President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans’ mail without a judge’s warrant, the Daily News has learned.
The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a “signing statement” that declared his right to open people’s mail under emergency conditions.
That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.
Bush’s move came during the winter congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was first revealed. It caught Capitol Hill by surprise.
“Despite the President’s statement that he may be able to circumvent a basic privacy protection, the new postal law continues to prohibit the government from snooping into people’s mail without a warrant,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the incoming House Government Reform Committee chairman, who co-sponsored the bill.
it is an outrageous move, of course, and I fully expect that the plethora of self-styled limited government conservatives, wary in general of over-reach by the federal government and future ‘unfriendly’ administrations abusing this vast new authority. And that isn’t even mentioning that it contradicts existing law.
Ok, that was sarcasm. I don’t expect a peep out of the right wing on this, as they are so tightly wound into their own contradictions that they are incapable of opposing this. You see, they are so wed to the votes of the fanatic anti-abortion lobby that the phrase “there is no right to privacy” rolls off their lips without thought. They are so beholden to the electoral policy of scaring the living shit out of everyone with threats of impending doom via terrorist attack that they can;t oppose this, because, after all, “The terrorists want to kill us.”
The rest of us, well, I guess we better take refuge in one of the right wing talking points for excusing these outrageous power grabs we are now so used to:
“You don’t have anything to worry if you aren’t doing anything wrong.”
I hope that makes you feel better, because, remember- the terrorists want to kill us, and a key Presidential advisor, Pat Robertson, knows something you don’t know. Best to let the President read your mail. Besides, they will only use this power when they really need to, right?