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New Problem As Jong Il Issues "Korean-Style" Signing Statement To Invalidate U.N. Sanctions

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Message J. Thomas Duffy
A new crisis has enveloped the White House, as, in rejecting the United Nations Security Council sanctions voted last Saturday, Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader issued "Signing Statements" this morning that invalidate the sanctions and allow him to act freely in interpreting the rules, as he sees fitting his own agenda.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, was livid, first at the brazen disregard of the Security Council by Jong Il, then, after being informed that the United States would have to abstain from further discussion and debate on the matter, due to the conflict of interest it presents, namely, President Bush's extensive and profound use of Signing Statements.

Bolton, red-faced, brushed past reporters after being asked to leave the Security Council chamber, barking at an aide, however he refused comment to the shouted questions from the media throng.

Did Rice's Comments 'Embolden" The North Koreans?

Also refusing comment as the State Department, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Just last week, Rice praised the success of the Bush Administration's 'Axis of Evil' program in relation to North Korea testing a nuclear device, calling it "wildly successful" that North Korea was exhibiting the characteristic rogue behavior.

It's not clear if Jong Il's use of Signing Statements falls within the 'Axis of Evil' program, or if North Korea is improvising, feeling emboldened by Rice's comments.

This all goes back, says John Lloyd Sullivan, principal of 'All American Seeds', the think tank that monitors the use of seeds in political or humanitarian projects, "to the Inspector General's report earlier this year. These people have no strategies ... No plan ... And they have no seeds to plant in North Korea, if that's what they are thinking about."

Rice attempted to backtrack today, warning Iran that the sanctions issued against North Korea should serve as notice to abandon their own nuclear ambitions.

"The Dug Hole Belongs To Bush, With Rove Holding The Shovel"

Perhaps, more than Secretary Rice, the White House has been put in a box, by the alleged actions of top Bush aide, Karl Rove, as well as the President's habitual use of Signing Statements.

Last Friday, a bombshell was dropped, with reports that Rove has been boasting the North Korean nuclear test was "his work", this year's "October Surprise".

More than Rove shining his own apple, it is President Bush that may come to feel the brunt of International outrage.

Since taking office in 2000, Bush as issued well over 700 Signing Statements, at the urging of Vice President Dick Cheney, and longtime Cheney aide, David Addington. In citing elements of the Constitution, it is Cheney and Addington's philosophy that the President's office have virtually unchecked and unfettered authority, essentially ignoring the other two wings of the government - Congress and the Judiciary.

"This is likely to develop into a new trend," offered Harold "Ace" Larson, an analyst for the counterintelligence think tank, 'Book'em and Beat'em'.

"You'll see others ... be it terrorists, rogue nations, perhaps even some of our friends and allies, use their own version of Signing Statements to push back against U.S. policy. They'll just stand up and say "Hey, we don't have to do that' and what will our response be?"

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J.Thomas Duffy is a freelance writer and satirist from Cambridge, MA
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