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Executive Order Overturns US Fifth Amendment

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the deprived-of-life-liberty-or-property-without-due-process-of-law dept.

United States 853

RalphTWaP writes "Tuesday, there wasn't even a fuss. Wednesday, the world was a little different. By executive order, the Secretary of the Treasury may now seize the property of any person who undermines efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. The Secretary may make his determination in secret and after the fact." There hasn't been much media notice of this; the UK's Guardian has an article explaining how the new authority will only be used to go after terrorists.

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Inflammatory misleading headline (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916369)

Another in a string of hundreds.

The Fifth Amendment is not overturned, it remains. Please bring some editorial standards to the web site please.

Slashdot == kdawson's political blog (-1, Troll)

halivar (535827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916497)

I'm pretty sick of it. If I want nerd news, I have the read the Register, now. And that's sad.

Re:Slashdot == kdawson's political blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916619)

isn't this a supposed violation of the fourth amendment?

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (5, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916561)

The order gives the Secretary of the Treasury the right to immediately and without notice freeze all assets of anyone suspected of either directly or indirectly attempting to undermine the Iraqi government as well as anyone who has financial dealings, directly or indirectly, with such people.

The language is ridiculously broad and does appear to violate the 5th amendment. It appears that if you, say, donate to a charity that the Bush administration determines is trying to undermine the Iraqi government, all of your assets can be frozen. The language is very broad and open to interpretation by the Secretary of the Treasury, who serves at the pleasure of the President. This is absolutely begging to be abused.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (1, Insightful)

dwm (151474) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916695)

The language is ridiculously broad and does appear to violate the 5th amendment.

No. The relevant part of the fifth amendment states: ...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.

Blocking the use of property is not legally the same as depriving someone of it (although, admittedly, practically-speaking it comes pretty close). If this were a violation of the fifth amendment, so would the IRS putting a lien on someone's property for tax purposes.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (5, Informative)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916761)

If you freeze my assets, I have no use of them. That is the same as seizure. If the Supreme Court has decided otherwise, that's a pretty lousy decision in my opinion.

As for the IRS seizing property, there is at least some sort of process that happens before they do that. They don't just go in without any prior warning and take everything. It's arguable if what they do can be considered "due process" under the law, but it's a lot better than what this order gives the Treasury Department the authority to do.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (4, Insightful)

raitchison (734047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916699)

The US Government has been freezing the assets of those it determines to be "bad guys" for a long long time now, well before GWB was a twinkle in his mother eye. If this violates the 5th ammendment then we have been doing so for many decades.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (5, Informative)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916869)

The US government has been violating the Constitution from pretty much the day it was ratified. This is why people need to realize that the Constitution really is "just a piece of paper" in the sense that it can't do anything to defend your rights. Individuals always have the ultimate responsibility for defending themselves, their rights, and their property.

"You have as much Freedom as you are willing to demand, and as you are capable of defending." has never been more true.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916723)

Actually (even according to TFA), s/he has to consult with the Secretatries of Defense and State first.

Your reaction is a perfect (IMHO) example of how things get blasted out of proportion... bits and caveats get left out (usually unintentionally), and by the time the story reaches the fifth or sixth pair of ears (or in this case, eyes), it's been changed into something that doesn't resemble the story itself, let alone its context (which appears to be missing from the summary...)

Dunno either way yet, at least until I can see the original order, unedited and unabridged. Until then, everyone (intentionally or not) is going to put their own take on it.

/P

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916801)

The original and unabridged order is linked in the summary, go read it. The problem with relying on the Secretaries of Defense and State to serve as checks and balances with this is that all three of those officials are Executive Branch people who serve at the pleasure of the President. If the President orders this for a particular person, chances are good that all three of these people will rubber-stamp it. You cannot have true checks and balances existing entirely within one branch of the government.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916857)

The order gives the Secretary of the Treasury the right to immediately and without notice freeze all assets of anyone suspected of either directly or indirectly attempting to undermine the Iraqi government as well as anyone who has financial dealings, directly or indirectly, with such people.


The manager of your bank has that ability too, and he/she can use it just because you pissed them off.

Either way, this sounds like the same thing we've been doing for years. The president just re-used some decades old executive order but s/(Cuba|PLO|Lybia)/Iraq/g;

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916635)

And, actually, it's not 5th amendment, which is the right to due process, but the 4th amendment, which is the right against unwarrantable searches and seizures, that is violated. It could be argued that the fifth amendment is violated as well, perhaps, but really we're mostly talking about 4th amendment rights, not 5th amendment.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916687)

It's done without the benefit of a trial and in secret. If that isn't a blatent violation of the right to due process....

