Bush: I Can Read Your Mail

The New York Daily News is reporting on a signing statement President Bush issued two weeks ago when signing a postal reform bill, in which he “asserts his right to open mail without a warrant.”

“Most of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act deals with mundane reform measures. But it also explicitly reinforced protections of first-class mail from searches without a court’s approval.

Yet in his statement Bush said he will “construe” an exception, “which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection in a manner consistent … with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances.”

What are signing statements? According to Wikipedia: “A signing statement is a written pronouncement issued by the President of the United States upon the signing of a bill into law.” Bush loves signing statements. Are they legal? There’s some debate about it.

According to New York Daily News:”[The Presidents’] claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.”

Bottom line: Bush wants to read your mail, and he’s going to see you making fun of him in your Christmas card. —MEGHANN MARCO

W pushes envelope on U.S. spying [NewYork Daily News via BoingBoing]

Bush Claims Right to Open Mail [Washington Post]