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.”