past the Oval Office, in the private dining
room overlooking the South Lawn, Vice President
Cheney joined President Bush at a round parquet
table they shared once a week. Cheney brought
a four-page text, written in strict secrecy
by his lawyer. He carried it back out with him
less than an hour, the document traversed a
West Wing circuit that gave its words the power
of command. It changed hands four times, according
to witnesses, with emphatic instructions to
bypass staff review. When it returned to the
Oval Office, in a blue portfolio embossed with
the presidential seal, Bush pulled a felt-tip
pen from his pocket and signed without sitting
down. Almost no one else had seen the text.
proposal had become a military order from the
commander in chief. Foreign terrorism suspects
held by the United States were stripped of access
to any court -- civilian or military, domestic
or foreign. They could be confined indefinitely
without charges and would be tried, if at all,
in closed "military commissions."
the hell just happened?" Secretary of State
Colin L. Powell demanded, a witness said, when
CNN announced the order that evening, Nov. 13,
2001. National security adviser Condoleezza
Rice, incensed, sent an aide to find out. Even
witnesses to the Oval Office signing said they
did not know the vice president had played any
episode was a defining moment in Cheney's tenure
as the 46th vice president of the United States,
a post the Constitution left all but devoid
of formal authority. "Angler," as the Secret
Service code-named him, has approached the levers
of power obliquely, skirting orderly lines of
debate he once enforced as chief of staff to
President Gerald R. Ford. He has battled a bureaucracy
he saw as hostile, using intimate knowledge
of its terrain. He has empowered aides to fight
above their rank, taking on roles reserved in
other times for a White House counsel or national
security adviser. And he has found a ready patron
in George W. Bush for edge-of-the-envelope views
on executive supremacy that previous presidents
did not assert.
the past six years, Cheney has shaped his times
as no vice president has before. This article
begins a four-part series that explores his
methods and impact, drawing on interviews with
more than 200 men and women who worked for,
with or in opposition to Cheney's office. Many
of those interviewed recounted events that have
not been made public until now, sharing notes,e-mails,
personal calendars and other records of their
interaction with Cheney and his senior staff.
The vice president declined to be interviewed.
articles, today and tomorrow, recount Cheney's
campaign to magnify presidential war-making
authority, arguably his most important legacy.
Articles to follow will describe a span of influence
that extends far beyond his well-known interests
in energy and national defense.
roles that have gone largely undetected, Cheney
has served as gatekeeper for Supreme Court nominees,
referee of Cabinet turf disputes, arbiter of
budget appeals, editor of tax proposals and
regulator in chief of water flows in his native
West. On some subjects, officials said, he has
displayed a strong pragmatic streak. On others
he has served as enforcer of ideological principle,
come what may.
is not, by nearly every inside account, the
shadow president of popular lore. Bush has set
his own course, not always in directions Cheney
preferred. The president seized the helm when
his No. 2 steered toward trouble, as Bush did,
in time, on military commissions. Their one-on-one
relationship is opaque, a vital unknown in assessing
Cheney's impact on events. The two men speak
of it seldom, if ever, with others. But officials
who see them together often, not all of them
admirers of the vice president, detect a strong
sense of mutual confidence that Cheney is serving
vice president's reputation and, some say, his
influence, have suffered in the past year and
a half. Cheney lost his closest aide, I. Lewis
"Scooter" Libby, to a perjury conviction, and
his onetime mentor, Donald H. Rumsfeld, in a
Cabinet purge. A shooting accident in Texas,
and increasing gaps between his rhetoric and
events in Iraq, have exposed him to ridicule
and approval ratings in the teens. Cheney expresses
indifference, in public and private, to any
verdict but history's, and those close to him
say he means it.
or waning, Cheney holds his purchase on an unrivaled
portfolio across the executive branch. Bush
works most naturally, close observers said,
at the level of broad objectives, broadly declared.
Cheney, they said, inhabits an operational world
in which means are matched with ends and some
of the most important choices are made. When
particulars rise to presidential notice, Cheney
often steers the preparation of options and
sits with Bush, in side-by-side wing chairs,
as he is briefed.
the president casts the only vote that counts,
the final words of counsel nearly always come
Go-To Guy on the Hill'
his Park Avenue corner suite at Cerberus Global
Investments, Dan Quayle recalled the moment
he learned how much his old job had changed.
