David Addington and The Barnacle Branch Exhibits

Remember how, in lieu of an opening statement, David Addington entered a bunch of "exhibits" into the record yesterday?

Well, it looks like Addington was trying to do a couple of things with his collection of exhibits. First, and least interesting, was to make sure he had three documents in which President Bush directly guided the nation’s torture policy ready at hand:

  • February 7, 2002 Bush memo calling for detainees to be treated humanely–but without Geneva Convention rights
  • September 6, 2006 press conference in which Bush admitted to water-boarding Al Qaeda detainees
  • July 20, 2007 Bush Executive Order establishing guidelines for interrogations

More interesting, Addington was making sure that the correspondence between HJC and OVP regarding his own testimony was readily available. And I think he did that for two reasons. The correspondence includes a fairly narrow description of what the expected testimony would include:

  • No representations about "the nature and scope of Presidential power in time of war" or US "policies regarding interrogation of persons in the custody of the nation’s intelligence services and armed forces"
  • Only "personal knowledge of key historical facts" relating to interrogation and presidential power
  • No details about Vice Presidential communications to the President
  • No details "relating to the Senate functions of the Vice Presidency"
  • The availability of applicable legal privileges (don’t miss the bit of snark where footnote 11 in the April 28 Conyers letter reminds, "I assume that counsel’s citation to the’state secrets’ privilege was an oversight as that is a judge-made litigation privilege that has no application before a Committee of Congress")

In other words, Addington wanted to be ready to show his hall pass and prove that certain questions–about Dick’s role in outing a CIA spy or Dick’s role in killing most of the salmon in the Northwest; or about whether Dick ever told Bush that the warrantless wiretapping program was illegal; or why Dick voted to drown the federal government in a bathtub on December 21, 2005–would be out of bounds.

In addition, Addington seems to have wanted evidence of a little squabble over the Fourth Barnacle Branch, such as this argument:

The Committee request seeks authoritative representation on the three subjects identified in the Committee request. The Chief of Staff to the Vice President is an employee of the Vice President, and not the President. With respect to Presidential power in wartime and related issues under U.S. and international law, the Attorney General or his designee would be the appropriate witness. Regarding interrogation of persons by U.S. intelligence agencies or the armed forces, the Director of National Intelligence or his designee and the Secretary of Defense or his designee, respectively, would be the appropriate witness. You may wish to invite the appropriate subordinates of the President in lieu of your invitation o the Chief of Staff to the Vice President.


Congress lacks the constitutional power to regulate by a law what a Vice President communicates in the performance of the Vice President’s official duties, or what a Vice President recommends that a President communicate in the President’s official duties, or what a Vice President recommends that a President communicate in the President’s performance of official duties, and therefore those matters are not within the Committee’s power of inquiry.


… questions of privilege may arise with respect to information sought by questions, such as respect to privileges protecting state secrets, attorney-client communications, deliberations, and communications among Presidents, Vice Presidents, and their advisers. For example, the amount of useful information a Committee of Congress would be likely to receive from a person who served as Counsel to the Vice President and then Chief of Staff to the Vice President concerning official duties is quite limited, given that a principal function of such a person is engaging in privileged communications, such as the giving of privileged advice. Also, inquiry by a House Committee concerning the Senate functions of the Vice President would not, in any event, be appropriate.

That is, Addington wanted to be ready to pick another fight about the Fourth Barnacle Branch of government, arguing that it somehow escapes all oversight even while having available all the privileges of the Executive Branch.

That Addington came prepared to be belligerent is no surprise. But reading these documents made me wonder why he testified in the first place. Which brings me to the last document included in his stash, Stephen Bradbury’s opinion arguing that Harriet Miers is immune from testifying before HJC. Presumably, Addington was preparing to wave around a document stating that Harriet didn’t have to testify because, "The President is head of one of the independent Branches of the federal Government." Presumably, Addington, if pressed, was going to argue that since the Vice President is head of the barnacle branch of the federal government his former counsel–Addington himself–didn’t have to testify either.

But how pathetic is that? Addington made it pretty clear yesterday that he didn’t want to testify … but he did. I sort of wonder whether Addington couldn’t get Stephen Bradbury–no opponent of the Barnacle Branch, really–to write him a letter excusing him from testifying. And so instead he brought Harriet’s letter, ready to argue that
the Barnacle Branch and an independent branch of government are just the same legally.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s why he brought all those torture documents with Bush’s signature on them–just in case the Barnacle Branch argument didn’t work, he could start threatening Bush.

