Friday, October 06, 2006

Sawing down the forest of laws

I'm guessing this is why the White House was surprised by the Hamdan decision:

In the law Bush signed Wednesday, Congress stated no one but the privacy officer could alter, delay or prohibit the mandatory annual report on Homeland Security department activities that affect privacy, including complaints.

But Bush, in a signing statement attached to the agency's 2007 spending bill, said he will interpret that section "in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch."
Because a unitary executive has no need of habeas corpus. It just interferes with the unitary executives power to arrest and imprison anyone it considers a threat.

What I don't understand is why this doesn't scare more people. The Senate took some interest, but apparently not much. Anybody else remember these hearings?

The Senate held hearings on the issue in June. At the time, 110 statements challenged about 750 statutes passed by Congress, according to numbers combined from the White House and the Senate committee. They include documents revising or disregarding parts of legislation to ban torture of detainees and to renew the Patriot Act.
And what else does Bush have up his sleeve in this case? Well, he's the Decider; and Congress is not:

Bush, for example, said he'd disregard a requirement that the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency must have at least five years experience and "demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management and homeland security."

His rationale was that it "rules out a large portion of those persons best qualified by experience and knowledge to fill the office."
Apparently now Congress is just the "Suggester."

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