Saturday, July 21, 2007
Evil as evil is
"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004."
Underlying provisions of new law incliude:
"(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken."
The insertion of the word 'services' has broad, and catastrophic, consequences for the American people in that any act deemed by their government to be against the Iraqi war is, in fact, supporting the 'enemy' and therefore threatens the 'stabilization of Iraq'.
"The [Patriot] act also expands the use of National Security Letters, which are a kind of warrant that the Justice Department writes for itself, authorizing its agents to seize such things as records of money movements, telephone calls and Internet visits. Recipients of a National Security Letter are not allowed to tell anyone about them, and so cannot contest them."
It is curious to note that after the enactment of this new law there has been no protest by any of the other political leaders in the United States, with the exception of the only Muslim member of the United States Congress, Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, and who compared President Bush to the Nazi War Leader Adolph Hitler by stating the attacks upon the World Trade Center could be likened to the burning of the Reichstag.
Today, as the United States faces an imminent economic collapse, while at the same time its war bill has reached the staggering amount of $648 billion, one of the last freedoms the American people have had to protest their leaders actions against them, and other peoples in the World, has now been taken away from them, the freedom to speak and write in opposition to what is being done to them.
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.", said the great British writer George Orwell, but, and sadly, liberty has been lost to the once free people of the United States who are no longer allowed to tell their leaders, or each other, what they don't want to hear.
So, in a nutshell...
... the ridiculously broad language in this order takes the 5th amendment, and flushes it down the toilet. As an example, if it appears that if you, say, donate to a charity that the Bush administration determines, without any proof, is trying to undermine the Iraqi government, all of your assets can be frozen. No due process, do not pass go.
The order permits the targeting of those who aid someone else whose assets have been blocked under the order -- wittingly or not. And under Section Five, the government does not have to disclose which organizations are subject to having their assets frozen:
For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.
Bruce Fein, a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration observes: "This is so sweeping it's staggering. I've never seen anything so broad that it expands beyond terrorism, beyond seeking to use violence or the threat of violence to cower or intimidate a population. This covers stabilization in Iraq. I suppose you could issue an executive order about stabilization in Afghanistan as well. And it goes beyond even attempting violence, to cover those who pose 'a significant risk' of violence. Suppose Congress passed a law saying you've committed a crime if there's significant risk that you might commit a crime."
Color me blind... then call me American!