The Democratic Congressional "leadership" apparently thought that they could get the defense bill passed and signed into law if they caved in and gave President Bush everything he asked for. As it turns out, they were wrong. The smirking sub-simian and his Merry Band of Machiavellian Men just announced that they have decided to veto the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008.
For those of you who don't remember this bill, it's the annual big money package that funds the military. It's one of the bills that the administration threatened to veto if Congress tried to actually exercise their theoretical power of the pursestrings to reign in the Iraq debacle. So they didn't. After all, they didn't want to look like they were holding the troops hostage to politics - so they let monkey boy get away with doing just that. They passed a bill that gave him the money he was looking for last week, without including any restrictions on how the Iraq money could be spent.
Besides the Iraq money, the NDAA has a bunch of money for other department of defense projects. It's got money for veterans programs. It's got a 0.5% increase in salary for the military in it that's supposed to take effect on Tuesday. (Fair disclosure: the vast bulk of our family income comes from my wife's military salary.) It's got a lot of goodies in it, almost all of which the President asked for.
That's the bill that he just decided to veto.
Why? Because it contains a provision - one that by the White House's own admission did not generate any specific veto threat before the bill was passed - that could result in US courts seizing Iraqi assets to provide compensation to victims of the previous regime. The victims in question, by the way, include former members of the US Military who were tortured and beaten by the Iraqis while prisoners of war during the 1st Gulf War.
That's right. The President is vetoing a bill that provides a pay increase for the US Military because the bill contains a provision that could allow US Veterans to recover some financial compensation for war crimes committed against them by a foreign government.
That jerk sure knows how to support the troops.