27 June 2008

David Addington, Go to Hell

Commenting on another post, my brother directed me to David Addington's testimony before Congress.

Addington's testimony is amazing. From what is reported he was snide, contemptuous, and dissembling. He should be cited for contempt of Congress. Most disturbing is his claim that "There is no reason [Congress's] opinion on [torture] would be relevant."

It's clear that he is wholly disdainful of the Founders' belief that the Congress is the centerpiece of representative government. Anyone that enamored of executive power and that disdainful of the people's representatives is an authoritarian through and through.

Since he doesn't mind torture, I suggest we take things a bit further and reinstate some medieval punishments. Impaling, that is, driving a sharpened pole deep up Addington's rectum, seems just about right.


Scott Hanley said...

Here's a clip of Addington on the "unitary theory of executive power."

Addington says,"I know exactly what I mean by it [the unitary theory of executive power] ... The use of the word unitary, by me, has been used in the context of 'unitary Executive Branch' and all that refers to is, I think it's the first sentence of Article II of the Constitution, which says all of the executive power is vested in a President of the United States. One President, all of the executive power, not some of it, not part of it, not the parts Congress doesn't want to exercise itself, that's all it refers to."

Except that word "all" does not appear in the first sentence of Article II and the phrase "all executive power" doesn't appear anywhere at all.

Now, this may be a fair inference to draw from the divided powers of the Constitution, but it's scarcely as clearly marked as Addington claims. Surely he knows this? Or has he not read the Constitution recently?

Anonymous said...

'Impaling, that is, driving a sharpened pole deep up Addington's rectum'

...um James, that's, uh, some tough language. Like right out of Dante.

Though given the implications of his position - he appears to like the unrestrained monarch view of government - maybe a sharpened pole from that direction might make him rethink his position.

Surely he is aware that there is a history of abuse when power gets so concentrated.


James Hanley said...

So Addington says it only means the "the executive power is vested in the president" (giving his misphrasing a pass). In that case it would be distinctly odd to create a new terminology for an idea that's never been questioned.

But the fact that he thinks defining the law on torture is solely the executive's job suggests that in reality his unitary executive is unifying both executive and legislative powers.

And as J points out, there's little doubt power gets abused when it's so concentrated.

Yes, I'm angry. Maybe we can get the next president to sign legislation making it open season on every former Bush appointee who doesn't publicly renounce their evil ways. We'll go a little French Revolution on them if they don't.