BIDEN on President's Signing Statement on Permanent Bases in Iraq
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) issued the following statement on the President's signing statement asserting that he is not bound by the provision in the 2008 Defense Authorization Act that bars the use of appropriated funds in this Act for the construction of permanent American military bases and U. S. control over Iraqi oil resources:
"It is outrageous for the President to suggest that Congress cannot bar the use of funds - something clearly within the power of Congress under our Constitution - for the construction of permanent bases in Iraq. The suggestion that he may disregard a law overwhelmingly approved by Congress, coupled with the President's intent to sign a long-term agreement obligating the United States to defend the Iraqi government from internal and external threats, only reaffirms to Americans that there is no end in sight to the war in Iraq. And though Defense Secretary Robert Gates said recently that "we have no interest in permanent bases" in Iraq, the President's signing statement will serve to confirm the deepest fears in Iraq and the region, however incorrect they may be, that the United States invasion actually is about permanent military occupation and American control of Iraqi oil. The President's statement is a significant setback in the war of ideas. It hands our enemies a victory by making it that much easier for them to misportray our intentions."