I’ll say this again: No American citizen can be an “alien unlawful enemy combatant.”
Surely you jest – we’re not talking about the Mayor of Candyland here…
How to Make a Power Grab ‘Mundane’
The Post neglects to mention that the bill codifies the president’s power to label anyone on Earth an “enemy combatant” – based on secret evidence which the government need not disclose…
Bush has added more than 800 “signing statements” to new laws since he took office. He is the first to use signing statements routinely to nullify key provisions of new laws. The American Bar Association recently declared that Bush’s signing statements are “contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional separation of powers.” But the Washington Post portrays the signing statements as simply a gentlemanly difference of opinion between the president and congressmen. It neglects to mention that the president now claims boundless prerogative to what is the law…
The Problem with Presidential Signing Statements: Their Use and Misuse by the Bush Administration
By JOHN W. DEAN
In this column, I’ll take a close look at President Bush’s use of signing statements. I find these signing statements are to Bush and Cheney’s presidency what steroids were to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body building…
Suppose a new law requires the President to act in a certain manner - for instance, to report to Congress on how he is dealing with terrorism. Bush’s signing statement will flat out reject the law, and state that he will construe the law “in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties.”
The upshot? It is as if no law had been passed on the matter at all.
Or suppose a new law suggests even the slightest intrusion into the President’s undefined “prerogative powers” under Article II of the Constitution, relating to national security, intelligence gathering, or law enforcement. Bush’s signing statement will claim that notwithstanding the clear intent of Congress, which has used mandatory language, the provision will be considered as “advisory.”
The upshot? It is as if Congress had acted as a mere advisor, with no more formal power than, say, Karl Rove - not as a coordinate and coequal branch of government, which in fact it is.
As Phillip Cooper observes, the President’s signing statements are, in some instances, effectively rewriting the laws by reinterpreting how the law will be implemented. Notably, Cooper finds some of Bush’s signing statements - and he has the benefit of judging them against his extensive knowledge of other President’s signing statements – “excessive, unhelpful, and needlessly confrontational.”…
It is remarkable that Bush believes he can ignore a law, and protect himself, through a signing statement. Despite the McCain Amendment’s clear anti-torture stance, the military may feel free to use torture anyway, based on the President’s attempt to use a signing statement to wholly undercut the bill…
Bush challenges hundreds of laws
April 30, 2006
Bruce Fein, a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, said the American system of government relies upon the leaders of each branch “to exercise some self-restraint.” But Bush has declared himself the sole judge of his own powers, he said, and then ruled for himself every time.
“This is an attempt by the president to have the final word on his own constitutional powers, which eliminates the checks and balances that keep the country a democracy,” Fein said. “There is no way for an independent judiciary to check his assertions of power, and Congress isn’t doing it, either. So this is moving us toward an unlimited executive power.”
And if your lucky your wife, daughter, sister, niece, ect never becomes an “enemy combatant”…
Pentagon Monitoring Peace Activists’ E-Mails
October 19, 2006
Homeland Security is monitoring peace groups and even peering at their e-mails. “This information is being provided only to alert commanders and staff to potential terrorist activity or apprise them of other force protection issues.”
It then shares that information with Joint Terrorism Task Forces, which include the FBI and state and local law enforcement, as well as with the Pentagon’s notorious Talon (Threat and Local Observation Notice) program.
Academia Signs Up to Track Down Dissent
Why is the United States government spending millions of dollars to track down critics of George W. Bush in the press? And why have major American universities agreed to put this technology of tyranny into the state’s hands?