Cheney had just taken the oath of office, and
Quayle paid a visit to offer advice from one
vice president to another.
said, 'Dick, you know, you're going to be doing
a lot of this international traveling, you're
going to be doing all this political fundraising
. . . you'll be going to the funerals,' " Quayle
said in an interview earlier this year. "I mean,
this is what vice presidents do. I said, 'We've
all done it.' "
"got that little smile," Quayle said, and replied,
"I have a different understanding with the president."
had the understanding with President Bush that
he would be -- I'm just going to use the word
'surrogate chief of staff,' " said Quayle, whose
membership on the Defense Policy Board gave
him regular occasion to see Cheney privately
over the following four years.
66, grew up in Lincoln, Neb., and Casper, Wyo.,
acquiring a Westerner's passion for hunting
and fishing but not for the Democratic politics
of his parents. He wed his high school sweetheart,
Lynne Vincent, beginning what friends describe
as a lifelong love affair. Cheney flunked out
of Yale but became a highly regarded PhD candidate
in political science at the University of Wisconsin
-- avoiding the Vietnam War draft with five
deferments along the way -- before abandoning
the doctoral program and heading to Washington
as a junior congressional aide.
went on to build an unmatched Washington resume
as White House chief of staff, House minority
whip and secretary of defense. An aversion to
political glad-handing and a series of chronic
health problems, including four heart attacks,
helped derail his presidential ambitions and
shifted his focus to a lucrative stint as chairman
of Halliburton, an oil services company. His
controlled demeanor, ranging mainly from a tight-lipped
gaze to the trademark half-smile, conceals what
associates call an impish sense of humor and
unusual kindness to subordinates.
influence in the Bush administration is widely
presumed but hard to illustrate. Many of the
men and women who know him best said an explanation
begins with the way he defined his role.
the Bush administration prepared to take office,
"I remember at the outset, during the transition,
thinking, 'What do vice presidents do?' " said
White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten,
who was then the Bush team's policy director.
Bolten joined Libby, his counterpart in Cheney's
office, to compile a list of "portfolios we
thought might be appropriate." Their models,
Bolten said, were Quayle's Council on Competitiveness
and Al Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing
vice president didn't particularly warm to that,"
Bolten recalled dryly.
preferred, and Bush approved, a mandate that
gave him access to "every table and every meeting,"
making his voice heard in "whatever area the
vice president feels he wants to be active in,"
has used that mandate with singular force of
will. Other recent vice presidents have enjoyed
a standing invitation to join the president
at "policy time." But Cheney's interventions
have also come in the president's absence, at
Cabinet and sub-Cabinet levels where his predecessors
were seldom seen. He found pressure points and
changed the course of events by "reaching down,"
a phrase that recurs often in interviews with
current and former aides.
Matalin, who was counselor to the vice president
until 2003 and remains an informal adviser,
described Cheney's portfolio as "the iron issues"
-- a list that, as she defined it, comprises
most of the core concerns of every recent president.
Cheney took on "the economic issues, the security
issues . . . the energy issues" -- and the White
House legislative agenda, Matalin said, because
he became "the go-to guy on the Hill." Other
close aides noted, as well, a major role for
Cheney in nominations and appointments.
constitutional understudy, with no direct authority
in the executive branch, Cheney has often worked
through surrogates. Many of them owed their
jobs to him.
lawyers fought over the 2000 Florida ballot
recount, with the presidential election in the
balance, Cheney was already populating a prospective
Bush administration. Brian V. McCormack, then
his 26-year-old personal aide, said Cheney worked
three cellphones from the round kitchen table
of his townhouse in McLean, "making up lists"
of nominees beginning with the secretaries of
state, defense and the Treasury.
focus was that we need to prepare for the event
that [the recount] comes out in our favor, because
we will have a limited time frame," McCormack
allies found positions as chief and deputy chief
of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy
national security adviser, undersecretary of
state, and assistant or deputy assistant secretary
in numerous Cabinet departments. Other loyalists
-- including McCormack, who progressed to assignments
in Iraq's occupation authority and then on Bush's
staff -- turned up in less senior, but still
the years that followed, crossing Cheney would
cost some of the same officials their jobs.
David Gribben, a friend from graduate school
who became the vice president's chief of legislative
affairs, said Cheney believes in the "educational
use of power." Firing a disloyal or poorly performing
official, he said, sometimes "sends a signal
crisply." Cheney believes he is "using his authority
to serve the American people, and he's obviously
not afraid to be a rough opponent," Gribben
prodigious appetite for work, officials said,
prepares Cheney to shape the president's conversations
with others. His Secret Service detail sometimes
reports that he is awake and reading at 4:30
a.m. He receives a private intelligence briefing
between 6:30 and 7 a.m., often identifying issues
to be called to Bush's attention, and then sits
in on the president's daily briefing an hour
later. Aides said that Cheney insists on joining
Bush by secure video link, no matter how many
time zones divide them.
is among Cheney's most effective tools. Man-size
Mosler safes, used elsewhere in government for
classified secrets, store the workaday business
of the office of the vice president. Even talking
points for reporters are sometimes stamped "Treated
As: Top Secret/SCI." Experts in and out of government
said Cheney's office appears to have invented
that designation, which alludes to "sensitive
compartmented information," the most closely
guarded category of government secrets. By adding
the words "treated as," they said, Cheney seeks
to protect unclassified work as though its disclosure
would cause "exceptionally grave damage to national
Across the board, the vice president's office
goes to unusual lengths to avoid transparency.
Cheney declines to disclose the names or even
the size of his staff, generally releases no
public calendar and ordered the Secret Service
to destroy his visitor logs. His general counsel
has asserted that "the vice presidency is a
unique office that is neither a part of the
executive branch nor a part of the legislative
branch," and is therefore exempt from rules
governing either. Cheney is refusing to observe
an executive order on the handling of national
security secrets, and he proposed to abolish
a federal office that insisted on auditing his
the usual business of interagency consultation,
proposals and information flow into the vice
president's office from around the government,
but high-ranking White House officials said
in interviews that almost nothing flows out.
Close aides to Cheney describe a similar one-way
valve inside the office, with information flowing
up to the vice president but little or no reaction
those methods would be on clear display when
the "war on terror" began for Cheney after eight
months in office.
'Triumvirate' and Its Leader
a bunker beneath the East Wing of the White
House, Cheney locked his eyes on CNN, chin resting
on interlaced fingers. He was about to watch,
in real time, as thousands were killed on Sept.
accounts have described Cheney's adrenaline-charged
evacuation to the Presidential Emergency Operations
Center that morning, a Secret Service agent
on each arm. They have not detailed his reaction,
22 minutes later, when the south tower of the
World Trade Center collapsed.
was a groan in the room that I won't forget,
ever," one witness said. "It seemed like one
groan from everyone" -- among them Rice; her
deputy, Stephen J. Hadley; economic adviser
Lawrence B. Lindsey; counselor Matalin; Cheney's
chief of staff, Libby; and the vice president's
made no sound. "I remember turning my head and
looking at the vice president, and his expression
never changed," said the witness, reading from
a notebook of observations written that day.
Cheney closed his eyes against the image for
one long, slow blink.
people who were present, not all of them admirers,
said they saw no sign then or later of the profound
psychological transformation that has often
been imputed to Cheney. What they saw, they
said, was extraordinary self-containment and
a rapid shift of focus to the machinery of power.
While others assessed casualties and the work
of "first responders," Cheney began planning
for a conflict that would call upon lawyers
as often as soldiers and spies.
than any one man in the months to come, Cheney
freed Bush to fight the "war on terror" as he
saw fit, animated by their shared belief that
al-Qaeda's destruction would require what the
vice president called "robust interrogation"
to extract intelligence from captured suspects.
With a small coterie of allies, Cheney supplied
the rationale and political muscle to drive
far-reaching legal changes through the White
House, the Justice Department and the Pentagon.
way he did it -- adhering steadfastly to principle,
freezing out dissent and discounting the risks
of blow-back -- turned tactical victory into
strategic defeat. By late last year, the Supreme
Court had dealt three consecutive rebuffs to
his claim of nearly unchecked authority for
the commander in chief, setting precedents that
will bind Bush's successors.
even as Bush was forced into public retreats,
an examination of subsequent
suggests that Cheney has quietly held his ground.
Most of his operational agenda, in practice
if not in principle, remains in place.
expanding presidential power, Cheney's foremost
agent was David S. Addington, his formidable
general counsel and legal adviser of many years.
On the morning of Sept. 11, Addington was evacuated
from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building
next to the White House and began to make his
way toward his Virginia home on foot. As he
neared the Arlington Memorial Bridge, someone
in the White House reached him with a message:
Turn around. The vice president needs you.
in the bunker, according to a colleague with
firsthand knowledge, Cheney and Addington began
contemplating the founding question of the legal
revolution to come: What extraordinary powers
will the president need for his response?
the day ended, Cheney's lawyer joined forces
with Timothy E. Flanigan, the deputy White House
counsel, linked by secure video from the Situation
Room. Flanigan patched in John C. Yoo at the
Justice Department's fourth-floor command center.