67 replies
  1. drational says:

    I’d say he accomplished what he aimed to do, which was deliver the Barnacle Anthem:

    “Go Fuck Yourself”

  2. LS says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t claim “Barnacle Privilege”, because he sure as hell made a case for himself that neither he nor Cheney are part of the Executive Branch. So, whatever conversation he had with Cheney could only fall into attorney client privilege when he was Cheney’s attorney; but the question is…who pays Addington? If We the Taxpayers pay him, then we are the actual “client” not Cheney…If he is/was paid by Cheney personally..that would be another matter….Chief of Staff to Cheney (not in the Executive Branch but in the Barnacle Branch) doesn’t cut it. If We the People pay Addington’s salary, then he must be a part of the Executive Branch, because “We the People” should not be paying for Cheney’s private legal advisors. You can’t have it both ways. Stop funding the Barnacle Branch. Period.

    • Leen says:

      I tried to get the point you made on the last thread on the Diane Rehm Show on Friday. That since the aides in the barnacle branch (V.P’s office) were not part of either the the executive or legislative branches that those aides would be unable to claim “executive privilege” if asked to testify.

      Very disappointed that the folks who set up the programming at the Rehm show or Diane herself completely failed to bring up this hearing on her Friday round up show.

  3. FormerFed says:

    This guy may be the most arrogant asshole yet. What will be his story next year when we have a new set of players? Do you think Obama and the Demos will have the cajones to really delve into the last eight years of corruption and bring any of these abominable creatures to justice?

    • drational says:

      Don’t count on “justice”. The Demos (Harman, Pelosi, Rockefeller) were complicit, and Obama seems to be on board for inheriting wiretapping privileges.

        • drational says:

          Well, at least we can keep our guns thanks to “Americans will die” Scalia and Heller. We can put out a few eyes when they show up with a waterboard, eh?

    • peony says:

      That would be “divisive.” I bet Obama will talk about needing to bring the country together to “accomplish a common purpose” and move on. No truth and reconciliation commission although imho we need one.

      • bmaz says:

        And, lordy, how that will impress and change the Goopers. Why, they will be falling to the floor and convertin to the great new way of Obama left and right, like they been touched by Benny Hill Hinn or something.

  4. bmaz says:

    With respect to Presidential power in wartime and related issues under U.S. and international law, the Attorney General or his designee would be the appropriate witness. Regarding interrogation of persons by U.S. intelligence agencies or the armed forces, the Director of National Intelligence or his designee and the Secretary of Defense or his designee, respectively, would be the appropriate witness.

    Addington supplies the exact framing I was pondering in EPU land a couple of threads back.

    Mary above @332 went a fair distance in asking the question I have.

    Why would a lawyer from OVP go to GITMO at all, much less 5 or so times?

    Real good question actually. Seriously. In what capacity, and for what legitimate purpose, was the Vice-President’s lawyer involved? The President, the DOD, the CIA, the DOJ, perhaps even DHS; those agencies and offices all are involved or participating to some extent in the activity at Gitmo. Unless the President is incapacitated under the 25th Amendment (and other than the standard Bush retardation, there is no evidence the President was incapacitated), what involvement did the VP have?

    Addington himself said VP is not a part of the executive etc., what role did the OVP have there? If you assume Addington’s paradigm of what the OVP is, then he had no legitimate reason to be going to Gitmo. He was on a junket! He was an observer, not a counsel of record for any participatory party. A fact witness


  5. SaltinWound says:

    I posted yesterday that the only reason Addington showed up was to remind people Bush was in charge. I still think that’s true. But now I also think he wanted to implicate Pelosi. Plus I suspect someone (a Rachel Brand type) must have told him to look for an opportunity to get outraged and defend the Constitution (sort of like telling Alito’s wife to rush out of the room). But he totally misfired, proclaiming that the Constitution isn’t a barnacle, when the Congressman was obviously referring to the V.P.

  6. Bushie says:

    I get the feeling our Chairmen really want to appear on American Idol doing a soliloquy. Instead of designating a few intelligent questioners to keep on point, they want a show, a tempest in a teapot. We knew Addington to be an ass plug and Yoo a toady, so what did this hearing contribute?

