[News] Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 23 11:22:18 EDT 2007


Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6377

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

<http://www.globalresearch.ca>Global Research, July 20, 2007


The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons 
Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President 
with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war.

A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the 
stroke of a pen the right to dissent and to oppose the Pentagon's 
military agenda in Iraq.

The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons 
Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President 
with the authority to confiscate the assets of  "certain persons" who 
oppose the US led war in Iraq:

"I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons 
determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of 
committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or 
effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the 
Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic 
reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide 
humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."

In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an 
illegal act.

The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement. It is intended 
to  "blocking property" of  US citizens and organizations actively 
involved in the peace movement. It allows the Department of Defense 
to interfere in financial affairs and instruct the Treasury to "block 
the property" and/or confiscate/ freeze the assets of "Certain 
Persons" involved in antiwar activities. It targets those "Certain 
Persons" in America, including civil society organizatioins, who 
oppose the Bush Administration's "peace and stability" program in 
Iraq, characterized, in plain English, by an illegal occupation and 
the continued killing of innocent civilians.

The Executive Order also targets those "Certain Persons" who are 
"undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction", or who, 
again in plain English, are opposed to the confiscation and 
privatization of  Iraq's oil resources, on behalf of the 
Anglo-American oil giants.

The order is also intended for anybody who opposes Bush's program 
of  "political reform in Iraq", in other words, who questions the 
legitimacy of an Iraqi "government" installed by the occupation forces.

Moreover, those persons or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), who 
provide bona fide humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians, and who are 
not approved by the US Military or its lackeys in the US sponsored 
Iraqi puppet government are also liable to have their financial 
assets confiscated.

The executive order violates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments 
of the US Constitution. It repeals one of the fundamental tenets of 
US democracy, which is the right to free expression and dissent. The 
order has not been the object of discussion in the US Congress. 
Sofar, it has not been addressed  by the US antiwar movement, in 
terms of a formal statement.

Apart from a bland Associated Press wire report, which presents the 
executive order as "an authority to use financial sanctions", there 
has been no media coverage or commentary of a presidential decision 
which strikes at the heart of the US Constitution..

Broader implications

The criminalization of the State is when the sitting President and 
Vice President use and abuse their authority through executive 
orders, presidential directives or otherwise  to define "who are the 
criminals" when in fact they they are the criminals.

This latest executive order criminalizes the peace movement. It must 
be viewed in relation to various pieces of "anti-terrorist" 
legislation, the gamut of presidential and national security 
directives, etc., which are ultimately geared towards repealing 
constitutional government and installing martial law in the event of 
a "national emergency".

The war criminals in high office are intent upon repressing all forms 
of dissent which question the legitimacy of the war in Iraq.

The executive order combined with the existing anti-terrorist 
legislation is eventually intended to be used against the anti-war 
and civil rights movements. It can be used to seize the assets of 
antiwar groups in America as well as block the property and 
activities of non-governmental humanitarian organizations providing 
relief in Iraq, seizing the assets of alternative media involved in 
reporting the truth regarding the US-led war, etc.

In May 2007, Bush issued a major presidential National Security 
Directive (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential 
Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20), which would suspend constitutional 
government and instate broad dictatorial powers under martial law in 
the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency" (e.g. Second 9/11 terrorist attack).

On July 11, 2007 the CIA published its "National Intelligence 
Estimate" which pointed to an imminent Al Qaeda attack on America, a 
second 9/11 which, according to the terms of NSPD 51, would 
immediately be followed by the suspension of constitutional 
government and the instatement of martial law under the authority of 
the president and the vice-president. (For further details, see 
Michel Chossudovsky, 
<http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6134>Bush 
Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a 
Justification for Waging War on Iran?  June 2007)

NSPD 51 grants unprecedented powers to the Presidency and the 
Department of Homeland Security, overriding the foundations of 
Constitutional government. It allows the sitting president to declare 
a "national emergency" without Congressional approval. The 
implementation of NSPD 51 would lead to the de facto closing down of 
the Legislature and the militarization of justice and law enforcement.

"The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government 
for ensuring constitutional government...."

Were NSPD 51 to be invoked,  Vice President Dick Cheney, who 
constitutes the real power behind the Executive, would essentially 
assume de facto dictatorial powers, circumventing both the US 
Congress and the Judiciary, while continuing to use President George 
W. Bush as a proxy figurehead.

NSPD 51, while bypassing the Constitution, nonetheless, envisages 
very precise procedures which guarantee the powers of Vice President 
Dick Cheney in relation to "Continuity of Goverment" functions under 
Martial Law:

"This directive shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent 
with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of 
the   Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the 
exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 
(3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation of the Vice President and, as 
appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive departments and 
agencies shall ensure that appropriate support is available to the 
Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at all 
times to implement those provisions." (NSPD 51, op cit.)

The executive order to confiscate the assets of antiwar/peace 
activists is broadly consistent with NSPD 51. It could be triggered 
even in the absence of a "Catastrophic emergency" as envisaged under 
NSPD 51. It repeals democracy. It goes one step further in 
"criminalizing" all forms of opposition and dissent. to the US led 
war and "Homeland Security" agenda.


----------
ANNEX

TEXT OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER

July 17, 2007

<http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070717-3.html>Executive 
Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten 
Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

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 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.

----------
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070717-4.html>Below 
is the text of the Message to the Congress of the United States 
Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act

[There has been no response by the US congress or commentary by 
individual Senators or Representatives.]

Office of the Press Secretary July 17, 2007

Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International 
Emergency Economic Powers Act

White House News

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten 
Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as 
amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), I hereby report that I have 
issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to 
have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act 
or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening 
the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or 
undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political 
reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.

I issued this order 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.

In these previous Executive Orders, I ordered various measures to 
address the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security 
and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the 
orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of 
peace and security in that country, and the development of political, 
administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq.

My new order takes additional steps with respect to the national 
emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive 
Order 13315 by blocking the property and interests in property of 
persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation 
with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to have 
committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or 
acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the 
peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining 
efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in 
Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.

The order further authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in 
consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of 
Defense, to designate for blocking those persons determined 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 designated pursuant 
to this order, or 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.

I delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with 
the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, the authority 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 my order. I am 
enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.

GEORGE W. BUSH

The White House,

July 17, 2007.




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