The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 17, 2009
Executive Order — Amending Executive Order 12425
– – – – – – –
AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER 12425 DESIGNATING INTERPOL
AS A PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ENTITLED TO
ENJOY CERTAIN PRIVILEGES, EXEMPTIONS, AND IMMUNITIES
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words “except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act” and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 16, 2009.
Signed December 16 and released a day later, grants the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) rights on American soil that place it beyond the reach of our own law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Obama’s order removes protections placed upon INTERPOL by President Reagan in 1983. Obama’s order gives the group the authority to avoid Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests — which means this foreign law enforcement organization can operate free of an important safeguard against governmental abuse. “Property and assets,” including the organization’s records, cannot be searched or seized. Their physical locations and records are now immune from U.S. legal or investigative authorities.
Andy McCarthy, former assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, notes at National Review that the limitations that Obama removed are “what prevents law-enforcement and its controlling government authority from becoming tyrannical.”
A paragraph later, McCarthy describes Obama’s actions in the starkest of terms:
“This international police force (whose U.S. headquarters is in the Justice Department in Washington) will be unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law while it operates in the United States and affects both Americans and American interests outside the United States.”