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United for Peace of Pierce County - NEWS & BACKGROUND: Addington, emerging from Cheney's 'dark hole,' continues to fight for torture

Bradford Berenson, a Washington lawyer who has worked with him, calls David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's new chief of staff, "a force of nature in his own right," according to a report in Wednesday's New York Times.  --  The dark force, no doubt.  --  Berenson says that Addington, who is a co-author of the notorious Aug. 1, 2002, Gonzalez torture memo that the administration was forced to repudiate when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, "tends to accomplish more operating as a lone wolf than do others who are backed by entire government departments."  --  Bruce Fein, a Republican lawyer who has worked with him, puts it in terms that have a sinister ring.  --  Addington's "agenda," he says, is "the president and war powers über alles."  --  Maureen Dowd expressed amazement that Dick Cheney would reach into his "incestuous, secretive, vindictive, hallucinatory dark hole" where "Cheney's Cheney's Cheney" had been lurking and thrust him into a more prominent position, and attributed the willingness of the Democrats to "shut down the Senate" Wendesday to, in part, the provocative character of the Addington appointment.[2]  --  Addington also figured in the Times's front-page story Wednesday, which described how he had "verbally assailed" a Pentagon aide who briefed him on a draft of Departement of Defense Directive 23.10, which would take language from the Geneva Convention and use it to define standards for treating terror suspects.[3]  --  "[Matthew C. Waxman, Mr. Rumsfeld's chief adviser on detainee issues] left bruised and bloody," said a Defense Department official. "He tried to champion [Common] Article 3, and Addington just ate him for lunch."  --  Common Article 3, which proscribes "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, humiliating and degrading treatment," is too "problematically vague" to satisfy David Addington, Tim Golden and Eric Schmitt reported....



By Douglas Jehl

New York Times
November 2, 2005

WASHINGTON -- 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.

"He's always been eager to put forth a very strong and unyielding agenda, which says the president and war powers über alles," said Bruce Fein, a Washington lawyer who worked with Mr. Addington as a fellow Republican counsel on the Iran-contra committee in the 1980's.

Mr. Addington entered government straight out of the Duke University law school in 1981, as a lawyer at the Central Intelligence Agency. By the time he reached the Pentagon, he had already made stops in Congress, on the House Intelligence and Iran-contra committees and in the White House, as a deputy assistant to President Ronald Reagan, for legislative affairs.

During eight years out of government, under President Bill Clinton, Mr. Addington practiced law and headed a political action committee, the Alliance for American Leadership, set up in large part to explore a possible presidential candidacy for Mr. Cheney.

But some Democrats who have worked with him say they do not regard him as particularly partisan; Jeffrey H. Smith, who ran the transition effort at the Pentagon before Mr. Clinton took office, says Mr. Addington is "tough, to be sure, but he's also very direct, and I've found him to be very professional and very honest."

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.

Allies and opponents of Mr. Addington often describe him as a kind of legend within the bureaucracy, a man of formidable intelligence, passionate, conservative views and a frequently eviscerating style toward those who openly disagree with him.

He has cast a particularly long shadow at the Pentagon, where many senior military lawyers remain suspicious of him more than a decade after they first clashed over his role, as an aide to Defense Secretary Cheney, in efforts to scale back the authority of lawyers in the uniformed services.

Mr. Addington worked closely with Mr. Libby, who stepped down as chief of staff last Friday after he was indicted on five felony charges related to the leak of the identity of a C.I.A. officer married to Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador who had traveled to Niger at the C.I.A.'s request to explore accusations related to Iraq's weapons program. Mr. Addington is mentioned briefly, by title, in the indictment of Mr. Libby, as having participated in a conversation on July 8, 2003, in which Mr. Libby asked what paperwork the C.I.A. might keep if an employee's spouse took an overseas trip.

One of the titles held by Mr. Libby, that of Mr. Cheney's national security adviser, will not fall to Mr. Addington but to John P. Hannah, a foreign policy aide whose ties to the vice president are less deeply rooted.

Mr. Hannah has worked for Mr. Cheney since 2001, but he began his career in Washington as a protégé of Dennis B. Ross, the former Middle East peace negotiator. Mr. Ross taught Mr. Hannah at Stanford University, and later took him to the State Department, under the first President Bush, when Mr. Ross was director of policy planning.

