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View Diary: Slate Exclusive: Rove was a Pussycat Compared to Addington (22 comments)

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  •  Very strong ties to Cheney (6+ / 0-)

    Addington has been tied nefariously with Cheney a very long time:

    From 1984 to 1987 [Addington] 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.

    Upon doing a little biography checking, what surprised me most about Addington's influence was this:

    David Addington was a key advocate of...more than 750 other signing statements the administration has issued since taking office--a record that far outstrips that of any other president.

    This last link provides an excellent review of Addington's background, his kindred spirit relationship with Cheney, and importantly how Addington showed his stripes while working for Cheney when Cheney was Sec'y of Defense.

    As the Pentagon general counsel, Addington soon alienated the armed forces' judge advocate generals by authoring a memo ordering the proudly independent corps of career military attorneys to report to the general counsel of each service.
    The JAG officers fought back and, with Congress's support, remained independent. But Addington, typically, found another way to prevail. He wrote a memo decreeing that only the general counsel of each service--not the JAGs--could issue final legal opinions.
    After the 9/11 attacks, the JAG officers were marginalized from the decision making on military tribunals and detainee treatment policies. They became among President Bush's most vocal critics within the military.

    Wow, that puts the firing of the US Attorneys in a new light.  Though Congressional investigations are trying to go to the Oval Office, the wizard behind that curtain may have been in the OVP.

    Anyway, go ahead read the rest of that story. It probably was well covered in a diary at the time of its publication (May 2006) but it's worth a re-read given what has been revealed since then.

    •  Important insight (3+ / 0-)

      This may also explain the emphasis on purging and replacement with Federalist Society appointees.

      All of the NSLs and warrantless wiretaps and other domestic actions that impaired Civil Liberty would need US Attorneys to be on board with using the tools.
      Miers wanted a clean slate, and this could be one of the reasons....

      In 2004-2005, The Administration sought to install War Council members Gonzales and Flanigan at the top of DOJ, which was the prior source of the intra-executive resistance to Unitary Executive (Comey and Ashcroft).  They couldn't use Addington because of his checkered past, but they could certainly use Gonzo, who according to the Goldsmith report was Addington's lap dog in the War Council.

      •  How did Yoo get into this War Council? (1+ / 0-)
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        As mere deputy head of OLC, he was quite junior to the other members.

        I continue to wonder who told Yoo to stay behind in his office the morning of 9/11, when the Justice Department building was being evacuated.  It looks from this story as if it wasn't anybody in the Justice Department.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 06:13:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suppose it was his (1+ / 0-)
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          fealty to all things kingly.
          He had a knack for writing Unitary Executive legal analysis.  Since they wanted to torture, wiretap and detain without oversight, they needed a scribe with devotion to executive power.

          There has been quite a bit of commentary that Yoo's boss at OLC, Bybee, was milquetoast and not at all forceful in his opinions.  I suspect that they brought Yoo into the circle because OLC was a potential check on their overreach and if he was wishywashy or ineffectual as a leader, they needed his underling to help enforce party discipline at OLC.

          You will recall that Yoo's reporting directly to the war council (circumventing his Boss-in name at DOJ, Ashcroft) was a major source of contention for Ashcroft.

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