Cheney Hid Wiretapping Memos From White House Chief of Staff
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Today, the Washington Postâ€™s Angler series explores Vice President Cheneyâ€™s heavy hand in Bushâ€™s domestic surveillance program. Documents giving â€œstrategic direction to the nationâ€™s largest spy agencyâ€ were held not in the White House but in Cheneyâ€™s office. Cheneyâ€™s lawyer David Addington, who wrote the documents, kept White House Chief of Staff Andy Card in the dark:
It is unlikely that the history of U.S. intelligence includes another operation conceived and supervised by the office of the vice president. White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. had â€œno idea,â€ he said, that the presidential orders were held in a vice presidential safe. An authoritative source said the staff secretariat, which kept a comprehensive inventory of presidential papers, classified and unclassified, possessed no record of these.
In an interview, Card said the Executive Office of the President, a formal term that encompassed Bushâ€™s staff but not Cheneyâ€™s, followed strict procedures for handling and securing presidential papers. â€œIf there were exceptions to that, Iâ€™m not aware of them,â€ he said. â€œIf these documents werenâ€™t stored the right way or put in the right places or maintained by the right people, Iâ€™m not aware of it.â€
Asked why Addington would write presidential directives, Card said, â€œDavid Addington is a very competent lawyer.â€