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.

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."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said it’s appropriate for the administration to know what reports go to Congress and to review them beforehand.

"There can be a discussion on whether to accept a change or a nuance," she said. "It could be any number of things."

The American Bar Association and members of Congress have said Bush uses signing statements excessively as a way to expand his power.

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.

Privacy advocate Marc Rotenberg said Bush is trying to subvert lawmakers’ ability to accurately monitor activities of the executive branch of government.

"The Homeland Security Department has been setting up watch lists to determine who gets on planes, who gets government jobs, who gets employed," said Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

He said the Homeland Security Department has the most significant impact on citizens’ privacy of any agency in the federal government.

Homeland Security agencies check airline passengers’ names against terrorist watch lists and detain them if there’s a match. They make sure transportation workers’ backgrounds are investigated. They are working on several kinds of biometric ID cards that millions of people would have to carry.

The department’s privacy office has put the brakes on some initiatives, such as using insecure radio-frequency identification technology, or RFID, in travel documents. It also developed privacy policies after an uproar over the disclosure that airlines turned over their passengers’ personal information to the government.

The last privacy report was submitted in February 2005.

Bush’s signing statement Wednesday challenges several other provisions in the Homeland Security spending bill.

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."


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  1. I can only assume that Nazi-hater is not a citizen of the US.
    Are we to be held culpable for the actions of an administration by appointment?
    How about one retained by fraudulance?

    Polls consistently indicate this administration lacks the backing of over half the population, yet they continue to operate as though by mandate.

    Yes, we need to be rid of them (in fact, I opined in ’99 that GWB would be extremly bad news for this country if elected) but we are of limited means in effecting the change unless the military backs our position.

  2. IF america does nothing to stop their totally f*cked leadership from killing the world then they all will deserve the karma being amassed by El Diabloco…KARMA a universal law that cannot be manipulated by corrupt congress or INSANE Georgie-boy emperor.

  3. Have you heard the latest news? There is a bill working its way thru the house of reps to repeal the 22nd Ammendment of the Constitution. If it goes thru, and is signed into law, we will have King George and Cabal forever. I wish this were a figment of my immagination, but it’s not. Here’s the link to the article. Can’t say how accurate it is, but it’s a starting point.

  4. These clowns should make their martial law and roundups move soon. Every day they prove their criminal nature, which is perfectly capable of hiring errand boys to do the 911 stunt.

  5. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. — Thomas Jefferson

  6. If we go back to the ORIGINAL series called MASH we see a perfect example of what is and has been occurring in the Executive Branch for some time now.

    RADAR (AKA) Dick Cheney says to the Colonel Sign This Sir and he signs.

    Or perhaps as Jay Leno remarked some time ago and quite correctly….”when Bush speaks do you see Dick Cheney’s lips move ? ”

    Personally I think the Democrats are almost as big a losers as the Republicans.

    Signing statements can be used by ANY President so here they say nothing and keep their options open.

    My Prediction. Something BIG is going to happen just before November 7th. It will be out of desperation from PNAC Members who thanks to their own in Congress making any chance otf them retaining control in either house, evaporate will do something out of desperation but not out of character.

    If they see no way to maintain control or they believe a Democratically controlled House and Senate might vote out bills of Impeachment against the likes of the Executive Branch, something will happen that wioll be a hell of a lot WORSE than any “Signing Statement”

    When is the America I know going to surface out of this lurid cesspool it has fallen into. WHEN !!

  7. Comparing “the Shrub” to Hitler is a better comparison that to King George. “The Shrub” is out of control. We know why congress doesn’t do anything cause it’s controled by the “Repubes”. But why, in heaven’s name, are the people of this country just sitting idly by while the constitution is being trampled on, by this jerk in the White House? Well, they got what they voted for! Now it’s time to get out there and vote in the upcoming elections. Lets get those “Repubes” out of congress. Lets take back the government, and maybe even get rid of the “Shrub”. He’s committed enough crimes to cause his impeachment and conviction. GET RID OF THE SHRUB!

  8. Thanks, Erika. At least there are a couple Democrats that aren’t sitting in the corner quaking in fear! Yep, this is gonna get ugly before it gets better.

  9. I just can’t believe the arrogance of our King George! He is out doing the original version! There has to be some way to put him where he belongs! I guess we don’t have the resolve of our forefathers to put a stop to this nonsense.

  10. These signing statements slight-of-hand subversion of the legislative branch should be in the top 5 points all Democratic challengers use in races this year.

  11. That Lips… working so hard to ensure a facist Amerika…

    Whoever says that Bush doesn’t work hard, just doesn’t know the truth.

    “Rules out a large portion of those persons best qualified by experience and knowledge to fill the office.”

    Ha ha ha, that Lips… what a prankster, too…

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