Wednesday, January 04, 2006
BG: Bush says not bound by torture ban law
Waiver right is reserved
WASHINGTON -- When President Bush, left, last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief.
After approving the bill last Friday, Bush issued a "signing statement" -- an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law -- declaring that he will view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. This means Bush believes he can waive the restrictions, the White House and legal specialists said.
"The executive branch shall construe [the law] in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President . . . as Commander in Chief," Bush wrote, adding that this approach "will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President . . . of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."
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