Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bush: I Am Above The Law!

Bush: Uniter, Decider, and Now, Interpreter

When George W. Bush signed the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act into law last week, he again thumbed his nose at Congress by taking a second now-familiar step: he issued a "signing statement" – a declaration that effectively asserts his authority to ignore parts of the law he disagrees with.

His action brought harsh criticism from dozens of legal scholars and advocacy groups who point out that U.S. presidents have the authority under the Constitution to veto or approve acts of Congress – but not to modify them.

Bush's latest signing statement declares his right to ignore sections of the law establishing a commission to investigate U.S. contractor fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, expanding whistleblower protections, requiring that U.S. intelligence agencies respond to congressional requests for documents, banning funding for permanent bases in Iraq, and prohibiting funding of any actions that exercise U.S. control over Iraq's oil revenues.

Bush's use of signing statements has become one of the hallmarks of his administration. UFPJ charged that during the past seven years, the same kind of language used by Bush last week "has been the precursor to numerous violations of law by his administration, including sections of law banning the use of torture and banning the use of funds to construct permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. The president has signed laws blocking funding for the construction of permanent bases in Iraq six times, but never stopped the construction."

When conservatives griped about Clinton committing perjury, they protested that even the president must obey the law. Yet.. George W. Bush can get away with ignoring the law if he wants to.

So.. let me get this straight...

Liberals, not above the law.

Conservatives, above the law.

Hmmm. Pick one, guys.

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