Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:49:56 -0500
From: Leslie Cagan
Response to Bush's latest signing statement!
Earlier today, United for Peace and Justice issued a press release about
the outrageous action by President Bush this past Monday. I really
should say the latest outrageous action by Bush!! In this instance he
released a signing statement at the time he signed into law the Defense
Authorization Act for 2008. His signing statement basically says his
Administration will not enforce several parts of the legislation,
important parts that address several key concerns related to the war and
occupation in Iraq. The details of all of this are included in the press
We hope you will share this information with the members of your group
and others who might be interested. And most importantly, now is the
time to call the House Judiciary Committee 202-225-3951. They must do
more than investigate, it is time for them to begin impeachment hearings!
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P.O. Box 607, Times Square Station; New York, NY 10108
For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 31, 2008
Contact: Leslie Cagan, 212-868-5545; Judith Le Blanc, 212-868-5545;
Peace Movement: Bush's Latest Signing Statement
Is Grounds for Impeachment
New York, NY -- United for Peace and Justice, the country's largest
anti-war coalition with over 1400 member groups, condemns President
Bush's continued arrogant and unconstitutional use of signing statements.
On Monday, Jan. 25, 2008, President Bush released a signing statement
claiming the right to violate four sections of H.R. 4986, the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which he had just signed
into law. These four sections: 841, 846, 1079, and 1222, Bush announced,
would be "construed" in a manner "consistent with the constitutional
authority of the President."
Among the measures Bush's latest signing statement declares the right to
violate are: the establishment of a commission to investigate U.S.
contractor fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, the expansion of whistleblower
protections, a requirement that U.S. intelligence agencies respond to
congressional requests for documents, a ban on funding permanent bases
in Iraq, and a ban on funding any actions that exercise U.S. control
over Iraq's oil money.
Over the past seven years, the same language used by Bush on Monday,
usually attributed to Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff David
Addington, has been the precursor to numerous violations of law by his
administration, including sections of law banning the use of torture and
banning the use of funds to construct permanent U.S. military bases in
Iraq. The president has signed laws blocking funding for the
construction of permanent bases in Iraq six times, but never stopped the
In January 2007, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on Bush's
use of signing statements at which Deputy Assistant Attorney General
John Elwood claimed that the president is free to violate any laws until
the Supreme Court rules otherwise. Following this hearing, the
Government Accountability Office studied a small sample of Bush's
signing statements and found that in a significant percentage of cases
his administration was, in fact, violating the sections of law he had
claimed the right to "interpret."
The U.S. Constitution requires that the president "take care that the
laws be faithfully executed." Article I, Section 7, says that:
"every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the
Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of
the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall
return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have
originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal,
and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds
of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together
with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be
reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall
become a law."
"The rule of law established by the Constitution has been undermined in
an almost unnoticed revolution," said Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator
of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ). "The Constitution allows the
president to veto bills or sign and enforce them, not to rewrite them or
to disobey them. The same document that gives the Congress the power to
make every law, gives it the sole power to raise and spend money, and
the sole power to declare war. The people's representatives in Congress
are losing all of these powers through their failure to act on the
remedy provided for precisely this situation: impeachment."
According to the U.S. State Department, 65% of Iraqis favor a withdrawal
of U.S. troops. In fact, neither the Iraqi people nor the people of this
country have ever supported a permanent U.S. presence in Iraq, and the
U.S. Congress has never approved one.
"The sooner all the troops and military contractors are home," said
Cagan, "the sooner rebuilding can begin for the Iraqi nation and for our
UFPJ is urging its members to speak with the media about this matter and
to phone the House Judiciary Committee at 202-225-3951 to request that
it begin impeachment hearings.
President Bush's latest signing statement:
Government Accountability Office Report:
Database of Bush Signing Statements:
Report on January House Judiciary Committee Hearings:
State Department Iraq Poll:
UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE