Jan 6, 2007

Now Bush Wants to Read Your Mail

Two days after the Democrats took control of the House and Senate, they are already facing a challenge by this administration's claim of "Unitary Powers." This time it's not our telecommunications they want to spy on, it's our mail.
According to the Washington Post, "a 'signing statement' attached to a postal reform bill on December 20 says the Bush administration 'shall construe' a section of that law to allow the opening of sealed mail to protect life, guard against hazardous materials or conduct 'physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection.'" This move seems to have opened the door for the government to open mail without a warrant.
This makes more than 750
presidential signing statements, according to the Associated Press, by an Administration that has consistently tried to alter laws that it finds unpalatable. This total surpasses the number of signing statements issued by all American Presidents combined before #43. The threat to democracy is obvious if laws that members of Congress have crafted after research, debate and bipartisan negotiation can be gutted with a few strokes of the president's pen.
Peter Rothberg

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