    • bobschacht says:

      “We knew Addington to be an ass plug and Yoo a toady, so what did this hearing contribute?”

      Demonstrating on national TeeVee that this administration is staffed with asses and toadies?

      I seem to remember that the main (but not overt) purpose of the Watergate Hearings was to get the American Public on board with what was going on, so as to develop a consensus for action. The heavy lifting on the legal side was done by the Special prosecutors (Archie Cox and Leon Jaworski).

      Bob in HI

      • bmaz says:

        Unfortunately, unlike in Watergate, our leaders have told us that there will be no action no matter what the people want or think.

  7. Peterr says:

    Article. II. – The Executive Branch

    Section 1 – The President

    The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows . . .

    Section 4 – Disqualification

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    It’s a pity Addington never got past the first sentence in Article II when he presented the Barnacle Theory of VPdom. IANAL, but it strikes me as pretty obvious that the drafters of the Constitution put the VP in the section on the Executive Branch for a reason — like, perhaps, maybe because he’s part of the Executive Branch?

  8. Tross says:

    There’s a law clerk working at my law firm for the summer. She will have Professor Yoo next semester for Con Law. She listened to the hearings in my office yesterday and was absolutely horrified.

    After hearing him testify, she said she may try to get out of his class as she doesn’t feel he’s qualified to teach.

    Really, I swear (fingers crossed behind my back) I didn’t encourage her or anything.

    • bmaz says:

      And whats up with bringing a bunch of xeroxed blarney from the DOJ? If there is any privilege, it belongs to the executive and would have to be asserted by the White House. The DOJ can supply opinions to the President about when and how he exerts his privilege, but it is still the President that must do so.

      • bobschacht says:

        “And whats up with bringing a bunch of xeroxed blarney from the DOJ?”

        To throw down the gauntlet? That’s what it looked like, to me– especially the second paragraph.

        Bob in HI

  9. Mary says:

    17 -Poor kid. The least Boalt could do would be to allow conscientious objector status and re-assignment for people stuck with Yoo. Logic is a form of religion, after all.

    I’ve only seen a few clips, but the most noxious thing was when he, in reply to some question, tried to look innocent and did this little head duck, head raise, wide-eyed thing, stating that he didn’t actually DO any of the things he solicited – passing that buck over to the people who did “do” and did so in reliance on his opinions. It was infuriating on so many levels – he wasn’t the Decider, he wasn’t the Doer, jezlilolhim.

    • Tross says:

      Mary, I saw that exchange too. Yoo sounded like he was going to cry at one point while pleading to be able to finish his answer.

      I don’t understand why he sounded so confused as to how to envoke privilege. He kept saying it was the “Justice dept’s privilege” not his and had to be admonished 3 separate times to either answer the question or site the privilege. He sure didn’t sound like a Constitutional Law professor.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, I was a little perplexed as to exactly what privilege Yoo was attempting to assert. But he is a brilliant Constitutional scholar, so he must be right….

      • skdadl says:

        I don’t understand why he sounded so confused as to how to envoke privilege. He kept saying it was the “Justice dept’s privilege” not his and had to be admonished 3 separate times to either answer the question or site the privilege.

        Maybe because so many others have been allowed to get away with fuzzy invocations of privilege in congressional hearings before? Nadler was really holding feet to the fire yesterday — identify the privilege. He interrupted again and again to demand that. I’m not sure that anyone has done that before so insistently.

        • Tross says:

          True. But, to me, he actually seemed confused (and very whiney).

          Curious how he was such a “bad ass” to easily outline the most inhumane of treatments for detainees, but when it comes to answering questions himself he turns to jello.

            • Tross says:

              Exactly! And the questioning shouldn’t stop unless he passes out from exhaustion — at which point a medical doctor can revive him so questioning can resume.

        • bobschacht says:

          “Nadler was really holding feet to the fire yesterday — identify the privilege. He interrupted again and again to demand that. I’m not sure that anyone has done that before so insistently.”

          I noticed that, too.

          Bob in HI

  10. Mary says:

    13 – going way far back in threads and comments, I do have a doormat that says “Beware of Owner” This puzzles almost everyone who knows me. Not the person who gave it to me though.

  11. SaltinWound says:

    Come to think of it, Mrs. Alito didn’t quite get her stagecraft right either–she rushed out in tears while Lindsey Graham was talking, I think. The Constitution is not a barnacle!

