by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: Summary now included at the end of the article
UPDATE 2: A small except from a recent article written by Ralph Nader seems appropriate. This is the world in which we live. This is the new normal.
“Far more people have become rich and famous for telling lies and falsehoods than people who have a habit of telling the truth and reciting facts.” Ralph Nader
Yesterday as the news of U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest’s ruling on the Battlefield Act of the 2012 NDAA was trickling out to the people of this country, our president signed yet another stunningly undemocratic executive order which is garnering almost no mention anywhere at this time. The gist of the Obama executive order is thus: anyone, including U.S. citizens, citizens of Yemen, or even political opponents of the new dictator in Yemen, who directly or “indirectly” hinders or threatens the smooth transition to power of the new dictator in Yemen can have all of their assets seized by the secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
For the record, Obama also uses this action to declare a state of emergency in this country over these actions and he also proclaims that since U.S. citizens might just happen to be able to move some of their assets were they given the “constitutional” protections which are theirs by right, they will not provide any notice of such an action prior to taking everything you own.
Understand that? If you threaten the “stability”of their new dictator in Yemen (a guy who was the vice president of the last dictator and who “won” an election after a revolution threw him out.. an “election” consisting of one candidate that is), or if Hillary Clinton CLAIMS you threaten the stability of their new dictator in Yemen, the progressive Obama regime will take everything you own without giving you any prior notification or the due process of law.
I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Yemen and others threaten Yemen’s peace, security, and stability, including by obstructing the implementation of the agreement of November 23, 2011, between the Government of Yemen and those in opposition to it, which provides for a peaceful transition of power that meets the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemeni people for change, and by obstructing the political process in Yemen. I further find that these actions constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I hereby order:
Section 1. All property and interests in property 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 any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the following 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, to:
(a) have engaged in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen, such as acts that obstruct the implementation of the agreement of November 23, 2011, between the Government of Yemen and those in opposition to it, which provides for a peaceful transition of power in Yemen, or that obstruct the political process in Yemen;
“Sec. 8. 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 those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.” Barack Obama
Forgive me if I’m missing something here, but I thought we couldn’t be deprived of our property without the due process of law? If memory serves, there is a little thing called the 5th amendment which makes that case for us. Does that mean Hillary Clinton’s say-so is now the benchmark of “due process”?
“nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” 5th amendment
The Obama administration has been taking extremely aggressive steps to prop-up the brutal regime of their longtime puppet dictator “President Saleh” since first taking office, even going so far as to authorize countless drone strikes inside the country and using cruise missile strikes to kill the rebels from the north or keep the secessionists in the south from succeeding.
The long standing brutal dictatorship in Yemen has produced massive resistance to their crushing neoliberal policies and crony capitalism. At first the Obama administration did everything they could to keep Saleh in power. He and his family are so corrupt and have been in power for so long that they have their greedy fingers in almost every profitable industry in Yemen making their family one of the richest in the world while the people of Yemen are some of the poorest anywhere. That’s why when they finally talked Saleh into stepping down to save face for Obama, they gave him a big ceremony and a contract like a golden parachute retirement plan. It was disgusting.
Obama recently lifted restrictions on the use of killer drones in Yemen. The civilian death toll continues to rise, a fact seemingly unnoticed by either the MSM or the fake progressives who swarm to defend anything Obama.
Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order authorizing sanctions to be imposed on individuals and entities who threaten the peace, security, and stability of Yemen by disrupting the political transition. This Executive Order will allow the United States to take action against those who seek to undermine Yemen’s transition and the Yemeni peoples’ clear desire for change. The President took this step because he believes that the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people, along with the urgent humanitarian and security challenges, cannot be addressed if political progress stalls.
Yemen’s transition represents an important step forward for the Yemeni people, who deserve the opportunity to determine their future. The United States strongly supports Yemen’s political transition and will continue to work with our international partners, including the Gulf Cooperation Council, to help Yemen chart a more secure, democratic, and prosperous path forward.” Jay Carney, White Press Secretary
Suffice to say, I have been writing about Obama’s actions in Yemen (actions that I think are clearly illegal and in at least one case, should have gotten him impeached) since Dec. 2009 when he authorized a cruise missile attack on rebels from the north which killed 23 children and many other innocent civilians. So I certainly have my own concerns about our glorious leader penning such unconstitutional tripe as this document. And I know damn well that President Peace Prize will persecute journalists who dare to write the truth about Yemen, because he just did it.
