Help Shine the Light of Transparency on ALEC
David S. Addington
David S. Addington is the Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Heritage Foundation. He joined the executive team in May 2012. Addington has been with the Heritage Foundation since 2010. He was formerly the vice president for domestic and economic policy.
Previously, Mr. Addington was named October 31, 2005, by Vice President Dick Cheney to be his chief of staff. Addington and John Hannah, who served as Cheney's national security adviser, are replacements for I. Lewis Scooter Libby. . Addington, who became counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001, was expected to assume Libby's position as Cheney's Chief of Staff following Libby's October 28, 2005, indictment on five counts which included obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury.
Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, told NPR November 3, 2005, that "he had uncovered a 'visible audit trail' tracing the practice of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers directly back to Vice President Cheney's office," Dan Froomkin reported November 4, 2005.
According to Wilkerson: "What happened was that the secretary of Defense [Donald H. Rumsfeld], under the cover of the vice president's office, began to create an environment -- and this started from the very beginning when David Addington, the vice president's lawyer, was a staunch advocate of allowing the president in his capacity as commander in chief to deviate from the Geneva Conventions. Regardless of the president having put out this memo, they began to authorize procedures within the armed forces that led to, in my view, what we've seen."
According to the Indictment: Addington Linked to Leak Scandal
- "Also on or about July 8, 2003, LIBBY met with the Counsel to the Vice President in an anteroom outside the Vice President’s Office. During their brief conversation, LIBBY asked the Counsel to the Vice President, in sum and substance, what paperwork there would be at the CIA if an employee’s spouse undertook an overseas trip."
"Was Addington aware that he was facilitating alleged criminal conduct?" Faiz of Think Progress asked October 28, 2005.
Primary Role in Bush Admin's POW Policies
"Unlike many of his predecessors since the Reagan era, [Alberto R.] Gonzales lacked much experience in federal law and national security matters. So when the Pentagon worried about how to handle expected al Qaeda detainees in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks and the Oct. 7 U.S. attack on Afghanistan, Gonzales organized an interagency group to take up the matter under the State Department's war crimes adviser, Pierre-Richard Prosper."
"Former attorney general William P. Barr suggested to Gonzales's staff early on that those captured on the battlefield go before military tribunals instead of civil courts. But [Attorney General John] Ashcroft and Michael Chertoff, his deputy for the criminal division, both adamantly opposed the plan, along with military lawyers at the Pentagon. The result was that the process moved slowly."
"Addington was the first to suggest that the issue be taken away from the Prosper group and that a presidential order be drafted authorizing the tribunals that he, Gonzales and Timothy E. Flanigan, then a principal deputy to Gonzales, supported. It was intended for circulation among a much smaller group of like-minded officials. Berenson, Flanigan and Addington helped write the draft, and on Nov. 6, 2001, Gonzales's office secured an opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel that the contemplated military tribunals would be legal."
[. . .]
"The task of summarizing the competing points of view in a draft letter to the president was seized initially by Addington. A memo he wrote and signed with Gonzales's name -- and knowledge -- was circulated to various departments, several sources said. A version of this draft, dated Jan. 25, 2002, was subsequently leaked. It included the eye-catching assertion that a 'new paradigm' of a war on terrorism 'renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners."
"Addington worked as 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 foreign affairs. He served as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan for one year in 1987 before becoming Reagan’s deputy assistant. From 1989 to 1992, Addington served as special assistant to the secretary and deputy secretary of Defense, before becoming the department’s general counsel in 1992, a post he held until 1993.
"From 1993 to 2001, he worked as a lawyer for various firms and organizations where he held high-level management positions." 
"He earned a B.S. in foreign service, with high honors, at Georgetown University in 1978 and a J.D., with honors, from Duke University School of Law in 1981." 
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Kelly Wallace, "White House reveals Enron contacts," CNN, January 8, 2002.
- David Ivanovich, "Cheney met 6 times with Enron execs. Talks centered on Bush energy policy was focus of talks," Houston Chronicle, January 9, 2002: "In an indication of just how much political influence Enron Chief Executive Ken Lay wielded at the Bush White House, Cheney attorney David Addington said his boss met with Lay for about half an hour April 17."
- Maki Becker, "It wasn't a Cheney letter," New York Daily News, March 7, 2003.
- Dana Milbank, "In Cheney's Shadow, Counsel Pushes the Conservative Cause," Washington Post, October 11, 2004.
- Dana Milbank, "At Cheney's side, controversy. Counsel's push for presidential power prompts debate," Washington Post (Boston Globe), October 17, 2004.
- Tim Golden, "After Terror, a Secret Rewriting of Military Law," New York Times (The Ledger), October 24, 2004.
- Michael Isikoff, "2001 Memo Reveals Push for Broader Presidential Powers. A Justice Department lawyer may have been laying the groundwork for the Iraq invasion long before it was discussed publicly by the White House," Newsweek, December 18, 2004.
- Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman and Michael Hirsh, "Torture's Path. The paper trail is long, and it isn't pretty. But it's sure to produce some tough Senate questions for Alberto Gonzales," Newsweek, December 27, 2004/January 3, 2005 issue.
- Dan Eggen and R. Jeffrey Smith, "Gonzales Helped Set the Course for Detainees," Washington Post, January 6, 2005.
- David Luban, "Selling Indulgences. The unmistakable parallel between Lynne Stewart and the president's torture lawyers," Slate, February 14, 2005.
- Murray Waas, "Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel," National Journal, October 27, 2005.
- Jan Frel, "Unitary Executive Theory," AlterNet Blogs, October 28, 2005.
- Faiz Shakir, "Addington Involved In Leak Scandal," Think Progress, October 28, 2005.
- Murray Waas, "Addington's Role In Cheney's Office Draws Fresh Attention," National Journal, October 30, 2005.
- Dan Froomkin, "Another Thunderbolt from Wilkerson," Washington Post, November 4, 2005.
- Chitra Ragavan, "Cheney's Guy. He's barely known outside Washington's corridors of power, but David Addington is the most powerful man you've never heard of. Here's why," U.S. News & World Report, May 29, 2006 (issue).
- Murray Waas "Cheney Authorized Libby to Leak Classified Information" National Journal Feb. 9 2006.
- Dan Froomkin, "A Compelling Story," White House Watch Blog/Washington Post, March 31, 2006.
- Murray Waas "Cheney Authorized Leak of CIA Report,Libby Says" National Journal, April 14, 2006.
- Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel), "Libby Live: David Addington", blogged live at Firedoglake Blogspot, January 29, 2007.
- Jason Leopold and Marc Ash, "Cheney's Handwritten Notes Implicate Bush in Plame Affair," truthout, January 31, 2007.
- Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel), "Addington's Methods," The Next Hurrah Blog, June 25, 2007.
- Murray Waas,"The Case of the Gonzales Notes,"The Atlantic, Sept. 26, 2008.
- Murray Waas"What Bush Told Gonzales," The Atlantic, Sept. 26, 2008.
- Murray Waas"Cheney's Admissions to the CIA Leak Prosecutor and FBI", Dec. 23, 2008.
- Andy Worthington, "The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney," Huffington Post, Dec. 24 2008.