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916673)

There were already similar powers for terrorist organizations. This just adds organizations that are attacking Iraq, as opposed to US forces or interests.

The government, any government, has the right to search and seize assets at the border of their country. This has never been in doubt, ever. It doesn't even matter if the property is entering or leaving the country. Even the NSA "wire taps" are legal so long as the call crosses the border of the US. I'll concede the point that a conversation is property and listening or copying the conversation is seizure. As soon as that property crosses our border, the government has the right to search and seize it, if need be.

Get a grip people. You can't lose rights you never had.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916733)

Looks like somebody should re-read the 9th and 10th Amendments.

Re:Inflammatory misleading headline (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916789)

*sigh*

This is aimed at Iran, and organizations funded by them, even more so than Al-Qaeda.

There it goes (2, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916371)

That whooshing sound you just heard go by your ears was another chunk of personal rights flying out the window.

Re:There it goes (2, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916479)

Ah don't worry. We've still got a couple of rights left over. Somewhere.

I think I left one around here anyway.

Re:There it goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916589)

it was only a couple of years ago:
congress had to declare war
habeas corpus was a right
no homeland security
no patriot act
no war

man those were the days
who knew liberty was so fragile

Re:There it goes (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916715)

Liberty is just as strong as those who believe in it. And, somehow, americans as a whole don't seem to anymore.

Bush just got his "legacy". (5, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916669)

Along with Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus.

From the Executive Order:

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004.

Yeah, that's a single sentence.

What, specifically, is the "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security" that he speaks of?

Personally, I find his threat to the Fifth Amendment to be far WORSE than anything anyone in Iraq can do.

Go ahead and mod me down. It's the truth whether you want to hear it or not.

Page views must be low (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916387)

This is flamebait.

Re:Page views must be low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916663)

For whitehouse.gov? I already block ads for google-analytics.com and doubleclick.net.

Hello! (5, Funny)

fredrated (639554) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916389)

America! Are you still there?

Extreme Scope (1)

xaosflux (917784) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916391)

"What this is really aimed at is insurgents and those who come across the border", Snow explained.

Across the boarder...don't even try to go anywhere now!

Re:Extreme Scope (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916749)

"...and those who come across the border"

It's clearly a bill aimed at stopping sex on State boundaries.

The short version... (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916395)

Here's the short version with a lot of legalese stripped out:

All property and interests in property of the following 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 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.

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 these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made.

Yes, there is a bunch of other stuff in there, but I don't see anything stopping the Secretary of the Treasury from using this for political purposes. If you go to an anti-war demonstration, you just might be undermining efforts to promote political reform in Iraq (as defined by the Bush administration).

Just for the sake of argument, let's say that you're a die-hard Republican George Bush fan, and you honestly think that this would never be used for such blatant political purposes. Would you say the same thing about Hillary Clinton, who stands a very good chance of being elected in 2008? Because guess what. She's going to have the same powers when she takes office.

People who support the creation of this kind of crap based on their trust of the Guy (or Gal) In Charge right now, whether that person is a Democrat, Republican, or whatever, are idiots. You should never ask yourself what something like this will be used for, you should ask yourself what it can be used for, and then imagine that the politician you hate the most holding the reigns. Then, and only then, can you decide whether a law, executive order, or whatever is good or bad.

Re:The short version... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916623)

Err, how many anti-war (or anti anything) folks are going to be transferring money overseas, exporting goods or monies intended to oppose Iraq's reconstruction, or otherwise engage in international commerce towards that end?

If they had something similar this in place back in the '70s and '80s, when shedloads of cash were being transferred from Boston to IRA operatives, how much sooner would that mess have ended?

Personally, and IMHO, there were much harsher means and policies in place during WW2 (not just concerning Japanese-American citizens), and the Presidents during that war were Democrats.

I'd have to look at the source for this thing, but I'm almost certain that there would have to be an expiration clause built into it, contingent on Iraq being able to hold up on its own for x period of time.

/P

What the ... ? (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916821)

Personally, and IMHO, there were much harsher means and policies in place during WW2 (not just concerning Japanese-American citizens), and the Presidents during that war were Democrats.

We recognize those acts as wrong.

Our government recognizes those acts as wrong.

Our government has issued reparations to the people who suffered them. Because they were wrong.

Now you're using those as a yardstick? Wrong is wrong. How about we just stick to the Constitution and the Amendments? Is that too much to ask?

Is there some reason that you advocate we commit ANOTHER crime other than the fact that we had committed one before?

Re:The short version... (2, Interesting)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916837)

"Err, how many anti-war (or anti anything) folks are going to be transferring money overseas"

... with this latest, there are probably more than a few Americans who wish they could transfer their assets and themselves somewhere else ...

