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Quand il tient quelque chose, il ne lâche jamais. GW Bush ne cessera pas de nous étonner. Sa conception de la loi, itou. Sa dernière performance, datant du vendredi dernier, passée relativement inaperçue, qui représente pourtant un acte aussi grave que les écoutes de communication de la NSA (pour lesquelles on parle de mise en accusation) : une restriction décisive au moment de la signature d’une loi très controversée.
Il s’agit de l’amendement McCain sur la torture (amendement à la loi budgétaire 2007 du Pentagone). Lancé en octobre 2005 par le sénateur républicain, immédiatement bloqué par la Maison-Blanche, l’amendement a finalement été accepté par GW Bush. Une vraie capitulation. Mais pas pour longtemps, oh Lord! Il en résulte une situation extraordinaire du point de vue constitutionnel, psychologique, politique, etc… GW a signé la loi, certes, mais, en fait, s’il juge que, vraiment, sur le moment, il ne faut pas en tenir compte et torturer un peu, eh bien ! —
(La chose a été actée par une procédure normale, un “signing statement”, — document official où le Président signale son interprétation de la loi. Il y est dit « that he will view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. »)
Voici ce qu’en dit le Boston Globe, qui a reçu quelques confidences.
« A senior administration official, who spoke to a Globe reporter about the statement on condition of anonymity because he is not an official spokesman, said the president intended to reserve the right to use harsher methods in special situations involving national security. “We are not going to ignore this law,” the official said, noting that Bush, when signing laws, routinely issues signing statements saying he will construe them consistent with his own constitutional authority. “We consider it a valid statute. We consider ourselves bound by the prohibition on cruel, unusual, and degrading treatment.”
» But, the official said, a situation could arise in which Bush may have to waive the law's restrictions to carry out his responsibilities to protect national security. He cited as an example a ‘ticking time bomb’ scenario, in which a detainee is believed to have information that could prevent a planned terrorist attack.
» “Of course the president has the obligation to follow this law, [but] he also has the obligation to defend and protect the country as the commander in chief, and he will have to square those two responsibilities in each case,” the official added. “We are not expecting that those two responsibilities will come into conflict, but it's possible that they will.” »
Des commentaries? « David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said that the signing statement means that Bush believes he can still authorize harsh interrogation tactics when he sees fit. “'The signing statement is saying ‘I will only comply with this law when I want to, and if something arises in the war on terrorism where I think it's important to torture or engage in cruel, inhuman, and degrading conduct, I have the authority to do so and nothing in this law is going to stop me,'’” he said. “‘They don't want to come out and say it directly because it doesn't sound very nice, but it's unmistakable to anyone who has been following what's going on.” (…)
» Elisa Massimino, Washington director for Human Rights Watch, called Bush's signing statement an “in-your-face affront” to both McCain and to Congress. “The basic civics lesson that there are three co-equal branches of government that provide checks and balances on each other is being fundamentally rejected by this executive branch,” she said. “Congress is trying to flex its muscle to provide those checks [on detainee abuse], and it's being told through the signing statement that it's impotent. It's quite a radical view.” »
Mis en ligne le 4 janvier 2006 à 21H44