I'm still trying to weed through the wording, but I stumbled upon a press release dated back to Tuesday. On the 17th, an Executive Order was instated that effectively sidesteps rights granted by the 5th amendment. According to the order, any persons who "threaten stabilization efforts in Iraq" may have their personal property seized. I'm still trying to find out if this applied to U.S. citizens or not (I'm having a difficult time with the wording, as it is all too early in the morning for me to think clearly). Nevertheless, it is a truly frightening document:
"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come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,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
© 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 of a 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. "
Link from BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2007…..7/19/white…e_kisses_g.html
Yeah, i tried to read it again but I can't make heads or tails of it, which is why I'm unsure whether or not it applies to U.S. citizens. Nevertheless, it could hurt people in other countries who are protesting the Iraq war (I mean, what qualifies an "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq"?)
About the Patriot Act, that allowed the government to search public records (anything from telephone to library records).
Though the real fuckup was Military Commissions Act of 2006. This act (which was reported on by This American Life here: http://www.thisamericanlife.co…..Radio_Epis…spx?episode=331
(P.S. I really recommend listening to this episode. It's incredibly interesting and pointed out things that I never thought about. I had no idea about the Military Commissions Act prior to listening to this episode).
That Act suspended Habeas Corpus rights to anyone considered an "unlawful enemy combatant" (i.e. those in army bases like Guantanamo) habeas corpus is, by the way, the right given to prevent arbitrary imprisonment. Simply, it requires a tribunal or court to make sure the person imprisoned is serving a just sentence.
I didn't realize, but apparently last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act, reinstating habeas corpus to those imprisoned.
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