... its just another brick in the wall ...

Re:The short version... (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916651)

So so true.
I wonder, even though damage will have been done by the time this gets to court, can it be easily tossed out or is an executive order immune from such things?
-nB

Re:The short version... (0, Offtopic)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916667)

Would you say the same thing about Hillary Clinton, who stands a very good chance of being elected in 2008? Because guess what. She's going to have the same powers when she takes office.
I wouldn't be so certain. When 52% of the electorate would not even *consider* voting for you, you're certainly fighting an uphill battle.

Re:The short version... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916739)

I wouldn't be so certain. When 52% of the electorate would not even *consider* voting for you, you're certainly fighting an uphill battle.

Doesn't work that way. If she is running against someone even more unpopular, then you'll have the unusual (or maybe not so unusual) situation of people voting for candidates that they wouldn't even consider voting for. I bet it happened in 2004 too.

Re:The short version... (4, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916685)

Yeah, at first I thought it applied only to stuff IN IRAQ. But it is about the United States. It's about HERE. Bascially it says that anyone who is "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq" can have their assets frozen. Naturally, the "war" in Iraq is one of those efforts. So if you try to "undermine" it, which could mean protest, or could mean physically blocking it, they can freeze your assets. This is likely to be tested in court, and likely to procede to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, any threat will be neutralized. It's the classic time gambit. You can get a lot done breaking the law if you have 5 or 10 years before any judgement will be made on your actions. I've always thought the executive order was far to broad. It would be a good power if used for good and not evil, but when you are corrupt (documented corrupt, such as those videos of Bush addressing the rich people) the power has the ability to destroy freedom. We're paying the price for complacency.

People, please donate to the ACLU [aclu.org] . Put your money where your mouth is, and give it to the people whose job it is to question this stuff full time.

Re:The short version... (1)

mikeh9741 (808927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916741)

Either you didn't follow your own advice or we disagree about what it can be used for. If you read the actual order, it basically says that to be subject to it you have to commit an act of violence or materially assist (etc.) one, or receive something from someone who commits one. I don't see how participating in a demonstration falls into any category that it covers -- there's no blanket "undermining" clause that doesn't involve what I wrote in my second sentence.

Re:The short version... (4, Informative)

ecklesweb (713901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916767)

You left out a significant bit, when I've reinserted with emphasis:

any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense 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.

Your anti-war demonstration scenario is only going to get your property frozen if it's a violent demonstration.

Re:The short version... (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916819)

Now I know you're mad. A *woman* in office! HA!

Won't happen.

Not that woman, at least. Not a chance.

I'm no fan of the democratic party, but I really wish they'd actually find some electable candidates. Al Gore almost, sort of, kind of had a shot. Kerry never had a prayer. And now their top two contenders are a woman and a black man -- who completely apart from being a woman and a black man are pretty damned unelectable anyway. They're just unpleasant people.

Oh, and this doesn't strike me as any more -- actually, as less -- dangerous than the SCOTUS ruling that your property can be seized and sold by the government if they would be able to increase their tax revenue through tossing your ass out on to the curb.

Re:The short version... (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916873)

Just for the sake of argument, let's say that you're a die-hard Republican George Bush fan, and you honestly think that this would never be used for such blatant political purposes. Would you say the same thing about Hillary Clinton, who stands a very good chance of being elected in 2008? Because guess what. She's going to have the same powers when she takes office.

People who support the creation of this kind of crap based on their trust of the Guy (or Gal) In Charge right now, whether that person is a Democrat, Republican, or whatever, are idiots. You should never ask yourself what something like this will be used for, you should ask yourself what it can be used for, and then imagine that the politician you hate the most holding the reigns. Then, and only then, can you decide whether a law, executive order, or whatever is good or bad.

that kind of rational, bi-partisan, middle-of-the-road nonsense isn't going to fly here. this is slashdot!

Sounds like... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916407)

Sounds like we should seize a certain ranch in Crawford, Texas if we're going after people who are "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq" (Section 4.1.a of the order)

Re:Sounds like... (1, Flamebait)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916751)

Yeah, the one Cindy Sheehan just sold.

Re:Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916775)

would they also take over my debts?

The new authority will only be used ... (5, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916409)

"The new authority will only be used to go after terrorists..."

Uh-huh. And the FBI isn't going to spy on ordinary Americans.

Where's the outrage?

Re:The new authority will only be used ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916593)

"Where's the outrage?"

In the living room, somewhere behind the TV. If you don't find it there try in the fridge, behind the 6-pack of beer.

