Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The NYT also posted this profile of David Addington on their website.

The major new revelation in the piece (or at least something I did not know) was that after Addington "helped to shape an August 2002 opinion from the Justice Department's office of legal counsel that said torture might be justified" in some cases of interrogating terrorism suspects, "the White House formally repudiated the memorandum after it became public."

Below are some excerpts from the story:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 - Shortly after he became defense secretary in 1989, Dick Cheney installed in the office next door to his own suite a young special assistant named David S. Addington. That move displaced a uniformed officer and rankled the military, but it did not slow Mr. Addington's path to power.

Smart, secretive and direct, Mr. Addington is a man very much in Mr. Cheney's image. Now, at 48, he is at Mr. Cheney's right hand again, succeeding I. Lewis Libby Jr. as the vice president's chief of staff. But while Mr. Addington has spent much of his career in proximity to Mr. Cheney, his admirers and detractors alike say his success is rooted in his mastery of the skills of bureaucratic combat.

"He's regarded within all the parts of government that have come into contact with the vice president's office as a force of nature in his own right," said Bradford Berenson, a Washington lawyer who worked with Mr. Addington in the Bush White House, as an associate counsel. "He tends to accomplish more operating as a lone wolf than do others who are backed by entire government departments."

"There are some people in government who are diplomats and others in government who are warriors," Mr. Berenson said, "and Addington certainly falls on the warrior side of that line." As Mr. Cheney's counsel since 2001, Mr. Addington has been at the center of some of the administration's fiercest fights, advocating expansive presidential powers and limited rights for terror suspects. By most accounts, he has more than held his own, in some cases overshadowing Alberto R. Gonzalez, when Mr. Gonzalez was White House counsel, and shaping the White House view in debates with the Departments of Justice, State and Defense...

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Addington has been one of the most important architects of the administration's new legal structure for the detention and interrogation of terror suspects.

According to current and former officials who worked with him closely, he was a primary author of the Nov. 13, 2001, presidential order that established the military's sweeping powers to detain terror suspects and try them before military commissions. Mr. Addington has also played a central role in efforts to expand the legal authority of clandestine intelligence officers to detain and interrogate suspects in terrorism investigations, those officials said. Among other efforts, they said, he helped to shape an August 2002 opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel that said torture might be justified in some cases. In an unusual step, the White House formally repudiated the memorandum after it became public last year...

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