Washington insiders call David Addington the most powerful person in the Bush adminstration whom the public doesn't know anything about. He refuses to have his photo taken by the media and refuses interviews by the press. He doesn't give public speeches, but prefers to work long and hard in the corridors of power within the administration. Addington has been Vice President Dick Cheney's longtime ally and has now replaced indicted Scooter Libby as VP Chief of Staff.
Why do I label David Addington as a dictator's lawyer?
David Addington is the legal mind behind all of the Bush administration's exertion of executive power in the most extreme examples:
- Guantanamo Bay "illegal enemy combatants" detention
- Torture as a means for intelligence gathering
- Warrantless NSA spying on U.S. citizens
- Author of presidential signing statements to ignore laws
These are things a dictator would do. A dictator's government feels they can ignore the people's legislative branch of government or even the judicial branch when it doesn't suit their agenda. Luckily, our president is still an elected official and while our country is run like a dictatorship is some cases, it is not beyond help. People can still vote these warmongering freaks out of office, allow them to run corporations and pillage on a smaller scale, or retire.
Addington has also been called Cheney's Cheney. In other words, if Bush is the public, plain-speaking bubba and Cheney is the real policymaker in the White House -- Addington is even less politically-adept, abrasive, and single-minded than Cheney. He is absolutely dogmatic and immovable in the legalese that the President is the Commander-in-Chief and can do anything the administration pleases.
For example, while Alberto Gonzales is the Attorney General, he doesn't know anything about constitutional nuances and international law. Addington does. Addington schools Bush's DUI lawyer when it comes to presidential power. Then, Alberto is trotted out in front of Congressional hearings and other public venues to parrot the administration's policies with a friendly face, instead of Addington who would likely react angrily to any questions concerning the president's power.
I'm not going to paraphrase or give you biographical history here why David Addington is the man behind these dictatorial policies. I'll just say that Addington doesn't appear to have any foreign policy agenda except his devout belief that the president should have even more power than he has now.
Cheney and Addington have been linked at the hip since Watergate. While Cheney and Rumsfeld may be correctly described as neo-cons with global corporate visions based in Cold War mentalites, Addington is really just the legal wonk that tells the policymakers that their agendas are legal. He has been effective at keeping high-ranking people out of the Cheney stovepipe who don't immediately agree with the Bush-Cheney vision for the wider Middle East. He is an enabler and an effective administration opposition legal hitman.
Here are some clearly enlightening articles concerning David Addington:
These longer investigative journalism articles can explain Addington's biography, his possible motivations, and his interaction with opposition voices to the current policies. Everyone has heard that the Bush administration appreciates loyalty over intelligent analysis and outcome prediction. Addington is single-minded.
These articles explain why Addington has been promoted to VP Chief of Staff -- rather than fired -- even when his legal advice has been shot down by Congress and the Supreme Court.