July 17, 2007 Executive Order from President George W. Bush here:
This EO has caused a number of people to believe that our first amendment rights, our rights to protest the unjust actions of and laws created by the Executive Branch of the USA, are severely threatened. Many have said this will not happen and that we are reading "too much" into this Order...
Well...here's this...from little ol' me in response to those who believe our individual properties and persons as US citizens who protest continuing the war, or support for the war, in Iraq are not the target.
It's quite simple, really.
The most specific cases for this Executive Order to be used would be:
1) to hamstring the voices and purses of the American people in the event that many of us begin to spend our time and money to protest the "economic reconstruction of Iraq" (code for the US government "to build") the outrageously, overly opulent and in-your-face US Embassy in Iraq. This structure is being built at a cost of $600 million dollars; it is the size of the Vatican (how appropriate), and it has its own power source. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people line up in their broken down cars, waiting 24 hours for gas that isn't there for them...and never will be...even though it's just a few miles away in THEIR oil fields. They live without consistent, if any, electricity in 130-degree heat, without clean water, without jobs, and WITH constant threats to their lives from seen and unseen "enemies." To build this structure takes Bush's efforts in Iraq from occupation to permanent rulership.
2) to prevent protests from the American people against what Bush has just done in the past two or three days: provide for $30 billion in "weaponry funds" to "our friends" in the Middle East (the Saudi's), and last week, another $30 billion dollars to Israel for ten years of "military support monies," $3 billion per year. We have always supported Israel, but to earmark this (and I'm sure there will be more) big monies to arm the Saudi's and others while we build a HUGE presence in Iraq that isolates us from the Iraqi people, does not sound like "reconstruction of Iraq"; it sounds, once again, like obfuscation...and tit-for-tat.
I believe this president made this Executive Order because he anticipated protests by the thoughtful American public (which he should!!) against the spending of US monies to build this kind of outrageous US Embassy in Iraq (and other things that he conveniently calls "reconstruction"), and to pave the way for him to give monies freely for military purposes to whomever he wants. He sugar coats it, saying that it is to protect the democratization of Iraq from the likes of Syria and Iran, but it is all about power, money, politics, and promises made that we can't even begin to imagine the scope of. And now...as of August 1, we here that the Saudis are planning to build an embassy in Iraq. Why? Oil...plain and simple...they ALL want and will take the oil of Iraq, without a doubt.
Let there be no mistake about a "vaguely-if-you're-smart" hidden agenda in this Executive Order that gives this president the power to whisk away any of us for any reason he chooses.
And let there be NO mistake about who will be held accountable in the end, if we do continue to protest these efforts specifically or generally, and we will; it will be us, the thoughtful, caring plain people of the US.
All one has to do to believe this is true and possible is look at the Bush administation's history of propaganda to control the American people: terrorist-level fear mongering, the Patriot Act, the outing of Valerie Plame, the holding of Jose Padila without counsel or trial for YEARS, and so much more (go to http://inyourworld.blogstream.com
and read the posting on "Rogue Administration"). This is not liberal-tongue-wagging-Bush-hating-for-no-reason blogging by a Web junky. This is thoughtful and conscientious research and action by a person who cares about telling the truth about, and to, our World.
We, the People of the United States, who fear the purpose of this Order, are not afraid to continue to act, however. We are proud citizens whose Constitution has been, and continues to be, shredded by the Bush administration's political misuse of power, the very thing the founders began this country to get away from: a dictatorship. The founders believed in one solid truth, folks: "All [people] are created equal." All people have the freedom of speech, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to the benefit...the BENEFIT...of all. We will continue to fight for that, not matter what.
The only way this journalist, academic, activist will be sure of her safety is if this Executive Order no longer existed. And please, if you defend it, please, please tell all of us honestly: what IS the purpose for its creation, by this president, at this point in time?
I am not stopping; I am going to fearlessly continue to work and act to prevent unjust and criminal activity by this Bush/Cheney/Gonzales administration and to hold them accountable under the law.
Professor Nan Fandel
Professor Nan Fandel teaches communications in Iowa. She is also a journalist who has been an op-ed columnist for the Iowa City Press-Citizen newspaper. (more...)