June 27th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Democrat's al Qaeda comment sparks Republican ire

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/27/addington.alqaeda/art.addington.hearing.gi.jpg caption="David Addington said he could not talk about discussions about interrogation techniques during a House hearing."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Democratic lawmaker's comment that he was "glad" that a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney could be identified by al Qaeda has sparked outrage among Republicans at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

During a contentious House hearing on harsh interrogation techniques for terror suspects Thursday, Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Massachusetts, was pressing David Addington, the vice president's chief of staff, about meetings he attended while serving as Cheney's chief counsel.

Delahunt asked repeatedly whether the topic of waterboarding, a controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning, ever came up.

Addington replied that he could not discuss that because "al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN."

"Right," Delahunt responded. "Well, I'm sure they are watching, and I'm glad they finally have the chance to see you, Mr. Addington."

"Yeah, I'm sure you're pleased," Addington shot back.

"Given your penchant for being unobtrusive," Delahunt said about Addington's ability to stay behind the scenes.

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Filed under: Dick Cheney
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Braden

    I could see where it could be taken for an innappropriate comment. Addington was basically being asked whether this administration allows or promotes torture (which they clearly do) and gave a stupid response, basically, "I can't tell you because the terrorists might be watching." Delahunt should have responded with something like "I guess they'll know who you are then," rather than saying he was 'glad.'

    June 27, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. TONY



    if it had been a Republican who had said it the White House would be applauding.

    Nothing new here, just more continuous Republican whining!

    June 27, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Patrick Henry, Ft. Myers

    Clearly...security isn't an issue with the Democrats–from their wannabee home boy President–right down to the most junior congressman.

    Clearly–we need a tougher orientation program on security issues for our elected members of Congress and Senate. If they fail to certify–send their ignorant butts home.

    June 27, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    It's okay that the administration outed Valerie Plame but not okay when someone in the administration gets his face in the news? Bit of a double standard, isn't it?

    Of course, double standards are nothing new to a crew of self-righteous wonks who think that their ends justify any means.

    June 27, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. TONY

    I hope al Qaeda got a real good look at Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and a whole lot of others during the last 8 years.

    June 27, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Raymond Duke

    What do you expect from a liberal. He fits right in with Obama and the liberal party the democrats have become. Talk tough to the people who are responsibile for defending america and fighting for it . You know these liberals like to run their mouths against our goverment and them blue collar soldiers who defend it. They reap the benefits and still hate america and none of them have the guts to jion that all volunteer army. What they need is a dose of reality with the draft re-instated with no exemptions. Maybe then the liberals would gain some common sense and love for america if they shared some of the committment.

    June 27, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Nunya

    Who is stupid enough to believe that there was any intent on the part of Delahunt for al Qaeda or any other organization to target Addington? The intent is so clearly expressing frustration over the administrations posturing about how everything must be top secret.

    After his sarcastic reply, I would have been inclined to add "So that they can see one of their greatest allies when it comes to tearing down the civil rights and freedom of the United States." Of course that no doubt would have caused the same people to wring their hands and wail just the same... But at least the intent would have been crystal clear.

    June 27, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. Jon

    This is an example of why Obama and the liberal left must not be allowed to win in november. Vote moderate and independent to fix american. The left and right are aweful and need to be stopped before we all go down.

    June 27, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. TONY

    The Republicans are UPSET................AGAIN!

    This is news how? They had better get use to it come November!

    June 27, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. Equalbranchesofgovernment

    Rep. Delahunt did a great job and a service to his country by not taking any crap from Mr. Addington......it is amazing that Mr. Addington he even showed up!! Harriet Miers and ex-political director Sara Taylor were forced by the administration to not even appear for Congress supeona for a hearing on the removal of US Attorneys.

    Our President took an oath to "defend" the Constituition......not dismantle it!!

    June 27, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Jaime

    A comment didn't kill 4000+ soldiers in Iraq....

    June 27, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    And did Addington ever answer the question?

    In typical, Bush Administration, domestic policy style, of course not!!!

    By the way, Mr. Addington, I'm sure al-Qaeda, the Taliban and whomever else you identify as terrorists already know who you are.

    June 27, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. fred

    On this topic of the Iraq war, why are so many people cheering for Al Quaeda on the democrat side? Shouldn't we be supporting our troops and hoping they come home after a victory? Why should we forfeit now when we're making progress? If we quit now, we lose, because the terrorists will still be able to take over before Iraq is fully secure. We can win the Iraq war, and we are winning. Yeah, people are dying, and that's unfortunate, but they're dying for a great cause, to free an entire country, and help keep us safe in ours. We lost military members in almost all wars. That is the sacrifice of war. Liberals should start supporting our troops, and being more optimistic about their efforts around the world. And here they are instead complaining that our brothers and sisters are torturing the terrorists who are trying to kill us a little too much. What side are you guys on? Ours, or theirs. For me and my house, we support our troops.

    June 27, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. ProundToBeDemocrat

    It is nice to see a courges man to question and held republicans Accountable.

    June 27, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. TONY

    Addington is another in a long, looooooooooooooooong line of lying, cheating, evasive, inaccurate, dirty , blood-thisrty, war mongering Republicans.

    Again, why is this news???????????????????????????

    June 27, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Mod

    Quit deleting my posts CNN

    June 27, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Bayou Joe

    Some of you people need to get a life. Hopefully in another country.
    Want Socialism move to Sweden or closer Canada.

    June 27, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. GA American

    so the dems are at it again, open mouth insert foot!

    June 27, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. NickNas

    Always remember ROACHES HATE THE LIGHT.

    That is all.

    June 27, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. susie

    It's okay, a democrat misspoke. Tomorrow, he will explain his comment.

    June 27, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. me

    ====poor iraqs and amricans are death..all for $$$$$ and oil===

    ===we the americans are smarter than this, and Won't let it ever happen again.===

    June 27, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Rob indetroit

    What goes around comes around.

    June 27, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Typical White Person

    It amazes me that some people have so little insight into how the world works. You complain about "waterboarding" and say that the information it provides isn't trustworthy. Really? Well, if we are talking about gaining confessions, I agree. But we are not. We are talking about gaining intelligence information. If it didn't produce information that was actionable then they would use someother technique that did. You act like the men and women who are protecting this country are sadistic psychos that pulled the wings off of butterflies as kids. They are not. They are honorable people who are doing their best to protect you and your ungrateful families.

    I personally don't care if a terrorist is subjected to "simulated drowning". The terrorists didn't worry about the 3000 people they actually burned alive (no simulation) in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and on Flight 93. And they would love nothing more than to kill everyone in the world who refuses to wear a head scarf and pray 5 times a day. If you think the Middle East is a model of a well-functioning society then move there. All you have to do is look to Britian or France or Spain to see where we are headed when we practice "tolerance" towards intolerable behavior.

    June 27, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. TONY

    I'm surprised ADDINGTON didn't use the Republicant's #1 favorite excuse.


    June 27, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. Rob indetroit

    The Hague is awating cheney, rumsfeild ,rove, and bush.

    June 27, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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