from OVP". A federal judge ordered Addington to submit to a deposition in a lawsuit filed to protect Cheney's vice-presidential records from potential destruction under the provisions of the Presidential Records Act of 1978.[25] [26]

Addington was mentioned by title in I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr.'s indictment for five felony charges related to the Plame affair, regarding the leak of the identity of a CIA officer.[27] A PBS Frontline documentary "Cheney's Law" broadcast on October 16, 2007 detailed Addington's key role in Bush administration policy making, and noted that he declined to be interviewed regarding his thoughts on the limits of executive privilege.[28]

On June 26, 2008, Addington appeared to testify under subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee along with former Justice Department attorney John Yoo in a contentious hearing on detainee treatment, interrogation methods and the extent of executive branch authority.[29][30][31]video

[edit] Spanish charges considered

In March 2009 Baltazar Garzon, a Spanish judge who has considered international war crimes charges against other high-profile figures, considered whether to allow charges to be laid against Addington and five other former officials of the George W. Bush Presidency.[32]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Dreyfuss, Robert (2006-04-17). "Vice Squad". The American Prospect. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=11423. Retrieved on 2008-06-29. 
  2. ^ Keith Olbermann (November 4, 2005). "Cheney's new chief of staff controversial". MSNBC. http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9917435/. 
  3. ^ a b Chitra Ragavan (May 29, 2006). "Cheney's Guy". U.S. News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060529/29addington.htm. 
  4. ^ Letter from Washington: The Hidden Power: The New Yorker
  5. ^ Letter from Washington: The Hidden Power: The New Yorker
  6. ^ Blumenthal, Sidney (2007). "The sad decline of Michael Mukasey". Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2007/11/01/mukasey/print.html. Retrieved on 2007-11-01. 
  7. ^ Mr. Cheney's Minority Report by Sean Wilentz, July 9, 2007, New York Times.
  8. ^ Charlie Savage (2006-11-26). "Hail to the chief: Dick Cheney's mission to expand - or 'restore' - the powers of the presidency". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/11/26/hail_to_the_chief/?page=5. Retrieved on 2008-02-26. 
  9. ^ Murray Waas; Paul Singer (October 30, 2005). "Addington's Role In Cheney's Office Draws Fresh Attention". National Journal. http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2005/1030nj1.htm. 
  10. ^ Jane Mayer, "The Hidden Power", The New Yorker, July 3, 2006.
  11. ^ Dana Milbank (2004-10-11). "In Cheney's Shadow, Counsel Pushes the Conservative Cause". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A22665-2004Oct10?language=printer. 
  12. ^ Emily Brazelon (2007-11-18). "All the President’s Powers". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/books/review/Bazelon-t.html?pagewanted=print. Retrieved on 2007-11-18. 
  13. ^ Robin Lindley (2008-01-07). "The Return of the Imperial Presidency: An Interview with Charlie Savage". History News Network. http://hnn.us/articles/44951.html. Retrieved on 2008-02-13. 
  14. ^ Douglas Jehl; Tim Golden (November 2, 2005). "In Cheney's New Chief, a Bureaucratic Master". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/02/politics/02aide.html?pagewanted=print. 
  15. ^ Phillipe Sands (May 2008). "The Green Light". Vanity Fair. http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/guantanamo200805?printable=true&currentPage=all. Retrieved on 2008-06-16. 
  16. ^ "German War Crimes Complaint Against Donald Rumsfeld, et al.". Center for Constitutional Rights. http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/german-war-crimes-complaint-against-donald-rumsfeld,-et-al.. Retrieved on 2008-10-03. 
  17. ^ Jeffrey Rosen (2007-09-07). "Conscience of a Conservative". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/magazine/09rosen.html. 
  18. ^ Barton Gelman (2008-09-14). "Conflict Over Spying Led White House to Brink". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/13/AR2008091302284_pf.html. 
  19. ^ Jane Mayer (2006-06-03). "The Hidden Power". The New Yorker. p. 1. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/07/03/060703fa_fact1scandal. Retrieved on 2008-06-27. 
  20. ^ Jane Mayer (2006-06-03). "The Hidden Power". The New Yorker. p. 5. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/07/03/060703fa_fact1scandal. Retrieved on 2008-06-27. 
  21. ^ (ibid, p.5)
  22. ^ (ibid, p. 1)
  23. ^ Addington and the Question of Intent, in Secrecy News, published by the Federation of American Scientists, June 28, 2007.
  24. ^ Michael Isikoff (2007-12-24). "Challenging Cheney". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/81883/output/print. Retrieved on 2008-02-25. 
  25. ^ "Emergency Petition for a Writ of Mandamus" (PDF). United States District Court for the District of Columbia. 2008-09-30. http://www.citizensforethics.org/files/093008%20-%20Writ%20of%20Mandamus.pdf. 
  26. ^ "Plaintiff's Opposition to Emergency Petition for a Writ of Mandamus" (PDF). United States District Court for the District of Columbia. 2008-10-01. http://www.citizensforethics.org/files/Document%2025%20(10-1-08)%20Opposition%20to%20Stay%20of%20Mandamus.pdf. 
  27. ^ Daniel Klaidman; Stuart Taylor, Jr., and Evan Thomas (February 6, 2006). "Palace Revolt". Newsweek. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11079547/site/newsweek/. 
  28. ^ "Cheney's Law". Public Broadcasting System. 2007-10-16. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cheney/. Retrieved on 2007-11-07. 
  29. ^ Dan Eggen (2008-06-27). "Bush Policy Authors Defend Their Actions". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/26/AR2008062601966_pf.html. 
  30. ^ Scott Shane (2008-06-27). "Two Testify on Memo Spelling Out Interrogation". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/washington/27hearing.html. 
  31. ^ Dana Milbank (2008-06-27). "When Anonymity Fails, Be Nasty, Brutish and Short". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/26/AR2008062603456_pf.html. 
  32. ^ "Spain may decide Guantanamo probe this week". Reuters. 2009-03-28. http://in.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idINLT53678920090329?sp=true. Retrieved on 2009-03-29.  mirror

[edit] External links

Political offices
Preceded by
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr.
Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States
Succeeded by
Ronald Klain
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