  12. Mary says:

    Actually, after Hamdan, maybe the Boalt students could invoke the GCs restrictions on humiliating treatment to get out of classes with Yoo?

    23 – yep, it was like he had been told exactly how Bushco wanted the clock run out and what he was supposed to say and he knew he’d get in trouble with mommy and daddy if he screwed it up but mean on Congressmen weren’t letting him do it the way mommy said. Let’s face it – Addington was there for the same reason that Cheney was there when Bush testified to the 9/11 commission. To keep the cowards on course.

    They both were bigger chickens than Monica Goodling. To be honest, little Roveminime that he was, Kyle Sampson has shown way more guts than anyone else in DOJ or the WH and OVP lawyers. That’s a staggeringly sad thought, but I thunk it anyway.

    It was in particular strange when he didn’t seem to know if classification was a privilege or not or to reference any classification authorities very easily. Jeeminee. And he really couldn’t differentiate between classification and Executive privilege.

    It truly would have been interesting to hear him and Addington explain under oath the “classification” of the OLC Pentagon memos and their subsequent “declassification”

  13. maryo2 says:

    Wondering why Addington brought the Bradbury letter about Miers, I read more about Bradbury. The NYT said that Bradbury authored the “techniques” memo. Yesterday Addington said that he wasn’t at meeting where techniques were discussed. He said something like “I did not attend a meeting that fits what you describe.”

    So I wonder if Addington brought that letter excusing Miers from testifying to get the HJC to focus on Bradbury. He wanted to throw Bradbury under the bus.


  14. FormerFed says:

    It seemed to me that both Yoo and Addington were doing everything they could to distance themselves from actually having anything to do with facilitating torture. After all, they were only lawyers and didn’t actually do anything!! Of course the numerous trips to Gitmo were just to get a breath of fresh air.

    A pure CYA from a couple of REMFs.

  15. Mary says:

    “And whats up with bringing a bunch of xeroxed blarney ” I think in part to show W that he’s no Libby. He made sure that he showed EVERYTHING tracking back right to W. Obviously, his client is Cheney (and himself) and he’s giving Bush the reminder that Cheney can’t be hung to dry without the cat walking all the way back to Bush. imofwiw

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Addington seems a bit confused about the law; perhaps that explains his belligerence, though not his arrogance. The Vice President has no “official duties” other than to chair meetings of the Senate (but not vote except to break ties), and to stand in for the President when he is unable to function as President. None.At.All. The President may allow the Vice President to hire and fire, manage and supervise his own staff, but they are not “his” employees.

    The Vice Presidency’s powers and those of “his office” are water whose shape can vary at the President’s whim. The two are inseparable. The President can delegate to the Vice President any delegable function. Whether a function is delegable is determined by law, the Constitution or those pesky bits of legislation that originate in Congress and which the President signs.

    It’s a red herring to say that Congress cannot legislate what the President requests the Vice President to advise him about, or legislate about what that advice is. That’s largely true, but in most cases, beside the point. Though one could argue that Congress could make it a crime for the VP to, oh, obstruct justice (it has), which he might do by lying to or intentionally miscommunicating with the President, or by directing a subordinate to do so.

    Lastly, Mr. Addington’s black & white world just can’t keep up with the real one. I see no reason why the House could not inquire into at least certain aspects of the Vice President’s conduct when acting as the President of the Senate. The Senate sets and enforces its own rules, of course, as does the House. But as Mr. Addington claims, the Vice President is not a member of the Senate, but merely “attached to it” so that he can carry out limited administrative and parliamentary functions. That’s because he’s an elected member of the executive branch.

    The House pays for everything the Vice President does and is allowed to inquire into whether what it’s paying for gets done, and whether funds or personnel are being improperly allocated for other governmental or for non-governmental (ie, party or personal) purposes. It might start by enforcing its demand to know exactly who works in the White House and which of them has been assigned to the Vice President’s detail, and by asking that the Senate obtain the same information regarding those Cheney claims work for his “Senate” offices. If the answer is “none” or “none of your business”, then that’s what the lawful budget for them should be, too.

    • bmaz says:

      That’s exactly what I was saying @10 above and a couple of threads back.