Mr. Hannah later served at the State Department under Warren M. Christopher, where he worked with Thomas E. Donilon, who was Mr. Christopher's chief of staff. Under Mr. Bush, Mr. Hannah worked closely with Mr. Libby in preparing a draft of a speech for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that laid out the Bush administration's rationale for war against Iraq.

Beyond the more circumscribed role, friends of Mr. Addington say he is a very different person from Mr. Libby, a novelist and avid athlete who was picked up at his home each morning by a government driver. Mr. Addington rides the Metro back and forth to work from his home in Alexandria, Va., associates say, and they say that is unlikely to change even though his new post entitles him to car service.

The father of three daughters, the oldest of whom is in college, Mr. Addington is married to Cynthia M. Addington, who does not work outside the home, his friends say. He typically works late into the evening, said Nancy Dorn, who worked with Mr. Addington in Congress, in the White House, and as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

"Whether it was a micro issue or a macro issue, Dave gave it the same kind of attention," Ms. Dorn said. "He's the antithesis of the image of Washington, in some regards."

--Tim Golden contributed reporting for this article.


Op-Ed Columnist

By Maureen Dowd

New York Times
November 2, 2005 (subscribers only)

Scooter used to be Cheney's Cheney.

Now we've got Cheney's Cheney's Cheney.

This is not an improvement.

Once Scooter left, many people, including a lot of alarmed conservatives and moderate Republicans, were hoping that W. and Vice would throw open some White House windows to let the air and sun in, and climb out of that incestuous, secretive, vindictive, hallucinatory dark hole they've been bunkered in for five years.

But they like it in their paranoid paradise. One of the most confounding aspects of W.'s exceedingly confounding presidency is his apparent unwillingness to consider that anyone who ever worked for him -- and was in any way responsible for any of the disasters now afflicting his administration -- should be jettisoned.

This is not loyalty. This is myopia. Where is a meddling, power-intoxicated first lady when we need one? Maybe the clever Nancy Reagan should have a little talk with Laura Bush tonight at the dinner for Prince Charles and Camilla, and explain to her how to step in and fire overweening officials who are hurting your man.

Vice thumbed his nose yesterday at the notion that he should clean up his creepy laboratory when he promoted two Renfields who are part of the gang that got us into this mess.

Dick Cheney has appointed David Addington as his new chief of staff, an ideologue who is so fanatically secretive, so in love with the shadows, so belligerent and unyielding that he's known around town as the Keyser Soze of the usual suspects. At 48, Mr. Addington is a legend: he's worked his way up the G.O.P. scandal ladder from Iran-contra to Abu Ghraib.

Unlike Scooter, this lone-wolf lawyer doesn't reach out to journalists, even to use them as conduits or covers; he makes his boss look gregarious. He routinely declines to be interviewed or photographed.

Vice also appointed John Hannah as his national security adviser, a title also held by Scooter. Mr. Addington and Mr. Hannah often battled with the C.I.A. and State as the cabal pushed the case that Saddam was a direct threat to America, sabotaging Colin Powell's reputation when it "helped" with his U.N. speech. Mr. Hannah was the contact for Ahmad Chalabi, who went around the C.I.A. to feed Vice's office the baloney intel and rosy scenarios that suckered the U.S. into war.

Mr. Addington has done his best to crown King Cheney. As Dana Milbank wrote in the Washington Post, Mr. Addington pushed an obscure philosophy called the unitary executive theory that "favors an extraordinarily powerful president." He would go "through every page of the federal budget in search of riders that could restrict executive authority."

"He was a principal author of the White House memo justifying torture of terrorism suspects," Mr. Milbank wrote. "He was a prime advocate of arguments supporting the holding of terrorism suspects without access to courts. Addington also led the fight with Congress and environmentalists over access to information about corporations that advised the White House on energy policy." And he helped stonewall the 9/11 commission.

The National Journal pointed out that Scooter had talked to Mr. Addington and Mr. Hannah about Joseph Wilson and his C.I.A. wife when he was seeking more information to discredit them in the press. Mr. Addington, the story said, "was deeply immersed" in the White House damage-control campaign to deflect criticism about warped W.M.D. intelligence, and attended strategy sessions in 2003 on how to discredit Mr. Wilson.

"Further," the magazine said, "Addington played a leading role in 2004 on behalf of the Bush administration when it refused to give the Senate Intelligence Committee documents from Libby's office on the alleged misuse of intelligence information regarding Iraq."

