Libby Just a Cog

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


No doubt everyone’s been opening their Fitzmas presents, and looking at Scooter Libby’s perjury/false statements/obstruction of justice indictments. So it looks like we have the first indictment of a sitting White House official in over 130 years—the nation should be truly proud of our “honor and integrity” administration. In the meantime, though, via MyDD, here’s a Washington Post profile of David Addington, the man now rumored to replace Libby as Dick Cheney’s chief of staff:

Where there has been controversy over the past four years, there has often been Addington. He was a principal author of the White House memo justifying torture of terrorism suspects. 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. He was instrumental in the series of fights with the Sept. 11 commission and its requests for information…

Colleagues say Addington stands out for his devotion to secrecy in an administration noted for its confidentiality….

Even in a White House known for its dedication to conservative philosophy, Addington is known as an ideologue, an adherent of an obscure philosophy called the unitary executive theory that favors an extraordinarily powerful president….

Addington’s influence — like Cheney’s overall — extends throughout the government in his bid to expand executive power. He goes through every page of the federal budget in search of riders that could restrict executive authority. He meets daily with White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and often raises objections to requests for information from Congress or the public, officials say. He also routinely works to defeat proposals from the State Department, where the pervasive internationalist philosophy is at odds with Cheney’s neoconservatism.

Out with the old, in with the new; the machine will keep purring along. Meanwhile, Billmon has some good questions about the indictment. All the circumstantial evidence points to the fact that Libby knew Valerie Plame was covert when he outed her, and we probably shouldn’t retire the word “conspiracy” from the PlameGate dictionary just yet. Nor, for that matter, the phrase “presidential pardon.”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate