A proposed script for the vice president's chief of staff.

The law, lawyers, and the court.
June 24 2008 12:56 PM

20 Questions for David Addington

A proposed script for the vice president's chief of staff.

(Continued from Page 1)

Q. Do you recognize any limits to the president's power over detainees captured in the war on terror? If so, what are they?

Q. How did the vice president's office in general, and you in particular, become such a pivotal player in this drama?


Q. Did you ever feel you might be a little out front of the president?

Q. How closely did you keep him informed?

Q. History suggests traditional interrogation tactics are highly effective. Why didn't you have faith in those tactics?

Q. Did you consider that your tactics might elicit false confessions?

Q. Why did you not think there was any need for a congressional role in these decisions? Did you ever consult with members of Congress about these tactics? Did you inform them of these tactics?

Q. Were you angry at these terror suspects? Did your anger have any role in your thinking?

Q. Were any tactics specifically considered out of bounds? Why was water-boarding OK, but, say, electric shocks to the testicles not? (Or were they? Can you rule out any tactics at all?)

Q. Do you consider the tactics approved for use by the CIA and in Guantanamo to be humane? If not, what makes it OK for us to use them on humans?

Q. Isn't that in clear violation of Geneva's Common Article III?

Q. What in your mind makes someone eligible for what you called "enhanced interrogation"? What level of proof do you require, and of what degree of crime or knowledge?

Q. Do you see any conflict between our use of these tactics and our country's historic dedication to human dignity?

Q. Do you believe any of these "enhanced" tactics could be legitimately used on American citizens by foreign powers, under any circumstances?

Q. Can you provide any examples of information gathered through what you call "enhanced interrogation" that saved American lives and that you are confident would not have been elicited by normal means?

Q. As you look back on your involvement in the establishment of U.S. interrogation policy, do you feel proud? Do you feel you accomplished what you set out to accomplish?

And here are just a few of the many specific questions Addington should be confronted with as well:


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