Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Bush Breaking New Ground in Lawbreaking

In the annals of presidential crime, George W. Bush is setting records again, this time violating a law he signed into existence less than a year ago.

By failing to appoint a White House coordinator for preventing nuclear terrorism, as required by Congress in a bill passed by a wide bipartisan margin last August, the Decider is going beyond using signing statements, as he has in the past, to invalidate legislation he doesn't like.

This time, according to the Boston Globe, he is just ignoring the requirement for an "adviser focused solely on organizing the government to prevent terrorists from acquiring catastrophic weapons, such as a nuclear device, a radioactive 'dirty bomb,' or biological agents."

The new law, advocated by national security experts since before 9/11, was prompted by a recent Pentagon finding that the current practice of Defense, State, Energy and Homeland Security departments going their own uncoordinated way to prevent nuclear proliferation "risks creating gaps and redundancies."

The White House apparently disagrees but, in the face of veto-proof passage, the President signed on and is just ignoring the new law.

"Congress," the Globe quotes a law professor specializing in separation of powers, "has the authority to create by statute different responsibilities in executive departments. You can't ignore a valid statute. I don't think he has the authority to do that."

But George W. Bush is doing it, no doubt to the delight of the terrorists we are fighting over there so we don't have to fight them back here.

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