      Addington was at Gitmo on a boondoggle junket.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I was speaking generally, not just about the Gitmo visits, though I gather you were doing both. I think we agree that the Veep rides roughshod over the entire administration and Junior lets him do it because it gives him time to bicycle, and to go to bed at nine untroubled by the day’s events or fear that the telephone may ring at 3.00 am, and that he might have to answer it – or even know what to say besides, “Dick’ll handle it.”

  17. Mary says:

    25 – Nadler really did that, the interruptions and specifications, like someone building a real record. And Nadler is on record saying that while impeachment couldn’t hunt, he absolutely believes in criminal prosecutions after the Bush term. So when Nadler started locking him in on his privilege assertions so tightly, even the nonlitigator in Yoo, like the nonlitigator in me, had to have this “oh crap, he’s really actually making a record on this” feeling.

  18. SaltinWound says:

    Mary, they were surprised they couldn’t get away with a new treat-as-classified privilege.

  19. Mary says:

    39 *g*

    Addington did manage to assert the ‘treat as contemptible’ *privilege.*

    For anyone who doesn’t want to sift and sort through the Exhibits (and I only did a fast run through) there is a funny exchange. Cheney’s lawyer, Wheelbarger (really?) does a yada yada on Congressional power to investigate being limited to Congressional power to legislate and says, since Congress can’t legislate the communications between the VP and President they can’t investigate them.

    Conyers comes back and say, whoa, you left off a part of the Congressional power to investigate in that quote. Congress also has the power to investigate for anything that it can appropriate for – and Congress appropriates for the funding of the OVP. In a footnote he speculates – hey, you never know, Congress might choose to change or cut off the appropriations for folks who go around impermissibly interfering with other agencies and their actions. heh.

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    On the question of which persons the House can ask to appear before it to answer questions, I think it was the House Un-American Activities Committee that set the precedent that it can ask anyone about anything. Neither the President nor the Vice President has the power to tell a Congressional Committee to “Go Ask Somebody Else”. Certainly not when much of literate America outside the Village suspects that Mr. Cheney acts as if he were Co-President rather than the President’s subordinate, and that direction and policy originate in his offices, not the Oval One.

    Addington is, in part, attempting to hide behind the Constitutional framework for the distribution of power in the White House in order to disguise his boss’ usurpation of it, and the willing cooperation in that usurpation by the frat boy king.

    • MarkH says:

      Addington is, in part, attempting to hide behind the Constitutional framework for the distribution of power in the White House in order to disguise his boss’ usurpation of it, and the willing cooperation in that usurpation by the frat boy king.

      After the Iran-Contra scandal one of the main lessons the Crazies learned was to run such operations out of the VP office to avoid connections to the Pres. and to avoid Congressional oversight.

      It’s the story of Dubya’s life — power without responsibility — except that in this case the entire Executive branch is operating in his likeness.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        That’s certainly the way it looks – in order to set up the Secret Government inside the US Exec Branch, they had to run it out of OVP. In order to do that, they needed to control classification and insta-declassification [see: Pixie Dust}. And they needed to control DoJ, in order to stop (or sabotage) any FBI investigations.

        Addington’s function was to create a firewall to protect the Secret Government.
        It’s a house of straw that’s parading itself as a house of mirrors; reveal the false claims of ‘executive privilege’ and the whole ediface is exposed as a fraud. Addington himself probably does believe it; but that’s simply more evidence of his investment in perpetuating the fraud.

        The question is whether Congress has the energy, focus, and courage to ease the mask off.
        Looking at polling data, economic stats, weather reports, and farm prices sure makes it seem as if a lot of Americans might be relieved if Congress had the cajones to call ‘bullshit’ on this whole fraud; it’s not like people are really going to be upset to discover that Cheney and Bush are socially toxic.

        The whole BushCheney ediface is kind of like a political Superfund site; institutionally, militarily, economically toxic.

  21. SaltinWound says:

    Addington was on a junket? Was it pro bono? Do we do this sort of thing often? – Dick Cheney

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Addington’s wife/partner/poodle got him the assignment. I hear the beaches are pretty good, barring the unexploded ordnance, razor wire and untended waste. But “permanently leasing” the place (in colonialese) means you never have to say you’re sorry, or to clean things up, figuratively and literally.

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As usual, Mr. Froomkin nails it:

    [Addington] and fellow witness John Yoo…offered nothing but non-answers. Their refusal to acknowledge as illegal abhorrent conduct that is beyond the pale even for this administration — such as torturing a detainee’s child or burying a detainee alive — suggested that their only goal yesterday was to say absolutely nothing of any substance whatsoever, no matter what they were asked. That or their souls are entirely hollow. Or both.


