Friday, March 24, 2006


Above the Law, Again

As you know, after much debate in Congress and after the inclusion of new provisions granting Congressional oversight over its implementation, the Patriot Act was renewed and signed into law on March 9. Here's the rest of the story...

It seems a lot of time was wasted in Congressional debate because, as the President stated in a signing statement that accompanied his signature:

"The executive branch shall construe the provisions of H.R. 3199 that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch, such as sections 106A and 119, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties."

In other words, as the Unitary Executive (sounds a little King-like, doesn't it?) I don't have to follow the law doing so "impair[s the President's deliberative processes." While the concept of Bush deliberating is oxymoronic and darkly humorous, ignoring the law, repeatedly, is not.

Keep in mind that no investigation of the so-called "terrorist surveillance program" is in the works at this point. In other words, while Bush feels entitled to ignore Congress, Congress doesn't feel the need to investigate how far this Unitary Executive is taking his belief that their oversight power doesn't exist.
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