~AC~

Innaccurate and misleading (3, Informative)

raitchison (734047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916417)

This isn't about seizure of anything, it's about freezing of assets, something that has been going of for who knows how long (possibly since the 18th century)

Re:Innaccurate and misleading (1)

mulvane (692631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916535)

Images of Arnold as Mr. Freeze from Batman are funnily enough flooding my thoughts...

Re:Innaccurate and misleading (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916595)

This isn't about seizure of anything, it's about freezing of assets,
This is a distinction without a difference. If you cannot access the money in your account, it is no different from the money being siezed. You have still been "deprived" of it (which is the actual word used in the fifth amendment).

Re:Innaccurate and misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916603)

This isn't about seizure of anything, it's about freezing of assets, something that has been going of for who knows how long (possibly since the 18th century)

While technically true, the furore is not about the distinction of the assets being confiscated vs. "merely" frozen, it is about the process by which it so happens. Particularly about the secret, post-facto, no-redress, no-appeal, wholly arbitrary, Constitution-mocking process. Try to, kindly, keep your eyes on the ball.

Either way... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916613)

You are still being denied use of your property.

"I didn't steal it... I stole it!"

Re:Innaccurate and misleading (1)

moonsammy (65351) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916645)

As much fault as I tend to find in the current executive branch, I have to agree with the parent on this one. Reading through the actual order I see no mention of seizing anything, merely blocking the transfer of property (which, presumably, includes assets both physical and monetary).

I wouldn't be surprised if this were to be used to go after more than just terrorists, but the summary does appear to be inaccurate at least insofar as the seizing of assets / breaking the 5th amendment goes.

Re:Innaccurate and misleading (1)

70Bang (805280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916861)


Riddle me this one, Batman:
Where and when we've seen assets seized, and even when innocent, it's almost impossible to get your assets (returned to you)?

Except (4, Insightful)

lazyl (619939) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916451)

the new authority will only be used to go after terrorists.

Ofcourse, who is and who isn't a terrorist will be determined by the Secretary in secret after the fact.

We're in a national emergency? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916455)

with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003

MOD UP (2, Interesting)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916777)

May be an AC but I don't think many Americans knew that we were officially in a "State of Emergency".

Even if we mod the parent up, though, I don't hold much hope that many Americans will spend more than a few moments thinking about what that really means.

Re:We're in a national emergency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916783)

Apparently so. And if you read the Executive Order, it mentions petroleum products numerous times. Imagine that!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20 030522-15.html [whitehouse.gov]

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916461)

...may God have mercy on us all.

Uh Huh. (4, Insightful)

CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916471)

"...the new authority will only be used to go after terrorists."

Right, until they redefine "terrorist." Or change the rules. Or just break the rules they have, and then label anyone who calls them out on it as "un-American." This sucks; Something's gotta give eventually, right?

Re:Uh Huh. (1, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916633)

Right, until they redefine "terrorist." Or change the rules. Or just break the rules they have, and then label anyone who calls them out on it as "un-American."

No, the order pretty much spells it out pretty clearly. Let me help you since you won't bother following the link to read it yourself:

(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.

Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose

of evading or avoiding, 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. 3. For purposes of this order:

(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;

(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and

(c) 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.

Re:Uh Huh. (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916825)

Very good.

Now tell me where the Constitution gives the President the authority to do this, since it is banned by the Fifth amendment. It appears to my reading that even war does not allow the taking of life, liberty or property without due process.

Historically speaking (3, Interesting)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916475)

I wonder if this will be seen as a tipping point when historians will look back at how the United States became a fascist nation, or if it will be seen as just part of the slow decline that began with the Johnson administration.

"...not much media notice" (0, Flamebait)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916489)

Do you honestly think the media isn't controlled by the government?

I'm not saying this sarcastically or anything. Watch the press for a few years and it's patently obvious that "word comes from above" when anything like this happens.

Re:"...not much media notice" (4, Informative)

jofny (540291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916643)

It's amazing how often this comes up. The media is -not- controled by the government. It doesn't have to be. All the US media is right now is a platform for whomever seems to know what theyre talking about to speak with the world unchallenged. We dont have a muzzled media, we just have an ignorant 24/7-entertainment-economy driven one. That means, without external control, it happens to coincidentally serve the interests of mobs, governments, and people wishing to dish out misinformation unchallenged (in any serious manner). Who gets to get on the soapbox? Wealthy People Powerful People Pretty People (ie, your old high school popular-kids clique)

Re:"...not much media notice" (2, Interesting)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916703)

Personally, I don't think it's so much that the media is controlled by the government, but rather that both the media and government are largely controlled by the same interests.

