Friday, April 13, 2007

Warming up the veto crayon

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--President Bush, perhaps liberated by the realization that he has nothing to lose, is threatening to veto a Senate intelligence bill that dares to require that the White House and spy agencies be answerable to Congress.

In a policy statement released Thursday, the Bush Crime Family said the bill fails to provide them with unlimited cash, "with sufficient flexibility" to allow them to fabricate the kind of intelligence they need to start wars at will.

Bush issued the only veto of his presidency last year in an attempt to convince anti-science Jesus freaks to keep voting Republican, killing a bill that would have allowed the use of federal money for embryonic stem cell research. But since the Democrats assumed congressional control, Bush has been threatening more often that he will nix legislation just because he can.

Among the provisions in the intelligence bill that the Bush Crime Family rejects:
  • Yearly disclosure of the total amount spent on intelligence. The Family has long argued that releasing the figures would threaten their profit margin.
  • When lawmakers with jurisdiction ask for intelligence assessments and other information, the bill requires spy chiefs to turn the materials over within 15 days. The measure "would foster political gamesmanship and elevate routine disagreements to the level of constitutional crises," the Family promises.
  • A mandate that the White House brief all members of the intelligence committees on extraordinarily sensitive matters--not just congressional and intelligence committee leaders, as was always the practice when Republicans controlled the committees.
  • Required reports on interrogation activities and secret prisons, which the Family says would raise "grave constitutional issues" by revealing their crimes against humanity, and would jeopardize sensitive information that should not be widely distributed, such as that our government is being run by the kind of people who used to be the bad guys in James Bond movies.
  • Creation of a statutory inspector general for Office of the Director of National Intelligence who would have the power to direct watchdogs in any of the 16 spy agencies. The Family says the existing watchdogs are best suited to do the job without "dysfunctional interference," which is how they characterize "oversight."
  • A requirement that the heads of the National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and National Reconnaissance Office be subject to Senate confirmation, as well as the CIA's deputy director. The Family calls that unnecessary, which is how they feel about the rule of law in general.

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