David S. Addington

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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[1].

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. [1]. 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.

Unitary Executive Theory

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." [2]

"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." [3]

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. About David S. Addington, Heritage Foundation website, accessed October 2012


External articles