Wednesday, September 05, 2007

U.S. V.P. Cheney lawyer David Addington: "We're one bomb away from getting rid of that obnoxious [FISA] court."

Warrant less Spying Legal Architect - Torture Advocate a graduate of Jesuit Georgetown Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service

New Book Details Cheney Lawyer's Efforts to Expand Executive Power 05 Sep 2007 Vice President [sic] Cheney's top lawyer [David S. Addington, now Cheney's chief of staff], pushed relentlessly to expand the powers of the executive branch and repeatedly derailed efforts to obtain congressional approval for aggressive anti-terrorism policies for fear that even a Republican majority might say no, according to a new book -- "The Terror Presidency" -- written by a former senior Justice Department official... [Jack L.] Goldsmith.

[It] described Addington as "the chief legal architect of the Terrorist Surveillance Program," which bypassed the secret court that administers FISA and allowed the National Security Agency to spy on communications between the United States and overseas without warrants. In a February 2004 meeting, Addington said sarcastically: "We're one bomb away from getting rid of that obnoxious [FISA] court."

David Addington

from Wikipedia:

Education and career

Addington graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1974. He is a graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and holds a J.D. from Duke University School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1981.

Addington was assistant general counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1981 to 1984. From 1984 to 1987 he 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.[3]

Addington was also a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan for one year in 1987, before becoming Reagan's deputy assistant. He was Republican counsel on the Iran-Contra committee in the 1980's. From 1989 to 1992, Addington served as special assistant to the Secretary of Defense, before becoming the Department of Defense's general counsel in 1992.

From 1993 to 2001, he worked in private practice, for law firms Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz and Holland & Knight, and the American Trucking Associations.[3] He headed a political action committee, the Alliance for American Leadership, set up in large part to explore a possible presidential candidacy for Mr. Cheney.

Vice President's Office

After he began working for Vice President Cheney, Addington was very influential in many different areas of policy. He authored or helped to shape many of the most controversial policies of the Bush administration.[2] Addington's influence strongly reflects his hawkish views on U.S. foreign policy, a position he had apparently already committed to as a teenager during the late phase of the Vietnam War in the early 1970s.[4]

Addington has consistently advocated that under the Constitution, the President has unlimited powers as commander in chief during wartime. In October 2005, Addington was tapped to become the Vice President's chief of staff, replacing I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who had resigned after being indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He is the legal force behind over 750 signing statements President Bush has added to bills passed by Congress. Addington was a legal advisor to President Reagan, and suggested that such signing statements be used to exempt President Reagan from responsibility for the Iran-Contra scandal.

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.[5] He advocates scaling back the authority of lawyers in the uniformed services. According to Jack Goldsmith, the head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel from 2003 to 2004, Addington once said that "we’re one bomb away from getting rid of that obnoxious court,” referring to the secret FISA court that oversees clandestine wiretapping. [6] He consistently advocates the expansion of presidential powers and Unitary Executive theory, nearly absolute deference to the Executive Branch from Congress and the Federal judiciary. In a June 26, 2007 letter to Senator John Kerry, Addington asserted that by virtue of Executive Order 12958 as amended in 2003 that the Office of the Vice President was exempt from oversight by the Information Security Oversight Office for its handling of classified materials.[4]

Addington was mentioned by title in "Scooter" I. Lewis Libby Jr.'s indictment for five felony charges related to the Plame affair, regarding the leak of the identity of a CIA officer.[7]

War Crimes Prosecution

In November 2006, the German government received a complaint seeking the prosecution of Addington for alleged war crimes.[5]

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The Edmund a. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Jesuit Georgetown University was founded in 1919 under the generalate of Father Wlodimir Ledochowski: February 11, 1915 - December 13, 1942

Edmund A. Walsh S.J.

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