Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

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. So far, 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, Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran? June 2007)

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Amer said...

I'm guessing soon we'll be required to attend public screenings of the Emmanuel Goldstein video's of this age (AlQaeda's?)...listening to the eternal propositions of the Party (aren't the Democrats and Republicans becoming more alike?)..."War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery"?

Years ago, Huxley wrote a commentary on his dystopian novel Brave New World, worried at how quickly humanity was heading towards it. I'm not sure if Orwell ever got to revisit his, but I'm almost convinced that they're both rolling in their graves. The United States has become a hybrid of the two models (Orwellian and Huxleyian).

Scary =\

Thanks for the informative post,

Affad Shaikh said...

I think that there is a level of truth, but at the same time, we are not as bad as say the UK. There are camera's everywhere watching everyone at all times.

Nor are we at a place where expression is all together stifled. We have the ability to freely express ourselves, however, granted to get that message across its a bit more difficult since there is a monoply of media.

No I think we live in some that is not a hybrid, rather its a beast of its own. Where less companies and people control more things then ever, where our economy and thus our policy is driven by a "military-industrial complex", where the middle class- the bedrock of what made America so strong- is being shrunk. Infact, an interesting fact, in the past seven years some 7% of Americans have made nearly 40% of the profits to be had during our eocnomic boom- guess which 7% that is, the same 7% that get significant tax breaks. These people are, in a time where the real estate bubble is bursting, driving up the market for platinum homes- homes above 10 million dollars.

So I think we live in a world quite different then those described, true we have similiarities to those worlds and hence the concept is not lost, but I feel we do live in something quite worse. Where everyone is oblivious to the reality of things and they are content because some how they are getting whats theres, though they know not what they could truly be getting if the deciet and lies ended.