A short follow-up to last night's Yoo's Crossing.
Cheney's Cheney was also before the committee yesterday, and, if you didn't think David Addington was a royal asshole before the day began, you couldn't avoid thinking that by the time the sun set.
Just being labeled "Cheney's Cheney" covers a great deal.
I mean, that is the apex of assholiness!
Bush Policy Authors Defend Their Actions
The testimony from David S. Addington, chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, and John C. Yoo, a former senior Justice Department lawyer, was light on new details but heavy on rhetorical disputes with members of a House Judiciary subcommittee. Both witnesses avoided direct answers to a host of questions about their roles in preparing the legal ground for harsh interrogation tactics while arguing that such methods had been crucial in preventing another terrorist attack on U.S. soil after Sept. 11, 2001.
And Dana Milbank really nailed it, in his "When Anonymity Fails, Be Nasty, Brutish and Short";
He had the grace of Gollum as he quarreled with his questioners. In response to one of the chairman's questions, he neither looked up nor spoke before finishing a note he was writing to himself. When Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) questioned his failure to remember conversations about interrogation techniques, he only looked at her and asked: "Is there a question pending, ma'am?" Finally, at the end of the hearing, Addington was asked whether he would meet privately to discuss classified matters. "You have my number," he said. "If you issue a subpoena, we'll go through this again."
Think of Addington as the id of the Bush White House. Though his hidden hand is often merely suspected -- in signing statements, torture policy and other brazen assertions of executive power -- Addington's unbridled hostility was live and unfiltered yesterday.
This lead Phillip Carter, in his Intel Dump column to notice "Crikey. No wonder they kept Addington in the shadows; public advocacy is clearly not his gig."
He looked like a small child, refusing to eat his broccoli, and was going to sit there at the table, glowering, being nasty, cleverly, without actually using the language, saying, over-and over "Fuck you, I'm not eating that fucking broccoli ...!" ... For as long as it took, before Mommy and Daddy caved (and if this 110th Congress will be known for one thing, it is caving).
Tim F., over on Balloon Juice, sums that up pretty well, in his "Your Government In A Nutshell";
Fundamentally, the reason why Bush officials like Yoo and Addington show such total contempt for Congress is also the answer to the question that Conyers asked John Yoo: a rule without a penalty is no rule at all. If Congress won’t enforce the law when the President breaks it, then why should he pretend the law is there? For all intents and purposes it isn’t. Yoo’s answer to Conyers, then, is to lean back, smirk and ask what are you going to do about it?
Both sides of that conversation know the answer: nothing. Maybe Conyers will hold another hearing and invite another Bush official to crap on his desk.
When these cretins finally leave office (Yoo's out already, a law professor, if you can believe that!), you probably don't want to be standing next to them, or, even be in the same room with them ...
There's some seriously hard karma coming their way, and it will be absolutely ugly ...
Bonus Addington Assholiness
Think Progress: Addington won’t talk about torture because ‘al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN.’
Mustang Bobby: Torture? What's That?
Dan Froomkin: Contempt of Congress
Kate Klonick: Quote of the Day: Vice President Is a "Barnacle" on the Legislative Branch
John Cole: Priorities are Straight