White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales joined
formed the core legal team that Cheney oversaw,
directly and indirectly, after the terrorist
a Berkeley professor-turned-deputy chief of
the Office of Legal Counsel, became the theorist
of an insurrection against legal limits on the
commander in chief. Addington, backed by Flanigan,
found levers of government policy and wrote
the words that moved them.
Flanigan and Gonzales were really a triumvirate,"
recalled Bradford A. Berenson, then an associate
White House counsel. Yoo, he said, "was a supporting
a former Texas judge, had the seniority and
the relationship with Bush. But Addington --
a man of imposing demeanor, intellect and experience
-- dominated the group. Gonzales "was not a
law-of-war expert and didn't have very developed
views," Yoo recalled, echoing blunter observations
by the Texan's White House colleagues.
'Has the Portfolio'
with advice from Yoo, drafted the authorization
for use of military force that Congress approved
on Sept. 18. [Read the authorization document]
Yoo said they used the broadest possible language
because "this war was so different, you can't
predict what might come up."
fact, the triumvirate knew very well what would
come next: the interception -- without a warrant
-- of communications to and from the United
States. Forbidden by federal law since 1978,
the surveillance would soon be justified, in
secret, as "incident to" the authority Congress
had just granted. Yoo was already working on
that memo, completing it on Sept. 25.
was an extraordinary step, bypassing Congress
and the courts, and its authors kept it secret
from officials who were likely to object. Among
the excluded was John B. Bellinger III, a man
for whom Cheney's attorney had "open contempt,"
according to a senior government lawyer who
saw them often. The eavesdropping program was
directly within Bellinger's purview as ranking
national security lawyer in the White House,
reporting to Rice. Addington had no line responsibility.
But he had Cheney's proxy, and more than once
he accused Bellinger, to his face, of selling
out presidential authority for good "public
relations" or bureaucratic consensus.
who seldom speaks to reporters, declined to
is extremely principled and dedicated to doing
what he feels is right, and can be a very tough
customer when he perceives others as obstacles
to achieving those goals," Berenson said. "But
it's not personal in the sense that 'I don't
like you.' It's all about the underlying principle."
Cunningham, Bellinger's former deputy, said:
"Bellinger didn't know. That was a mistake."
Cunningham said Rice's lawyer would have recommended
vetting the surveillance program with the secret
court that governs intelligence intercepts --
a step the Bush administration was forced to
take five years later.
9/11 Timeline 'A Muscular Response' Vice President
Cheney, more than any one man, freed President
Bush to aggressively fight the "war on terror."
With a small coterie of allies, Cheney supplied
the rationale and political muscle to drive
far-reaching legal changes through the White
House, Justice Department and Pentagon. More
Oct. 25, 2001, the chairmen and ranking minority
members of the intelligence committees were
summoned to the White House for their first
briefing on the eavesdropping and were told
that it was one of the government's most closely
compartmented secrets. Under Presidents George
H.W. Bush or Bill Clinton, officials said, a
conversation of that gravity would involve the
commander in chief. But when the four lawmakers
arrived in the West Wing lobby, an aide led
them through the door on the right, away from
the Oval Office.
met in the vice president's office," recalled
former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.). Bush had
told Graham already, when the senator assumed
the intelligence panel chairmanship, that "the
vice president should be your point of contact
in the White House." Cheney, the president said,
"has the portfolio for intelligence activities."
By the Way'
late October, the vice president and his allies
were losing patience with the Bush administration's
review of a critical question facing U.S. forces
in Afghanistan and elsewhere: What should be
done with captured fighters from al-Qaeda and
the Taliban? Federal trials? Courts-martial?
