The Corner

Delahunt Comments

Today’s hearing of a House Judiciary Subcommittee featuring the much anticipated appearance of my former boss, Vice Presidential Chief of Staff David Addington, went about as expected.  Democrats tried repeatedly to set perjury traps for Mr. Addington — the only real purpose of yet another hearing on this subject — and Mr. Addington sidestepped them.  But as K-Lo pointed out earlier, a remarkable exchange took place between Mr. Addington and Congressman Delahunt (D., Ma.).  

Mr. Delahunt asked Mr. Addington about waterboarding, and Mr. Addington declined to respond to the question, noting that he was taking his cue from the President, who also refused to discuss particular interrogation techniques.   Mr. Addington attempted to explain that the reason for that limitation was that al Qaeda could be watching CSPAN, and he didn’t want to give al Qaeda any information through discussion at the hearing.  Mr. Delahunt then responded:  “I’m sure they [al Qaeda] are watching, and I’m glad they finally have a chance to see you, Mr. Addington, given your penchant for being unobtrusive.”   The video is already on Youtube

I’ll leave it to the readers to determine what Mr. Delahunt may have meant by this comment.   I’m sure we’ll hear that he was taken out of context before things are said and done.  But judge for yourself.

Shannen W. Coffin is a contributing editor to National Review. He practices appellate law in Washington, D.C.

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