  23. maryo2 says:

    When Addington took the torture team down for a junket on the sands, what was his job title?
    Who on Bush’s staff had the same job title?
    Did that person go to Cuba?
    Did they go every time Addington went?
    Did they go on any junkets that Addington did not go on?

  24. Citizen92 says:

    Here’s what I really don’t get. Addington is grasping to establish his own 4th branch birthright, but it really doesn’t exist.

    Cheney might arguably be part of the 4th branch.

    But Addington clearly is not. OVP staff draw salary $ from two places – Congressional appropriations for the White House and Congressional apporpriations for the Vice Presdident’s operations/office in the Senate.

    And, more importantly, Addington’s title is “Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President.” And he should have a certificate, framed in his office, that has Bush’s and the Secretary of State’s signature on it – granting him that position.

    Hell, it’s right at the top of this White House Protocol list.

    If he, David Addington, is a commissioned Assistant to the President, how can he, David Addington, be part of the fourth branch? He can’t.

    Counterpoint – Addington is no dummy. Maybe he “resigned the Assitant” title. Maybe he created a Vice Presidential commission for himself. Maybe he isn’t taking a salary. Maybe Cheney is paying him personally.

    But the point remains, David Addington is an Assistant to the President until proven otherwise. He can say that the “War Council” was just a DOD cutesy name for “a group of lawyers that met.” I hardly believe that. What’s his explanation for his title?

  25. emptywheel says:

    They contemplated that, when Cheney first called himself Fourth Branch (B.B.–before Barnacle). But then Brownback talked them out of it.

      • skdadl says:

        Do we? I’m having trouble grasping five trips by the counsellor to the VP. I mean, that’s all he is. It’s not like he’s a specialist in anything useful at GTMO.

  26. maryo2 says:

    Answers to my questions:
    Andrew Card was Bush’s Chief of Staff, Harriet Miers was his WH Counsel.
    Scooter Libby was Cheney’s Chief of Staff, David Addington was Counsel to VP.

    From MClatchy (but this is just 1 of 5 trips, umm junkets, Addington took):
    “[The week of September 22, 2002] a delegation of senior Bush administration officials visited the Guantanamo Naval base, where the Bush administration has set up a prison camp for suspected terrorists. In addition to Fredman, attendees at the meeting included Lt. Col. Jerald Phifer, who was in charge of Guantanamo’s Joint Task Force 170, and Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, who was Task Force 170’s legal officer.

    The officials who had visited Guantanamo the week before were David Addington, counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon’s top lawyer; acting CIA counsel John Rizzo; and Michael Chertoff, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and now President Bush’s Homeland Security secretary.”


  27. maryo2 says:

    Perhaps he was Cheney’s mule. Perhaps he physically couried something to or from Cuba. Maybe he took written secret authorizations, displayed them and brought them back with him??

    • Nell says:

      But five times? The authorizations would only be needed once…

      Intriguing idea, though, about the September 2002 visit.

  28. yonodeler says:

    The Barnacle, replete with sharp edges ever ready to shred persons or even records, is the Executive instrument of choice for keelhauling, as was attempted against one Joseph Wilson, in which temerarious effort a maladroit person, one Scooter Libby, was ensnared in the rope and pulled overboard, only to be plucked by his Commander from the deep, alive but not unscathed.

  29. kspena says:

    Somewhere I read that one should not build his house on sand, which would seem to rule out the Cuban beaches of Gitmo, the sand stockade of Abu Gharib, and the desert of Bagram. Creeky, wobbly, assertions about torture, terror and truth don’t hold-up well at all on such a foundation.

  30. Leen says:

    Still wondering about Addington’s 3,4 or 5 visits to Gitmo. And wondering about his statement that he was “implementing decisions” while he was there. He used those words.

  31. Leen says:

    Remember when Colin Powell said

    According to someone who knows Powell, his comment about the article was terse. “It’s Addington,” he said. “He doesn’t care about the Constitution.” Powell was referring to David S. Addington, Vice-President Cheney’s chief of staff and his longtime principal legal adviser. Powell’s office says that he does not recall making the statement. But his former top aide, Lawrence Wilkerson, confirms that he and Powell shared this opinion of Addington.

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