Military commissions like the ones used for
Nazis under President Franklin D. Roosevelt?
staff did not reply to invitations to join the
interagency working group led by Pierre Prosper,
ambassador at large for war crimes. But Addington,
the vice president's lawyer, knew what his client
wanted, Berenson said. And Prosper's group was
still debating details. "Once you start diving
into it, and history has proven us right, these
are complicated questions," one regular participant
vice president saw it differently. "The interagency
was just constipated," said one Cheney ally,
who spoke on condition of anonymity.
recalled a conversation with Addington at the
time in which the two discussed the salutary
effect of showing bureaucrats that the president
could act "without their blessing -- and without
the interminable process that goes along with
getting that blessing."
his long government career, Cheney had counseled
against that kind of policy surprise, insisting
that unvetted decisions lead presidents to costly
James A. Baker III was tapped to be White House
chief of staff in 1980, he interviewed most
of his living predecessors. Advice from Cheney
filled four pages of a yellow legal pad. Only
once, to signify Cheney's greatest emphasis,
did Baker write in all capital letters:
AN HONEST BROKER
USE THE PROCESS TO IMPOSE YOUR POLICY VIEWS
told Baker, according to the notes, that an
"orderly paper flow is way you protect the Pres.,"
ensuring that any proposal has been tested against
other views. Cheney added: "It's not in anyone's
interest to get an 'oh by the way decision'
-- & all have to understand that. Can hurt the
Pres. Bring it up at a Cab. mtg. Make sure everyone
1999, not long before he became Bush's running
mate, Cheney warned again about "'oh, by the
way' decisions" at a conference of White House
historians. According to a transcript, he added:
"The process of moving paper in and out of the
Oval Office, who gets involved in the meetings,
who does the president listen to, who gets a
chance to talk to him before he makes a decision,
is absolutely critical. It has to be managed
in such a way that it has integrity."
years later, at his Nov. 13 lunch with Bush,
Cheney brought the president the ultimate "oh,
by the way" choice -- a far-reaching military
order that most of Bush's top advisers had not
to Flanigan, Addington was not the first to
think of military commissions but was the "best
scholar of the FDR-era order" among their small
group of trusted allies. "He gained a preeminent
role by virtue of his sheer ability to turn
out a draft of something in quick time."
draft, said one of the few lawyers apprised
of it, "was very closely held because it was
coming right from the top."
Support of the President'
pave the way for the military commissions, Yoo
wrote an opinion on Nov. 6, 2001, declaring
that Bush did not need approval from Congress
or federal courts. Yoo said in an interview
that he saw no need to inform the State Department,
which hosts the archives of the Geneva Conventions
and the government's leading experts on the
law of war. "The issue we dealt with was: Can
the president do it constitutionally?" Yoo said.
"State -- they wouldn't have views on that."
General John D. Ashcroft, was astonished to
learn that the draft gave the Justice Department
no role in choosing which alleged terrorists
would be tried in military commissions. Over
Veterans Day weekend, on Nov. 10, he took his
objections to the White House.
attorney general found Cheney, not Bush, at
the broad conference table in the Roosevelt
Room. According to participants, Ashcroft said
that he was the president's senior law enforcement
officer, supervised the FBI and oversaw terrorism
prosecutions nationwide. The Justice Department,
he said, had to have a voice in the tribunal
process. He was enraged to discover that Yoo,
his subordinate, had recommended otherwise --
as part of a strategy to deny jurisdiction to
his voice, participants said, Ashcroft talked
over Addington and brushed aside interjections
from Cheney. "The thing I remember about it
is how rude, there's no other word for it, the
attorney general was to the vice president,"
said one of those in the room. Asked recently
about the confrontation, Ashcroft replied curtly:
"I'm just not prepared to comment on that."
to Yoo and three other officials, Ashcroft did
not persuade Cheney and got no audience with
Bush. Bolten, in an October 2006 interview after
becoming Bush's chief of staff, did not deny
that account. He signaled an intention to operate
differently in the second term.
my six months' experience it would not fall
to the vice president to referee that kind of
thing," Bolten added. "If it is a presidential
decision, the president will make it. . . .
I think the vice president appreciates that
-- that his role is in support of the president,
and not as a second-tier substitute."
days after the Ashcroft meeting, Cheney brought
the order for military commissions to Bush.
No one told Bellinger, Rice or Powell, who continued
to think that Prosper's working group was at
leaving Bush's private dining room, the vice
president took no chances on a last-minute objection.
He sent the order on a swift path to execution
that left no sign of his role. After Addington
and Flanigan, the text passed to Berenson, the
associate White House counsel. Cheney's link
to the document broke there: Berenson was not
told of its provenance.
rushed the order to deputy staff secretary Stuart
W. Bowen Jr., bearing instructions to prepare
it for signature immediately -- without advance
distribution to the president's top advisers.
