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CRUSHING THE IRAQ WAR PROTESTS?

 

 


By Darren Weeks

August 4, 2007

NewsWithViews.com

President George W. Bush has signed broad new executive order that may be used to stifle the freedom of speech and actions of individuals, organizations or other “entities” that disapprove of his war policies in Iraq.

Executive Order 13438 is dedicated to “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq.”

In the order, Bush cites the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), found in Title 50, United States Code, Section 1701 and 1702, which gives the president authority to deal with “any unusual and extraordinary threat which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, if the President declares a national emergency with respect to such threat.”

Such a national emergency has already been declared in the form of Executive Order 13303, signed by the president on May 22, 2003, and was later expanded by Executive Order 13315.

The IEEPA grants authorities to the president to prohibit foreign transactions and to confiscate property of foreign persons, organizations, and countries, if the president or the secretary of the treasury determines the aforementioned entities are working to “threaten stability” in Iraq.

But concerns are being raised that the new executive order could be extended to include Americans who protest the administration’s war policies. Such concerns are not easily dismissed in light of certain provisions found in the USA Patriot Act, passed days following the contrived and orchestrated “attacks” of September 11, 2001.

The Patriot Act, provides for the confiscation of the property of any individual or entity that participates in or plans an act of domestic or international terrorism. Provisions found in 18 U.S.C. section 981(a)(1)(G) are derived from section 806 of the Patriot Act. It says that the following property is subject to forfeiture:

All assets, foreign or domestic— (i) of any individual, entity, or organization engaged in planning or perpetrating any act of domestic or international terrorism (as defined in section 2331) against the United States, citizens or residents of the United States, or their property, and all assets, foreign or domestic, affording any person a source of influence over any such entity or organization; (ii) acquired or maintained by any person with the intent and for the purpose of supporting, planning, conducting, or concealing an act of domestic or international terrorism (as defined in section 2331) against the United States, citizens or residents of the United States, or their property; or (iii) derived from, involved in, or used or intended to be used to commit any act of domestic or international terrorism (as defined in section 2331) against the United States, citizens or residents of the United States, or their property.

Most Americans would never dream of participating in an act of terrorism against another person. But how will the government determine whether or not an individual or group is “planning” an act? Does this not venture into the area of thought crimes?

Additionally, one must keep in mind that “international terrorism” has a very broad definition in section 2331. It is defined as “activities that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

Could peaceful war protesters fall into this category? Could any civilian activist, peaceful or otherwise, fall into this category? If so, they might find their bank accounts frozen, their properties seized, and their loved ones placed in the same jeopardy if they attempt to assist them.

We have already read news stories about individuals that have been falsely placed on “Do Not Fly” lists at the airport by the Department of Homeland Security. Asset forfeiture, for those accused of being “terrorists” — however broadly defined — is an even worse menace to the freedom of Americans and serves as a potential weapon against critics of the administration’s policies.

Under Executive Order 13438, a certain individual would not have to actually be engaged in an act of planning a terrorist event. Simply having the “significant risk of committing” an act of violence would be enough to have that person’s property transfers frozen. Arguably, just by drawing breath into one’s lungs, there could be a “significant risk” that they might commit an act of violence.

Furthermore, the taking of action against an accused person would be at the sole discretion of the secretaries of the Treasury, State, and Defense departments. And such an action could be taken against a person or entity without any prior notice. Section 5 says,

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.

Where is the recourse for those who have had such a drastic action taken against them wrongfully? Does it not cost money to fight in the courts? From where would that money come, if one’s assets were frozen?

Even though the laws cited in EO 13438 appear to address foreign entities, the reader must note that the order, itself, doesn’t make any distinction between “persons” foreign or domestic. It simply says, “any person…”

Quoting again from the 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.

Under this presidential action, not only are the transactions of the accused to be blocked, but also the property of anyone who attempts to assist them after the federal assault has taken place.

Despite Bush’s attempts to act as a judge, jury, and executioner, it is important to note that no law, executive order, presidential directive, signing statement, or court decision can usurp the Supreme Law of the land — the Constitution of the united States of America. It’s words were penned to stand as a protection against such despots as exist in America today. Though often ignored by both public officials and the People alike, those words await, in dormant patience, the enforcement of the citizenry.

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Only take care not to use “intimidation” or “coercion” in your enforcement efforts, lest you be deemed an “international terrorist.”

© 2007 Darren Weeks - All Rights Reserved

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Darren Weeks is a life-long activist and researcher. A graduate of the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Michigan, he has been a professional radio and television broadcaster since 1991 and has used his influence to expose corruption in local government. It was through his career that he discovered the alternative media and awakened to the serious issues facing America.

In addition to his role as husband and father, Weeks hosts the Govern America radio program on the First Amendment Radio Network and is presently working on the creation of a public database of the international players that are behind the push toward the new one-world system.

E-Mail: darren@darrenweeks.net

Web site: www.governamerica.com


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Executive Order 13438 is dedicated to “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq.”