Bush ignores permanent bases ban

Remember how Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and others fought long and hard to impose a ban on spending any money to establish permanent military bases in Iraq? Well, President Bush doesn’t want to be bound by that, so he’s reserving the right to ignore it.

The White House issued a sigining statement yesterday for H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.

“Provisions of the Act, including sections 841, 846, 1079, and 1222, purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the President’s ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as Commander in Chief,” the statement says. “The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.”

Read as: You can’t make me.

Here’s section 1222, which the president says may cramp his style:

No funds appropriated pursuant to an authorization of appropriations in this Act may be obligated or expended for a purpose as follows:
(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.
(2) To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.