Friday 29th of May 2020

congressional obsolescence .....

‘When President Bush signed the
re-authorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum
saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform
Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers. 

The bill contained several
oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special
terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers. The
provisions require Justice Department officials to keep closer track of how often
the FBI uses the new powers and in what type of situations. Under the law, the
administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain

Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House
ceremony March 9, calling it ''a piece of legislation that's vital to win the
war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters
and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing
statement," an official document in which a president lays out his
interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that
he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers
were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the
information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations,
national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the
performance of the executive's constitutional duties."’ 

Shuns Patriot Act Requirement