The Bush regime is making so many rapid moves towards actual tyranny lately that it is getting pretty hard to keep up.
The McCain anti-torture bill had already been fatally weakened by a compromise clause that stripped detainees of their legal rights, a clause that he has already used to move for dismissal of lawsuits challenging the detention of more than 180 political prisoners in Guantanamo, but that just isn't enough for his majesty.
So George III issued a separate "signing statement" when he signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, stating explicitly that the law doesn't apply to him.
David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said...''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,' " ... ''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."This is of course completely in keeping with his earlier "discovery" that he doesn't need no stinking permission to wiretap whomever he wants, no matter what the law says.
UPDATE: If you aren't traumatized enough already, there is an excellent discussion of these issues on Friday's Democracy Now! David Golove (cited above) and Scott Horton go into much more detail about the background of these "signing statements" and how the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court might advance Bush's imperial agenda.
Nick Turse provides more historical context, arguing that recent administration actions and the novel theories of presidential power being used to justify them amount to an attempt to repeal the Magna Carta, "the Ur document that inspired and provided precedent for America's founders to issue their Declaration of Independence in 1776."