President Obama issues a constitution trampling executive order declaring Syria a national emergency and outlaws reporting on terrorist rebel activities.
In perhaps the most unconstitutional power grab by the Obama administration to date the constitutional rights of Freedom of Press and Freedom of speech have now been suspended under the false premise that the “human rights violations” in Syria and Iran constitute as “national emergency”.
Perhaps even more laughable than the claim that the conflict in Syria is somehow a national emergency is the fact that the executive order directly states that excuse being used to target Iran is human rights violations are alleged to have occurred in 1981, over 31 years ago, which were supposed to have occurred when the US funded the Iraqi’s to invade Iran and was trying to instigate a revolution within Iran much like they are doing in Syria right now.
So here we have our totalitarian government setting another disastrous legal precedent by declaring a national emergency based upon something that happened 31 years ago.
In any case, using these claims the executive order goes onto outlaw any activities which could be used by the government of Syria or Iran to track the activities of terrorists conducting attacks within those nations.
That also means reporting on any such attacks and a whole slew of related activities such as giving donations and even directly or indirectly providing software or technologies that the would enable the tracking of the terrorists.
The executive order names people and organizations who are determined to be in violation of the order at the time of the signing an then goes on in Section 1) to give the United States government the ability to declare additional entities or person to be in violation of the order.
Specifically it authorizes the government to action against any who is said to have 11) a ii(A) operated, or to have directed the operation of, information and communications technology or 1) a ii (B) sold, leased, or otherwise provided, directly or indirectly, goods, services, or technology that could assist in or enable serious human rights abuses by or on behalf of the Government of Iran or the Government of Syria.
That covers a whole range of activities such as reports on the terrorist staging fake propaganda videos for CNN and news being faked by Al Jazeera.
Moreover, people running applications like the Syria Tracker which keeps tabs on reported attacks by terrorists and reported attacks by the government by the terrorist can now find themselves in the crosshairs of the US government under this new executive order.
Of course as following suit with broad language civil liberty trampling proclamations, such as the Patriot Act or the NDAA, you are also guilty if you 1) a ii(C) have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the activities described in 1) a ii(A) or 1)a ii(B) again.
Translation, if you worked on the project like the Syria tracker watch out. If you have donated to its authors, or the company that provides the technology that runs the project, or anyone else who may be directly or indirectly involved in the project, you can be targeted.
If you donated to a website or news organization that reported on the activities of the terrorists you may find yourself under review for violating this executive order.
Of course the order gets even broader, as it goes on to state you are guilty if any in anything in violation of this executive order is 1) a ii(D) owned or controlled by you or if you, or if you 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.
Of course, donations are considered free speech according Supreme Court to Citizens United when it comes to corrupting our politicians, but the same rights aren’t extended to you as an individual and the government will mandates strict time and place restrictions on the free speech you can exercise if they allow you to exercise it. Clearly free speech is anything from “free” when it is controlled by the government.
Section 2 then goes on to provide a broader outline of the prohibition of Free speech, I mean donations, as Obama declares “I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles 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 two national emergencies identified in the preamble to this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order
The order then goes onto specifically state that constitutional rights of ownership are being thrown out the window without judicial oversight in Section 8: ” For those persons […] who might have a constitutional presence in the United States […] prior notice […] would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective […] there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.”
If all of this wasn’t enough to make you sick the US government, its contractors and its employes are all exempt from the order as are any and all corporations who have existing contracts with Syria or Iran.
The last check of power that the people have against an over bearing government is the Freedom of the Press.
This is just an escalation of the attack of that freedom that we have seen with the NDAA being used to silence journalists critical of the United States government in their reporting in the War on Terror.
Here’s the BBC’s take on the executive order which clearly states the order is meant to block social networking from being used to track the rebels but doesn’t even touch the topic of the outright suspension of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press.:
Obama unveils tech sanctions against Iran and Syria
US President Barack Obama has announced fresh sanctions against Iran, Syria and those who help them use technology to perpetrate human rights abuses.
He announced the new sanctions against “digital guns for hire” in a speech at the US Holocaust Museum.
Mr Obama has also asked US intelligence groups to include assessments of the likelihood of mass killings in its co-ordinated reports.
He said: “National sovereignty is never a licence to slaughter your people.”
The executive order creates sanctions against the government of Syria and Iran “and those who abet them, for using technologies to monitor, target and track its citizens for violence”.
“These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them,” said Mr Obama.
Correspondents say that while mobile and social technology has been credited with helping bring about political and regime changes in other Middle East countries, some regimes have used technology to track dissidents or block internet access.
Social networking sites that the Syrian opposition would use to organize demonstrations have been blocked or monitored using similar technologies.
Here is the Full Text of Obama’s Executive Order:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release April 23, 2012
– – – – – – –
BLOCKING THE PROPERTY AND SUSPENDING ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES OF CERTAIN PERSONS WITH RESPECT TO GRAVE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY THE GOVERNMENTS OF IRAN AND SYRIA VIA INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
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 (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, hereby determine that the commission of serious human rights abuses against the people of Iran and Syria by their governments, facilitated by computer and network disruption, monitoring, and tracking by those governments, and abetted by entities in Iran and Syria that are complicit in their governments’ malign use of technology for those purposes, threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States. The Governments of Iran and Syria are endeavoring to rapidly upgrade their technological ability to conduct such activities. Cognizant of the vital importance of providing technology that enables the Iranian and Syrian people to freely communicate with each other and the outside world, as well as the preservation, to the extent possible, of global telecommunications supply chains for essential products and services to enable the free flow of information, the measures in this order are designed primarily to address the need to prevent entities located in whole or in part in Iran and Syria from facilitating or committing serious human rights abuses. In order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergencies declared in Executive Order 12957 of March 15, 1995, as relied upon for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders, and in Executive Order 13338 of May 11, 2004, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders, and to address the situation described above, I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) 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:
(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; and
(ii) any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with or at the recommendation of the Secretary of State:
(A) to have operated, or to have directed the operation of, information and communications technology that facilitates computer or network disruption, monitoring, or tracking that could assist in or enable serious human rights abuses by or on behalf of the Government of Iran or the Government of Syria;
(B) to have sold, leased, or otherwise provided, directly or indirectly, goods, services, or technology to Iran or Syria likely to be used to facilitate computer or network disruption, monitoring, or tracking that could assist in or enable serious human rights abuses by or on behalf of the Government of Iran or the Government of Syria;
(C) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the activities described in subsections (a)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(D) 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 apply except to the extent provided by statutes, 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 effective date of this order.
Sec. 2. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles 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 two national emergencies identified in the preamble to this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 3. The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include but are not limited to:
(a) 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
(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 4. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens who meet one or more of the criteria in section 1 of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).
Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, 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. 6. Nothing in section 1 of this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.
Sec. 7. For the purposes of this order:
(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;
(b) the term “information and communications technology” means any hardware, software, or other product or service primarily intended to fulfill or enable the function of information processing and communication by electronic means, including transmission and display, including via the Internet;
(c) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(d) 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;
(e) the term “Government of Iran” means the Government of Iran, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Iran, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Iran; and
(f) the term “Government of Syria” means the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities.
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 two national emergencies identified in the preamble to this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.
Sec. 9. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, 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.
Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to this order and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination.
Sec. 11. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 12. The measures taken pursuant to this order with respect to Iran are in response to actions of the Government of Iran occurring after the conclusion of the 1981 Algiers Accords, and are intended solely as a response to those later actions.
Sec. 13. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2012.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 22, 2012.