From: G. Edward Griffin and Aaron Russo
Last week, we issued an e-mail alert regarding an Executive Order signed on July 17 by President Bush that authorizes him to block the personal property of anyone in the United States who opposes his Middle East foreign policy. Read the document here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070717-3.html. If this link does not work, here is a backup source: http://www.freedom-force.org/newsarchive/EO_2007-07-17.mht.
The response was immediate, huge, and encouraging. However, not everyone was equally concerned, and they wrote to say that we had misunderstood the language and intent of the document. There were two primary objections. The first was that the Order was written to prevent acts of violence, not political dissent. The second was that it applies only to people and organizations whose names appear on a list attached to the Executive Order but not made public. Larry Becraft, nationally respected Constitutional attorney, said:
"I have no doubt that there was a list of the names of certain people attached to that EO that was not published. Bush provided the full document with the names of "the following persons" to certain members of Congress, but that list was not published for the public, nor was that list published in the Federal Register. … The EO clearly addresses foreign funds and property brought into this country and held either by foreigners or US persons. To contend that Americans holding their own property or having others hold that property (funds, financial instruments, etc), are going to have that property seized is a contention plainly outside the clear language of the EO. To assert that those protesting the war subjects those protesters to seizures is groundless."
We are not convinced by this argument. A reading of the EO, itself, points to a contrary interpretation. It may be true that there was a list attached to the EO, but that does not mean the list cannot be expanded at any time. In describing whose property may be blocked, the document says:
"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."
The phase "any person" completely negates the concept that this applies only to a few specifically named bad guys from the Middle East who happen to be in the U.S.
If you think this EO applies only to those who have committed or intend to commit acts of violence, then read the words again: It applies to any person who poses "a significant risk of committing an act of violence." Who would that be?
In case you haven’t noticed, the trend of all collectivist governments over the past few decades has been to embrace the principle of pre-emptive punishment. In other words, political scientists, working closely with government-funded psychiatrists, have created the myth that it is possible to determine who will commit crimes in the future. They can do this, they say, by studying everyone’s school records, voting records, reading habits, organizations they support, and a myriad of other metrics for personal preferences and beliefs. There is no doubt that tabulations of this kind can lead to valid statistical predictions, but they can never identify who will fall within the expectations and who will not. It is an affront to common sense and a travesty of justice to punish people for crimes they did not commit but which some social scientist says they probably will. This is a special horror when the cloak of science is used, not to reduce crime, but to single out political dissidents and then define their thoughts as criminal behavior. So, who poses "a significant risk of committing acts of violence?" Whoever the President adds to the list.
And so, we repeat what we said last week. This is about as serious as it gets. There have been many assaults on our freedom recently, but none with such totality and finality as this. We must draw the line in the sand on this issue. The American people must re-discover their indignation, get off their couches, and send a tsunami of protest to Washington.
There is no need to explain why this is important, and there is nothing that can be said that would be more motivating than the stark possibility of a police state in which citizens loose their property if they disagree with der Fuhrer (the Leader).