Meet the Bush administration's Keyser Soze

Like the ruthless crime boss in "The Usual Suspects," he's the legal mastermind behind Bush's executive power grab.

Katharine Mieszkowski
May 31, 2006 2:21AM (UTC)

A close aide to Dick Cheney screens legislation before it ever reaches Bush's desk, the Boston Globe reported Sunday. David Addington, Cheney's legal advisor and chief of staff, now that Scooter Libby is gone, is the leading architect of some 750 "signing statements" amended to bills to hoard executive power: "The statements assert the president's right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution," the Globe explains. "The Bush-Cheney administration has used such statements to claim for itself the option of bypassing a ban on torture, oversight provisions in the USA Patriot Act, and numerous requirements that they provide certain information to Congress, among other laws." U.S. News & World Report also has a profile of David Addington this week, calling him "the most powerful man you've never heard of," and noting that "Addington is viewed as such a force of nature that one former government lawyer nicknamed him 'Keyser Soze,' after the ruthless crime boss in the thriller 'The Usual Suspects.'"

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Katharine Mieszkowski

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •