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Bush: A surprise veto

Don't be surprised if this becomes something some of the Democratic presidential candidates talk about on the campaign trail today. "[O]n Friday, with no warning, a vacationing Mr. Bush announced that he was vetoing a sweeping military policy bill because of an obscure provision that could expose Iraq's new government to billions of dollars in legal claims dating to Saddam Hussein's rule," the New York Times writes. "The decision left the Bush administration scrambling to promise that it would work with Congress to quickly restore dozens of new military and veterans programs once Congress returns to work in January."

More: "Mr. Bush's veto surprised and infuriated Democratic lawmakers and even some Republicans, who complained that the White House had failed to raise its concerns earlier. And it gave Democrats a chance to wield Mr. Bush's support-the-troops oratory against him, which they did with relish."

The Washington Post: "At issue is a provision of the defense bill that would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. It was championed by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) as a way to give victims of state-sponsored terrorism legal recourse. Such victims would be entitled to sue countries in U.S. courts. In a statement, Lautenberg said the measure was intended to extend redress to victims of such state-sponsored terrorist attacks as the Iran-led bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and Libya's downing of an airliner over Lockerbee, Scotland, in 1988. Lautenberg's statement did not address whether the measure also created the unintended consequences for Iraq cited by Bush."