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News :: War and Militarism
Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement
23 Jul 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 a 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.globalre search.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.

<http://www.globalre search.ca/ index.php? context=viewArti cle&code=20060520&ar
ticleId=2479>
<http://www.globalre search.ca/ index.php? context=viewArti cle&code=20060520&ar
ticleId=2479>
<http://www.globalre search.ca/ index.php? context=viewArti cle&code=20060520&ar
ticleId=2479>
<http://www.globalre search.ca/ index.php? context=viewArti cle&code=20060520&ar
ticleId=2479>
<http://www.globalre search.ca/ index.php? context=viewArti cle&code=20060520&ar
ticleId=2479>

Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best
<http://www.globalre search.ca/ globaloutlook/ truth911. html> America's "War on
Terrorism" Second Edition, Global Research, 2005. He is Professor of
Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for
Research on Globalization.

_____

http://www.whitehou se.gov/news/ releases/ 2007/07/20070717 -3.html

The White House, President George W. Bush

<javascript:void( printWHrelease( ));> Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 17, 2007

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

RSS Feed White <http://www.whitehou se.gov/rss/ news.xml> House News

Fact sheet Message
<http://www.whitehou se.gov/news/ releases/ 2007/07/20070717 -4.html> to the
Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic
Powers Act

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.

# # #

_____

Return to this article at:
http://www.whitehou se.gov/news/ releases/ 2007/07/20070717 -3.html
See also:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070717-3.html

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