This kind of action is designed to keep us from writing about what is happening in Yemen and to keep real democracy from taking shape in Yemen and to give cover for the State Department when they start illegally stealing the assets of anyone they don’t happen to like in Yemen.
If you wish to read some more about this subject and the reasons behind it:
“The Prestige” series
“Understanding the Panty Bomber Mythology” series
Part 3 – Dancing With Snakes
There will be a lot of Obama apologists who attempt to make the claim that Obama will only use this “authority” to go after the “bad guys” in Yemen who are trying to make trouble. Trust me, it will be a talking point they try to push if this issue starts gaining ground. Glenn Greenwald also points this out.
There are several problems with that argument.
First of all it’s simply not based in reality. The Obama administration has been attacking whistle-blowers at an alarming rate showing no respect for either the law or for those courageous few who dare to challenge the status quo of the corporatist feeding frenzy we now call our economy. Anyone who threatens the established stranglehold the crony capitalists have on America these days or the crimes of our military industrial complex to keep it going, are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by Obama’s justice department. Based on his history as president, there is absolutely no reason to assume that Barack Obama will suddenly change course and stand for the rights of the people to speak out against this neocolonial effort in Yemen. Especially when the executive order explicitly talks about those “who might have a constitutional presence in the United States“
Secondly and perhaps even more importantly, look at the Orwellian doublespeak included in the order. The “people of Yemen” are not trying to support the Obama administration’s candidate or the Nov. 2011 agreement for that matter. Their “one person election” were it to be held in Iran or Russia would probably result in a NATO no fly zone bombardment or Shock and Awe as it used to be known. This is not about the will of the people of Yemen. Obama and Panetta are killing the people of Yemen at an unprecedented rate (in an undeclared war mind you) in order to suppress the will of the Yemeni people. Of that there is absolutely no doubt.
Lastly, what the hell gives President Obama the right to interfere with and suppress the right of the people of Yemen to determine their own future? No one questions that under Obama while they damn sure screamed about it under the rule of Dick Cheney (don’t kid yourselves, you know who ran that administration). Who is Barack Obama to say who has a right in a foreign country and who does not to take part in the political process simply because the United States has some oil interests in that country? That’s absurd coming from a constitutional scholar like Obama.
This is extremely undemocratic, unconstitutional, and flies in the face of human social evolution going back 700 or so years to the Magna Carta.
People’s fear of Mitt Romney is ridiculous. Romney is a neoliberal just like Obama and Clinton are and he is a servant of the monied class and Wall Street just like they are as well. But the truth is, they will NEVER select Romney to replace Obama this year because the moment they do all their policies that the progressives are ignoring right now will suddenly propel the slumbering cowards out of their reading circles and PTA meetings and put them right back on the streets with the Occupy movement and the real Tea Party movement who aren’t hijacked by idiots like Sarah Palin. Therefore, rest assured Obamaites and apologists, you got 4 more years of ignoring Dick Cheney’s policy extensions through Barack Obama to look forward to.
And if you don’t think Dick Cheney is STILL your president, remember the very FIRST one of these types of executive orders was in 2006. Your unitary executive will remain in place as will your collaborative demeanors.
“With the velocity of modern communications, media and the Internet, who can keep up with the separation of facts and truth from lies, propaganda and what is now called “magical thinking?” Far more people have become rich and famous for telling lies and falsehoods than people who have a habit of telling the truth and reciting facts. The former get promoted, host radio shows, get large advances on books and get elected to office.” Ralph Nader
And if I may add:
“While the latter are threatened with indefinite detention for supporting “the terrorists”, placed on “do not hire” lists for being too pro-union, and warned that they will lose everything they own simply for telling the truth about what our “progressive” president is doing in Yemen” Scott Creighton