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Signing Statement Strikes Again!

Well the latest act of our King George in his mad dash for unlimited executive powers was to issue another one of his infamous 'signing statements'. And not surprisingly it was added to a law that was touted as being "a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people". I am of course talking about the USA Patriot Act.

Although the Act itself was re-authorized with much fanfare, the release of the signing statement was hardly a blip on the radar. The statement reaffirms Bush's right to ignore provisions of the law according to how he interprets his role as the 'unitary executive' (along with the need to protect national security thrown in for good measure). The provisions that Bush is declaring his right to ignore if he chooses are the ones regarding Congressional oversight. Bush doesn't think he has to keep Congress informed of how the FBI is using it's expanded police powers. The potential for covering up possible abuses clearly warrants concern.

But this really shouldn't come as a surprise given the fact that Bush has already expressed his views on how he sees himself with regards to the law (see FISA and the Anti-Torture amendment). This is just the latest demonstration of Bush's contempt for the role of Congress and the rule of law.

Update: To get an idea of how much Bush has come to rely on his signing statements check out John Dean's analysis here.

Update II: Glenn agrees that this signing statement is nothing new since the Bush administration has made it adamantly clear how it views its powers.