Mr. Addington may as well have turned the documents over for safekeeping to Pat Roberts, because, as it turned out, the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee didn't want to investigate anything.

Angry at the Scooter scandal, the Addington appointment, and the Roberts stonewalling, Senate Democrats did something remarkable yesterday: they dimmed the lights, stamped their feet, and shut down the Senate.

Tired of being in the dark, the Democrats put the Republicans in the dark. Childish, perhaps, but effective. Republicans screamed but grudgingly agreed to take a look at where the investigation stands. But even if the Senate starts investigating again, Mr. Addington, now promoted, will have even more authority not to cooperate.

It's the Cheney chain of command.



By Tim Golden and Eric Schmitt

New York Times
November 2, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is embroiled in a sharp internal debate over whether a new set of Defense Department standards for handling terror suspects should adopt language from the Geneva Conventions prohibiting "cruel," "humiliating," and "degrading" treatment, administration officials say.

Advocates of that approach, who include some Defense and State Department officials and senior military lawyers, contend that moving the military's detention policies closer to international law would prevent further abuses and build support overseas for the fight against Islamic extremists, officials said.

Their opponents, who include aides to Vice President Dick Cheney and some senior Pentagon officials, have argued strongly that the proposed language is vague, would tie the government's hands in combating terrorists, and still would not satisfy America's critics, officials said.

The debate has delayed the publication of a second major Pentagon directive on interrogations, along with a new Army interrogations manual that was largely completed months ago, military officials said. It also underscores a broader struggle among senior officials over whether to scale back detention policies that have drawn strong opposition even from close American allies.

Since Mr. Bush's second term began, several officials said, factions within the administration have clashed over the revision of rules for the military tribunals to be held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the transfer of some prisoners held there, and aspects of the United States' detention operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"It goes back to the question of how you want to fight the war on terror," said a senior administration official who has advocated changes but, like others, would discuss the internal deliberations only on the condition of anonymity. "We think you do that most successfully by creating alliances."

The document under discussion, known as Department of Defense Directive 23.10, would provide broad guidance from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; while it would not spell out specific detention and interrogation techniques, officials said, those procedures would have to conform to its standards. It would not cover the treatment of detainees held by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The behind-the-scenes debate over the Pentagon directive comes more than three years after President Bush decided that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the fight against terrorism. It mirrors a public battle between the Bush administration and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who is pressing a separate legislative effort to ban the "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment" of any detainee in United States custody.

After a 90-to-9 vote in the Senate last month in favor of Mr. McCain's amendment to a $445 billion defense spending bill, the White House moved to exempt clandestine C.I.A. activities from the provision. A House-Senate conference committee is expected to consider the issue this week.

Mr. Cheney and some of his aides have spearheaded the administration's opposition to Senator McCain's amendment; they were also quick to oppose a draft of the detention directive, which began to circulate in the Pentagon in mid-September, officials said.

A central player in the fight over the directive is David S. Addington, who was the vice president's counsel until he was named on Monday to succeed I. Lewis Libby Jr. as Mr. Cheney's chief of staff. According to several officials, Mr. Addington verbally assailed a Pentagon aide who was called to brief him and Mr. Libby on the draft, objecting to its use of language drawn from Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

"He left bruised and bloody," one Defense Department official said of the Pentagon aide, Matthew C. Waxman, Mr. Rumsfeld's chief adviser on detainee issues. "He tried to champion Article 3, and Addington just ate him for lunch."

Despite his vehemence, Mr. Addington did not necessarily win the argument, officials said. They predicted that it would be settled by Mr. Rumsfeld after consultation with other agencies.

But while advocates of change within the administration have prevailed in a few skirmishes, some of those officials acknowledged privately that proponents of the status quo still dominate the issue -- partly because of the bureaucratic difficulty of overturning policies that have been in place for several years and, in some cases, were either approved by Justice Department lawyers or upheld by the federal courts.

"A lot of the decisions that have been made are now difficult to get out of," one senior administration official said.

A spokesman for the vice president, Stephen E. Schmidt, said Mr. Addington would have no comment on his reported role in the policy debates. A Defense Department spokesman, Bryan Whitman, also would not discuss Mr. Waxman's role except to say it was "certainly an exaggeration" to characterize him as having been bloodied by Mr. Addington.

Mr. Whitman confirmed that the Pentagon officials were revising four major documents -- including the two high-level directives on detention operations and interrogations and the Army interrogations manual -- as part of its response to the 12 major investigations and policy reviews that followed the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal.

The four documents "are nearing completion or are either undergoing final editing or are in some stage of final coordination," Mr. Whitman said. But he would not comment on their contents or on the internal discussions, beyond saying it was important "to allow and encourage a wide variety of views to come to the surface."

The administration's policies for the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of terrorism suspects have long been a source of friction within the government.

Even some supporters of those policies have acknowledged that the tensions stem in part from the way they were pushed through after the Sept. 11 attacks, by a handful of administration lawyers who circumvented international-law experts, military lawyers, and even some cabinet-level officials who might have objected.

Many officials said Mr. Addington, who helped create the legal framework after 9/11, remains a bulwark in support of those policies, deftly blocking or weakening proposed changes. Nonetheless, the internal politics of those issues have begun to shift in Mr. Bush's second term.

Several architects of the original policies have left the government. Some other senior officials, who had challenged aspects of the policy with limited success, have gained stronger voices in new posts.

Condoleezza Rice, who occasionally questioned the Pentagon's management of Guantánamo when she was national security adviser, has called more forcefully for a reconsideration of some detention policies as secretary of state, a stance generally backed by her successor at the White House, Stephen J. Hadley, administration officials said. The new deputy defense secretary, Gordon R. England, has also been an influential advocate for reviewing the detention policies within the Pentagon, officials said.

"The results may not be very different, but the discussions have changed," a senior military lawyer said. "And there are more discussions."

Since President Bush's decision in February 2002 to set aside the Geneva Conventions in fighting terrorists, government lawyers have debated what legal framework should apply to combatants in a struggle that the administration argues does not fit into the categories of international violence contemplated by the 1949 conventions.

Lawyers at the State Department raised the issue repeatedly, officials said. But because the department opposed the president's original decision to put aside the conventions, the efforts of its lawyers were largely dismissed as attempts to revive a question that had already been decided, they added.

Beginning late last year, Defense Department lawyers took up the issue as they revised Directive 23.10, the "DoD Program for Enemy Prisoners of War and Other Detainees." A roughly 12-page draft of the directive, which began circulating in the Pentagon in mid-September, received strong support from lawyers for the armed services, the military vice chiefs and some civilian defense officials, several officials said.

"The uniformed service lawyers are behind the rewrite because it brings the policy into line with Geneva," one senior defense official said. "Their concern was that we were losing our standing with allies as well as the moral high ground with the rest of the world."

Following one of the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, the draft, written by officials in Mr. Waxman's office and military lawyers, lifted directly from Article 3 of the Geneva accords in setting out new rules for the treatment of terrorism suspects, three officials who have reviewed the document said.

Common Article 3, as the provision is known, sets out minimum standards for the treatment of captured fighters and others in "armed conflicts not of an international character." Although President Bush determined in February 2002 that the article was not relevant to Al Qaeda or the Taliban because of its international focus, the Sept. 11 panel noted that it "was specifically designed for those cases in which the usual laws of war did not apply."

The draft Pentagon directive adopted the language of Common Article 3 "as a matter of policy rather than law," one defense official said. Even so, the Geneva reference was opposed by two senior Pentagon officials, Stephen A. Cambone, the under secretary of defense for intelligence policy, and, William J. Haynes, the department's general counsel, defense officials said.

Mr. Addington, who has been a close bureaucratic ally of both defense officials, soon called Mr. Waxman to the Old Executive Office Building to brief him and Mr. Libby on the directive. Two defense officials who were told about the meeting said Mr. Addington objected to phrases taken from Article 3 -- which proscribes "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, humiliating and degrading treatment" -- as problematically vague.

"We may know what they mean in the United States," one senior administration official familiar with the debate said of the Geneva terms. "But views around the world may differ from ours. Having a female interrogator even asking questions of a male might be humiliating to some parts of the Muslim faith."

Another official said Mr. Addington and others also argued that Mr. Bush had specifically rejected the Article 3 standard in 2002, setting out a different one when he ordered that military detainees "be treated humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva.

Only when the dispute is resolved, defense officials said, would the Pentagon conclude the drafting of the second directive, known as 31.15, on the interrogation of prisoners including terrorism suspects. That document, in turn, would make possible the publication of a roughly 200-page Army manual for interrogations that was virtually completed last spring, officials said.

"If we don't resolve this soon," one defense official said, referring to the overlapping debate over Senator McCain's proposal, "Congress is going to do it for us."