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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's Good to be the King

I wanted to post on this a few days back, but I didn't. In the meantime, of course, others, like Seth, locally, and Barbara O'Brien, nationally, have touched on it. I recommend reading both.

The gist of the story is this: After Congress finally came to a compromise on the latest incarnation of the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, a compromise that included strict Congressional oversight and limits on the administration's ability to violate civil rights at will. The president was having none of it:
Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it ''a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."
In other words, Congress got punk'd.

I think Doc summed it up best:
So, once again, the president's view is, "Regardless of what the law says, I can do what I want, and I'll decide whether or not you should be told about what I'm doing."
This is why censure is not only deserved, but imperative.

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