George W. Bush who has already declared himself a dictator in the case of a national emergency has now issued an executive order that effectively destroys the Fifth Amendment.
A few days ago, Bush signed a new executive order in which he uses broad language to claim that he has the power to seize the property of any person who undermines efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. The language in the executive order is broadly defined and does not specifically identify a specific group of individuals that the order applies to. It opens up the possibility of anti-war protesters and other political dissidents having their property confiscated for simply speaking out against the war.
Below is section 1 of the order. Click here for the full text of Bush’s order.
Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), 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 date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, 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come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,
(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:
(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or
(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;
(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(iii) 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 include, but are not limited to, (i) 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 (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
The language in this executive order is incredibly disturbing. Undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction as cited above is broadly defined and could mean anybody that speaks out against the Iraq war. Essentially, Bush is declaring that he can take people’s property without due process if the government determines that in some way a person is undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. Bush fails to mention The Fifth Amendment or due process anywhere in the order.
Below is the full text of the Fifth Amendment. Clearly, this executive order is unconstitutional when you consider that the Fifth Amendment guarantees that a person will not be deprived of property without due process.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The web site Slashdot posted an article analyzing the Bush executive order and came to the exact same conclusion. Amazingly, the establishment press has spun the coverage of this Bush order as a way to strengthen the government’s ability to fight terrorism when the real story is that this order violates the Fifth Amendment and is entirely unconstitutional.
George W. Bush is a criminal who has violated his oath of office on countless occasions. This is yet another one of those occasions. He needs to be impeached and put on trial immediately.