Bush-Cheney "Thumbing Nose at the Law," Says Conyers
June 19, 2007 (LPAC)--"The Administration is thumbing its nose at the law," said House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. John Conyers, commenting on a report on Presidential "signing statements" just issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Under the direction of Dick Cheney and Cheney's lawyer and now-chief of staff David Addington, "signing statements" have been used to defy Congress's law-making power to an unprecedented extent, and to assert Presidential dictatorial powers.
The GAO study, request by Rep. Conyers and Senator Robert Byrd, examined signing statements for a limited number of bills, only for appropriations bills for fiscal year 2006. GAO found that President Bush issued 11 signing statements for the 12 appropriations bills, singling out 160 provisions in those bills. GAO examined 19 of those provisions, and found that of the 19, only ten were executed as written, six were not, and the other three were not triggered, so there was no agency action to examine.
A number of signing statements objected to provisions of law based on the unconstitutional "unitary executive" theory -- actually the [a:href="\/files\/pdfs\/060109_children_satan.pdf"]fuhrerprinzip of Nazi legal theorist Carl Schmitt[/a]. Others claimed that under the President's alleged powers as Commander in Chief of the armed forces, he could ignore Congressional enactments.
"The White House cannot pick and choose which laws it follows and which it ignores," said Sen. Byrd in a statement yesterday. "This GAO opinion underscores the fact that the White House is constantly grabbing for more power.... Too often, the Bush Administration does what it wants, no matter what the law."