Goodbye Property Rights, Hello Executive Order

The Treasury Secretary can order your property rights suspended without trial, evidence, or notice (Emily, YOUTHinkLeft):

Bush has just issued an Executive Order titled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq” which states that the Treasury Secretary is now solely responsible for deciding who is and who is not a real threat to stabilization efforts in Iraq. If a person (or group or company or organization or partnership, etc.) is found guilty of posing such a threat, the Executive Branch can- without allowing a trial, or presenting evidence, or even giving notice- immediately freeze all of their assets, making it illegal to obtain food, shelter, clothing, or other such necessities.

Just like that, boom, everything you own is gone.  You cannot purchase anything.  Don’t get on the wrong side of the Bush administration!

Anyone can have everything they’ve ever owned taken away on a whim. And the language is so vague, and the order so outrageous, that it really could be anyone.

At some point the seething rage George Bush’s thoughtless actions give birth to has to find an outlet.   Fuck censure.  That was cute when Feingold first started talking about it.  “Awww, someone’s going to oppose the President!”.  No, at this point we need to be talking about taking away Chimpy’s signing pen before he signs away even the pretense of individual rights.  Impeach him.  Pass a law restricting the scope and power of executive signing statements and executive orders.  Do something for fuck’s sake.

The legal protections that keep our rights a reality are being removed one by one.  And for every right we struggle to push back into place, another one is kicked out.  We need to stop this at the source, and Congress needs to step up to the plate and defend our rights.

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6 Responses

  1. The way that thing is worded, it has to be an act of violence, so assuming they follow it to the letter, unless you’re inciting riots you should be OK. Of course, since when has the way any “law” is worded stopped our government from doing all sorts of crap. So, while on its surface this thing isn’t as horrible as some of the alarmists are suggesting, I think upon critical reflection it really is as horrible as they are saying because of its potential for abuse.

  2. That’s just Section 1.i. Check out 1.ii (to have materially assisted), 1.iii (acted on behalf of, directly or indirectly). So if you make a donation to a foreign charity that is later linked towards activity falling under 1.i, you become liable.

  3. Sure, but I think this was already law, wasn’t it? Isn’t there some law against donating to terrorist organizations or whatever? I’m sure the feds are all over that already. It is notable that the executive is getting in on the act. Cheney is tightening his grip.

  4. When measured against potential harm this new exec order is worse than the similarly-worded terrorist law because de-stabilization is technically easier to prove than acts of terrorism. All the administration’s rhetoric to the contrary, there is an accepted definition of terrorism that the government uses. There is no such definition of “destablization efforts.”

  5. Ron Paul has said that his first act as PResident would be an Executive Order repealing all previous executive orders, because he believes them to be illegal.

    I suspect there’s a reason that none of the other candidates are harping on this issue, and I suspect it is simply because they want the power.

    Me, I want the balance.

  6. Bret,
    Check this out. The language of the bill is very sweeping.

    JimPanzee,
    A very salient point!

    Alexia,
    That’s kind of silly. Were there no worthwhile executive orders?
    I called for a limit, not outright abolition of executive orders and signing statements. Just because someone abuses a law, or breaks it by going beyond its scope, does not mean we need to throw the law out.

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