The Man Behind the Torture

David Cole in the New York Review of Books:

Davidaddington1sizedPerhaps the most powerful lawyer in the Bush administration is also the most reclusive. David Addington, who was Vice President Dick Cheney’s counsel from 2001 to 2005, and since then his chief of staff, does not talk to the press. His voice, however, has been enormously influential behind closed doors, where, with Cheney’s backing, he has helped shape the administration’s strategy in the war on terror, and in particular its aggressively expansive conception of executive power. Sometimes called “Cheney’s Cheney,” Addington has twenty years of experience in national security matters—he has been a lawyer for the CIA, the secretary of defense, and two congressional committees concerned with intelligence and foreign affairs. He is a prodigious worker, and by all accounts a brilliant inside political player. Richard Shiffrin, deputy general counsel for intelligence at the Defense Department until 2003, called him “an unopposable force.” Yet most of the American public has never heard him speak.

More here.