New Book Details Cheney Lawyer’s Efforts to Expand Executive Power

 

By Dan Eggen and Peter Baker

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 5, 2007; Page A01

Vice President Cheney‘s top lawyer pushed relentlessly to expand the powers of the executive branch and repeatedly derailed efforts to obtain congressional approval for aggressive anti-terrorism policies for fear that even a Republican majority might say no, according to a new book written by a former senior Justice Department official.

David S. Addington, who is now Cheney’s chief of staff, viewed both U.S. lawmakers and overseas allies with “hostility” and repeatedly opposed efforts by other administration lawyers to soften counterterrorism policies or seek outside support, according to Jack L. Goldsmith, who frequently clashed with Addington while serving as head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2003 and 2004.


The book portrays Alberto R. Gonzales as fairly passive, not an aggressor in counterterror law.

The book portrays Alberto R. Gonzales as fairly passive, not an aggressor in counterterror law. (By Chris Graythen — Getty Images)

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The Cheney Vice Presidency
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Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency

Dick Cheney is the most influential and powerful man ever to hold the office of vice president. This series examines Cheney’s largely hidden and little-understood role in crafting policies for the War on Terror, the economy and the environment.
Read the 4-Part Series »

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“We’re going to push and push and push until some larger force makes us stop,” Addington said at one point, according to Goldsmith.

Addington, who declined comment yesterday through Cheney’s office, is a central player in Goldsmith’s new book, “The Terror Presidency.” It provides an unusual glimpse of fierce internal dissent over the legal opinions behind some of the Bush administration’s most controversial tactics in detaining and interrogating terrorism suspects.

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