Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who is "the most powerful person you've never heard of"?

Yesterday’s post briefly described David S. Addington (photo) as “Cheney’s Cheney.” He’s currently Cheney’s chief of staff, having replaced Scooter Libby after he was indicted, and has been described by U.S. News & World Report as “the most powerful person you’ve never heard of.”

This morning, (TPM) zeroes in on Addington in a post by Spencer Ackerman, confirming my belief that we ordinary citizens ought to know a whole lot more about Addington than we do. (If TPM covers it, it's a big deal).

Ackerman’s post focuses on Cheney’s recent claim that he is outside both the executive and legislative branches, which makes him exempt from review by the National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office.

As reported by Ackerman, yesterday Addington, who was Cheney’s chief lawyer before taking on the role of his chief of staff, wrote a letter (pdf) to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) yesterday defending Cheney's asserted exemption from review by the National Archives' Information Security Oversight Office. Addington posits that the Office of the Vice President is outside the scope of the executive order governing review of how executive branch agencies are supposed to handle classified material because the Office of the Veep is not an "agency."

If you’re not a lawyer or interested in the details, you might not find Ackerman’s explanation of why Addington is wrong, wrong, wrong, interesting. I do, and I’m coming to the conclusion that it is the layer (appointees, such as David Addington, Douglas Feith, and consultants like Michael Ledeen) below the most visible layer (elected or appointed officials such as Cheney, Gonzales, secretaries of cabinets, etc.) in the Executive Branch that is creating and implementing many of the policies that are driving our country over a cliff. Sooner rather than later, I hope Congress wakes up to its oversight responsibilities.

(photo – same one as yesterday's - there aren’t many of Addington available -


Anonymous said...

Great info, Gail. Getting toward the bottom of things is very tricky and maybe we'll never know enough about this shitheel, but you're right in being scared about how so few of us know so little (it would even be better if so many knew so little but so many know zero, leaving a few who know little!) about a man who influences global scenarios.


Gail Jonas said...

I'm to the point where I'm asking myself why "so few of us know so little." I know we talked at length about this standing in the hot sun yesterday.

I also find the news coverage of Gonzales' attitude about the death penalty, splashed around in the MSM and blogs this morning, rather stunning. Gonzales was known for pushing the death penalty way back before he was confirmed as DoJ, i.e., "The Texas Clemency Memos" published in the Atlantic Monthly in July, 2003. I'm going to try to find out how many Democratic Senators voted to confirm him. Senators shouldn't be among to few who know so little.