Bush's Assault on 5th Amendment -- the Quiet Executive order
Executive order 1701, announced on July 17th, raises a series of constitutional questions. First, here is the purpose of the executive order, as explained by President Bush in a letter he sent to Congress:
I hereby report that I haveissued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined tohave committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act oracts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening thepeace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or underminingefforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraqor to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.
This new executive orderempowering the federal government to freeze the assets of people whothreaten Iraq's stability and its government is so broad it could beapplied to any domestic opponent of the Iraq war who has assets in theU.S., charges a former Reagan administration official.
The most striking part of the executive order is in Section 1(i)(B). The US government can arrest and seize the assets of people that "undermine" the Iraq war. Read this:
(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction andpolitical reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to theIraqi people;
In other words, if you protest the war, you decrease the likelihood that Congress will maintain funding for Iraqi reconstruction -- a tactic now made illegal by this executive order.
And it even gets worse. In addition to not being able to protest the war, it is illegal to knowingly evade or avoid the order (Sec. 2 (a)). Also, you cannot give "funds, goods, or services" to anyone in violation of this order (Sec. 1 (B)(iii)(b)).
If you are as outraged as we all are about this executive order, please email your U.S. Representative and Senators. Tell them to investigate it and pass a resolution that deems this illegal. President Bush's assault on our constitution has gone too far, and it's time to get involved and take action.