Minutes before a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.
"It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," Obama said Friday after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
With Obama in France, the White House said the president used an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president.
Update, 5/31/11: At least we have a president who will stop shredding the Constitution! (snicker snicker):
Civil libertarians once looked to this president to right the constitutional balance. But what Obama has wrought is the same old "Terror Presidency" with new rhetoric.
Gen. Michael Hayden, President George W. Bush's CIA director, notes a "powerful continuity" between the two administrations on national security powers. Even former Vice President Dick Cheney now grudgingly praises Obama for leaving most of the Bush framework intact.
In some areas, "44" has gone even further than "43." Bush claimed "inherent power" to attack other countries at will, but never fought a war without congressional authorization.