WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush, again defying Congress, says he has the power to edit the Homeland Security Department's reports about whether it obeys privacy rules while handling background checks, ID cards and watchlists.So, in other words, if he doesn't like what he sees in the reports, he's free to change what they say?! This goes beyond the beyond, if you know what I mean. Any such report will therefore be unreliable and inadmissible as evidence in court. What gall!
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.'
And that's not all:
Bush's signing statement Wednesday challenges several other provisions in the Homeland Security spending bill.He just wants to make sure people like Brown can be appointed again. Why limit the post to people who have been in the field for more than five years, right?
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."