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Feeling the Heat, Yet?

By       Message Stephen Pizzo       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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On July 17th President Bush signed another executive order. It should have made the front page and been the lead story on every newscast, but wasn't. In fact, unless you read the so-called “alternative” press, you probably still don't know a thing about it. Yet it could land your ass in jail and/or get your financial assets frozen or seized.

President Bush's latest order builds atop earlier “national security” executive orders Bush signed in the wake of 9/11. Here's the new order – with my annotations.

Executive Order:
Blocking Property of

Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
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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.

(This is what I call the “boiling the frog” method of de-constitutionalizing the US government. Put a frog in a pot of room-temperature water and turn the burner on low. As the water slowly heats the frog doesn't notice it's being boiled to death -- until it's too late. Each of Bush's national security executive orders turned up the heat provided by earlier orders. One hardly feels their liberties slip, sliding away. But read on... )

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,

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 (Hello? What's all that about? Well, among other things I figure it exempts anyone or company the US has “licensed” to do things in regard to Iraq, that have subsequently proven to have done more harm than good to the administration's stated goals in Iraq. Oh come on, you know, like Halliburton and Blackwater, et al.)

... 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,

(Hey look, there's two new federal deputies in town. Sheriff Bush just deputized the Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of Defense. Bet you didn't know the Secretary of Defense could snatch the domestic assets of American citizens without a court order. Not only that but these two deputies don't even need to check with the Dept of Justice if they think you're up to no good, vis a vie Iraq. All the Secretary of the Treasury and the Sec. of Defense need to do is “consult,” before they freeze your ass-ets.  I wish the Sec. of Treasury had that kind of power on Wall Street over sub-prime MBS and hedge funds. Oh wait.. he does. He just hasn't used it.)

Okay, let's delve into the guts of the new order. (Please keep hands and arms inside the column and try not to look suspicious.) The new order covers any person or entity deemed:

(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;

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(Let's see. Over the last five years who might have done the most to “threaten the peace or stability of the Government of Iraq?” Oh, yeah... the Bush administration. Maybe the Sec's. of Treasury and Defense need to “consult” about that first.)

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

(Ah, that explains why Halliburton is relocating it's corporate headquarters to Dubia. Getting out of Dodge while the gettin' is good.)

(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;

(Would that include US forces arming Sunni militias? Because any fool knows that, sooner or later, all that US ordinance is going to end being used to destabilize the Shiite-controlled central government.)

(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.

(Guess you better start checking on what your friends and business associates are up to. Because if one of them is up to no good, vis a vie Iraq – and upon “consultation” they are deemed to in violation of this new order -- your ass-ets and your friend's ass-ets could be playing drop the soap together in some federal lockup.)

(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.

(Do you really know what Goodwill and the St. Vincent de Paul do with the stuff you donate? Huh? Well, under this order, you just better hope that old computer desk you donated to Goodwill doesn't somehow end up in an al Qaeda safe house in Crazistan.)

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.

(Got it? If you're against what the administration is doing in Iraq, keep it to yourself. Don't even think about it. And, while not thinking about it, you better not appear to trying to “evade or avoid” thinking about it either. )

b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is( prohibited.

(Got friends?)

Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:
(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a (more...)

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