POLITICS
07/04/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Addington: I Can't Talk About Torture Because 'Al Qaeda May Watch C-SPAN.'

Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, David Addington, appeared in front of the House Judiciary today to testify on interrogation techniques employed at Guantanamo Bay that were approved by the Bush Admininstration.

Addington got a bit testy during questioning by Democratic Representative Bill Delahunt.

Think Progess
caught the video:

Read the transcript.

DELAHUNT: Oh I can understand why [the President] doesn't talk about it.

ADDINGTON: Because you gotta communicate with al Qaeda. If you do -- I can't talk to you, al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN.

DELAHUNT: Right. Well, I'm sure they are watching, and I'm glad they finally have a chance to see you, Mr. Addington.

ADDINGTON: Yeah, I'm sure you're pleased.


A 2006 article by US News and World Report
called "Cheney's Guy" gives some insight into Addington's role shaping policy for the War on Terror:

The "invisible hand." Much of the criticism that has been directed at these measures has focused on Vice President Dick Cheney. In fact, however, it is a largely anonymous government lawyer, who now serves as Cheney's chief of staff, who has served as the ramrod driving the Bush administration's most secretive and controversial counterterrorism measures through the bureaucracy. David Addington was a key advocate of the Brown v. Board and more than 750 other signing statements the administration has issued since taking office--a record that far outstrips that of any other president.