Bowen objected, he told colleagues later, saying
he had handled thousands of presidential documents
without ever bypassing strict procedures of
coordination and review. He relented, one White
House official said, only after "rapid, urgent
persuasion" that Bush was standing by to sign
and that the order was too sensitive to delay.
[Read the order]
an interview, Berenson said it was his understanding
that "someone had briefed" the president "and
gone over it" already. He added: "I don't know
who that was."
Leak in 10 Minutes'
Nov. 14, 2001, the day after Bush signed the
commissions order, Cheney took the next big
step. He told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that
terrorists do not "deserve to be treated as
prisoners of war." [Read Cheney's full remarks]
president had not yet made that decision. Ten
weeks passed, and the Bush administration fought
one of its fiercest internal brawls, before
Bush ratified the policy that Cheney had declared:
The Geneva Conventions would not apply to al-Qaeda
or Taliban fighters captured on the battlefield.
1949, Geneva had accorded protections to civilians
and combatants in a war zone. Those protections
varied with status, but the prevailing U.S.
and international view was that anyone under
military control -- even an alleged war criminal
-- has some rights. Rumsfeld, elaborating on
the position Cheney staked out, cast that interpretation
aside. All captured fighters in Afghanistan,
he said at a news briefing, are "unlawful combatants"
who "do not have any rights" under Geneva.
the White House, Bellinger sent Rice a blunt
-- and, he thought, private -- legal warning.
The Cheney-Rumsfeld position would place the
president indisputably in breach of international
law and would undermine cooperation from allied
governments. Faxes had been pouring in at the
State Department since the order for military
commissions was signed, with even British authorities
warning that they could not hand over suspects
if the U.S. government withdrew from accepted
lawyer in his office said that Bellinger was
chagrined to learn, indirectly, that Cheney
had read the confidential memo and "was concerned"
about his advice. Thus Bellinger discovered
an unannounced standing order: Documents prepared
for the national security adviser, another White
House official said, were "routed outside the
formal process" to Cheney, too. The reverse
did not apply.
asked for a meeting with Bush. The same day,
Jan. 25, 2002, Cheney's office struck a preemptive
blow. It appeared to come from Gonzales, a longtime
Bush confidant whom the president nicknamed
"Fredo." Hours after Powell made his request,
Gonzales signed his name to a memo that anticipated
and undermined the State Department's talking
points. The true author has long been a subject
of speculation, for reasons including its unorthodox
format and a subtly mocking tone that is not
a Gonzales hallmark.
White House lawyer with direct knowledge said
Cheney's lawyer, Addington, wrote the memo.
Flanigan passed it to Gonzales, and Gonzales
sent it as "my judgment" to Bush [Read the memo].
If Bush consulted Cheney after that, the vice
president became a sounding board for advice
he originated himself.
under Gonzales's name, appealed to the president
by quoting Bush's own declaration that "the
war against terrorism is a new kind of war."
Addington described the Geneva Conventions as
"quaint," casting Powell as a defender of "obsolete"
rules devised for another time. If Bush followed
Powell's lead, Addington suggested, U.S. forces
would be obliged to provide athletic gear and
commissary privileges to captured terrorists.
to David Bowker, a State Department lawyer,
Powell did not in fact argue that al-Qaeda and
Taliban forces deserved the privileges of prisoners
of war. Powell said Geneva rules entitled each
detainee to a status review, but he predicted
that few, if any, would qualify as POWs, because
they did not wear uniforms on the battlefield
or obey a lawful chain of command. "We said,
'If you give legal process and you follow the
rules, you're going to reach substantially the
same result and the courts will defer to you,'"
that afternoon, as the "Gonzales memo" began
to circulate around the government, Addington
turned to Flanigan.
leak in 10 minutes," he predicted, according
to a witness.
next morning's Washington Times carried a front-page
article in which administration sources accused
Powell of "bowing to pressure from the political
left" and advocating that terrorists be given
"all sorts of amenities, including exercise
rooms and canteens."
Though the report portrayed Powell as soft on
enemies, two senior government lawyers said,
Addington blamed the State Department for leaking
it. The breach of secrecy, Addington said, proved
that William H. Taft IV, Powell's legal adviser,
could not be trusted. Taft joined Bellinger
on a growing -- and explicit -- blacklist, excluded
from consultation. "I was off the team," Taft
said in an interview. The vice president's lawyer
had marked him an enemy, but Taft did not know
he was at war.
of course, is why you're ripe for the taking,
isn't it?" he added, laughing briefly.
researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.
continued on next page.]