I got a mountain of things done today. However, two things I did today, I hope will have a greater impact than the rest.
First, I sent a nice email to the folks of The Last Town Chorus to thank them for the nice email they sent me. I think that's a nice show of kindness on their part, and it demonstrates what a class act that band truly is. So, unless she starts eating kittens and kicking old ladies in the face, I think Megan Hickey is going to be someone about whom I will probably always have something good to say.
Second, and perhaps a little more imperative (as seen in the picture above), I emailed my relatively useless and inactive senator to get his spin on the latest Executive Order slithering its way out of the White House.
Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in IraqBasically, what it boils down to is that now the government can seize your property and assets without any explanation or slightest whiff of due process. In essence, I believe this little convoluted mess of gibberish has utterly removed what legs our Fourth and Fifth Amendments provided for our security against a jackboot government. And, it's becoming more and more apparent that this administration is something from which American citizens desperatelyneed protection. A president, quite simply, should not be able to cast aside our Constitutional protections in such a way as this.
Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act
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. I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,
(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:
(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or
(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;
(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
(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(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.
Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:
(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and
(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.
Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 5. 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 ofa listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.
Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. 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.
Sec. 7. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.
Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
July 17, 2007.
Now, I've never written to my elected officials in Washington. However, I think this is a matter of potentially great concern to all Americans. And, I suggest you all write to your respective representatives in the House and Senate to have them, if nothing else, explain this latest Executive Order from a president who, on January 20th, 2001 stated the following:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
*update* Ah... Here's an article from Reagan's former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury which gets to the meat and potatoes of this latest Executive Order.
Granted, there is a certain element of paranoia to it, but do keep in mind that the following threats most certainly exist with this new presidential authority:
- A tribunal of political appointees of Bush determine whether or not you are targeted. That's a big threat right there.
- Your assets can be frozen if they decide that you are "guilty". There's nothing about "proof" or burdens of evidence in that Executive Order. It's based solely on the decisions of the three appointees.
- You have no way of knowing how they are going to
determine your guilt. There exists the possibility that they wouldn't
even have to release the information regarding HOW they came to
ascertain your guilt. They're members of the Executive and their
discussions are not subject to public scrutiny.
- How long do you await trial under these conditions? How long can you last with your assets frozen? Where exactly will you be held?
- If you assert habeas corpus, how are you going to afford a good lawyer to challenge them to present their accusation? Your assets are frozen and you are to receive NO aid directly for your benefit.
- None of these accusations by this "tribunal" can be questioned as Bush has effectively side-stepped Congress and the Supreme Court.
I do hope I am making a proverbial mountain out of a mole-hill with this, but there is definitely something about the Executive Order which sends a certain chill up my spine.