But torture? Nah
Cheney and his allies, according to more than two dozen current and former officials, pioneered a novel distinction between forbidden "torture" and permitted use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading" methods of questioning. They did not originate every idea to rewrite or reinterpret the law, but fresh accounts from participants show that they translated muscular theories, from Yoo and others, into the operational language of government.Gutting Habeas Corpus? Pfffft!
...Two that particularly worried him involved U.S. citizens -- Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi -- who had been declared enemy combatants and denied access to lawyers.Above the will of the people, despite this being a so-called democracy? Meh
Federal courts, Olson argued, would not go along with that. But the CIA and military interrogators opposed any outside contact, fearing relief from the isolation and dependence that they relied upon to break the will of suspected terrorists.
Flanigan said that Addington's personal views leaned more toward Olson than against him, but that Addington beat back the proposal to grant detainees access to lawyers, "because that was the position of his client, the vice president."
Go read the whole thing. This is part 2 of 4 of a WaPo exposé on Dick "Dick" Cheney.
Eager to put detainee scandals behind them, Bush's advisers spent days composing a statement in which the president would declare support for the veto-proof bill on detainee treatment. Hours before Bush signed it into law on Dec. 30, 2005, Cheney's lawyer intercepted the accompanying statement "and just literally takes his red pen all the way through it," according to an official with firsthand knowledge.
Addington substituted a single sentence. Bush, he wrote, would interpret the law "in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief."
Cheney's office had used that technique often. Like his boss, Addington disdained what he called "interagency treaties," one official said. He had no qualms about discarding language "agreed between Cabinet secretaries," the official said.