Except relating to one thing. David Addington. By far the biggest surprise to me, in terms of personal impressions, is David Addington.
As I've been reminding at every opportunity, David Addington is Mr. Unitary Executive, the guy who has provided legal justification for many of Cheney's biggest power grabs: torture, extraordinary rendition, domestic spying, and so on.
I truly expected his interviews to be terribly hostile. I truly expected to see Addington bristle at every question. But that didn't happen.
To me, David Addington has all the mannerisms and look of a physics or computer science professor. He has the beard of a professor, [a Jesuit professor] the modest (at least looking) suit, and he's kind of big-shouldered.I found his response to questions even more interesting. He simply answered them, with no hesitation. He was apt to offer up information rather than hold it back. He would wander on and on, explaining all the details surrounding something (I remember his description of various classifications, for example, as this long conversation, "and then ... and then ... and then"). He is so obviously steeped in this world and these regulations that he just holds forth on them, with almost no filter.
And there seemed to be no effort to protect Libby--or even Cheney. This became most clear when Fitzgerald started talking about the document on which Cheney mentioned Bush (then crossed it out). Fitzgerald's point was that OVP had stamped a classification that is not really a classification on these documents--Treated as Top Secret/SCI--that is, as Addington explained, not really a classification, "treated as." Pretty damning stuff, catching Cheney and Libby protecting their own deliberations by classifying the hell out of them, inventing new classifications.
And Addington just described this as he had everything else, wandering on in a seemingly endless mumble. He showed no hint of trying to hide this information, no hint of embarrassment that the guy who is, after all, still his boss was trying to pull a fast one to protect his own actions.Not what I expected.
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