It must be out of context. Even if you’re willing to believe he’s this indecent, surely the media microscope is enough to keep congressmen away from fantasizing publicly about their political enemies being killed by terrorists. So let’s assume he meant something else. What did he mean?

[Cheney chief of staff David] Addington told [Democratic Rep. Bill] Delahunt he couldn’t discuss specific techniques being used, or even discussed for use, by CIA agents because terrorists may be watching his appearance and would gain insight into what U.S. intelligence agents are up to.

“You kind of communicate with Al Qaeda if you do. I can’t talk to you because Al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN,” Addington said.

Delahunt responded: “I’m sure they are watching. I’m glad they finally have a chance to see you, Mr. Addington, given your penchant for being unobtrusive.”

Actually, that transcript’s not accurate. Watch the clip at Think Progress — which, predictably, has not a word of criticism for Delahunt (but would screech if the party affiliations here were reversed) and seems mystified that discussions of sensitive security matters might be reserved for, say, closed sessions of Congress or classified congressional briefings. “Yeah, I’m sure you’re pleased,” says Addington sarcastically, suggesting that he took Delahunt’s crack to mean … exactly what it sounds like he meant.

Oh well. I’m not even angry; this is our politics now. Worth filing away as context, though, for the next wave of angry posts/articles about Charlie Black.

Update: Pathetic.

Delahunt told FOX News that … “under no circumstances” was he implying during the hearing that Al Qaeda may target Addington…

“That’s absurd. That was not my intent,” he told FOX News. “And I’m sure Mr. Addington knows that was not my intent.”

Delahunt said he was just trying to express that he was glad to see Addington. Delahunt said he recalls saying “I,” not “they,” during the testimony – though the video, broadcast on C-SPAN, shows he was talking about Al Qaeda.

“I’m sure that he understood,” Delahunt said. “I would be surprised if he had any other interpretation other than the one that I suggested I intended. And if he believes in any way I wish him ill, I assure him that’s not the case and I’d be happy to have another conversation with him.”