Bush says he can ignore Congress and send troops to Colombia

There’s a fascinating article in Sunday’s Boston Globe that has been talked about extensively:

President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Here’s one of the examples that directly affects drug war policy:

Dec. 23, 2004: Forbids US troops in Colombia from participating in any combat against rebels, except in cases of self-defense. Caps the number of US troops allowed in Colombia at 800.
Bush’s signing statement: Only the president, as commander in chief, can place restrictions on the use of US armed forces, so the executive branch will construe the law ”as advisory in nature.”

This sheds a little more light on the recent statement by the State Department that it was ready to “intervene” if asked by Uribe.

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