Re:"...not much media notice" (3, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916807)

Watch the press for a few years and it's patently obvious that "word comes from above" when anything like this happens.

The medium is the message. If you watch TV, you won't see anything of any real importance. Get out of TVLand and you'll find a wide variety of news and opinion. The fact is, Americans have become fat and lazy. Most of us get our "news" from the medium that is least capable of providing insight and understanding, and most geared toward instant emotional gratification.

As an aside, if you'd ever worked in government, you'd know that there is no Ministry of Information Control. Your "patently obvious" observation is just a way of ducking the real problem. The real problem is the laziness of the American public. We are throwing away our republic. We should be throwing away our televisions.

Inter Arma, Enim Silent Leges (4, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916511)

Sad to say.

The root password on the U. S. Constitution is "The Global War on $SUBJECT"

Re:Inter Arma, Enim Silent Leges (1)

gfilion (80497) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916785)

For those who are too lazy to check on wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

Inter arma enim silent leges is a Latin phrase meaning "For among [times of] arms, the laws fall mute," although it is more popularly rendered as "In time of war, the laws fall silent."

protest the war, lose your house? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916513)

You know how police basically can find some law that you are breaking at any given time if they simple deside to hassle you? Wow does this arm them.

So basically if you are a hard-core protester, could you now get your house and bank account seized under the guise that you are interfering with the USA's modern manifest destiny? Cindy Sheehan perhaps?

Re:protest the war, lose your house? (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916855)

So basically if you are a hard-core protester, could you now get your house and bank account seized
Even if you're just a mid-core, mostly passive, dissident the groupthink empowered by the sorts of actions espoused in the executive order gives encourages workplace harassment. Once you're harassed, fired, and made homeless, it all works out about the same.

You know how police basically can find some law that you are breaking at any given time if they simple deside to hassle you?
When I tried to point out the "hassling" part to HR (not by the police, but by coworkers and management) the only response that I heard was,"This is about YOU!!!"

God bless... (1)

spungo (729241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916515)

God Bless George Bush and America... and all the assets I have there.

Summary dishonest (2, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916521)

The summary is a bit misleading. It leaves out a critical section of the order. I've included the first paragraph with the important part bold:

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:...
Is omission of such critical information in order to forward an agenda dishonest?

Next, the Guardian linked gets it right, however, the link should read the new authority CAN only be used to go after terrorists, [guardian.co.uk] since using acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq is pretty much a terrorist act. I don't have a problem with the gov't blocking the bank accounts of terrorists!

Re:Summary dishonest (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916571)

Almost makes you wonder what will happen to Haliburton, et. al. not to mention the various "security" companies working over there (Blackwater, etc)

Re:Summary dishonest (1)

Dave21212 (256924) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916639)


That section you just described is the "we are doing this because..." part, and is NOT the description of what acts qualify to repeal a person's 5th amendment rights. In fact, political acts are included and guilt will only be determined through a secret process outside the courts.

Read it again...

Re:Summary dishonest (1)

pi radians (170660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916665)

since using acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq is pretty much a terrorist act.

Hmmm. Like what happened on March 20th, 2003? Interesting definition you got there.

Re:Summary dishonest (2, Informative)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916691)

That's the preamble of the order, and I don't think you're reading it right. All that says is that due to these violent acts, the President finds it necessary to write this order. It does not say that one must actually commit these acts to fall under this order. The types of activities that would cause you to fall under this order are enumerated further down, and are not all related to violent acts. They include things like undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction or political reform (so do anti-war protesters fit under this?) and providing assistance to groups that do so.

The language is very broad and wide open to interpretation as to who does or does not fall under the order, and is definitely not just limited to people who commit acts of violence.

Re:Summary dishonest (5, Insightful)

jamie (78724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916697)

The part you quote is just the preamble and carries no legal weight.

The summary is mistaken, yes (though not dishonest). The actual situation is far worse than Slashdot's summary describes.

The actual language refers to persons who "have committed, or... pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of" undermining etc.

In other words, you do not have to do anything to be affected by this law. All the Secretary has to assert is that you were probably going to do something that had a bad effect.

Whether you had the intention to undermine Iraqi reconstruction is irrelevant. Whether you actually did anything is irrelevant.

This isn't just overturning the 5th Amendment, it's erasing it and replacing it with thoughtcrime.

Re:Summary dishonest (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916729)

Actually, your first paragraph is probably irrelevant; that's just the blurb explaining why he has to make the order. Even if the original reason was because of OMG Terrorists, it might still be used against political opponents if the actual main text doesn't exclude that.

Fortunately, it does. 1(a)(i) restricts the scope to 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 Iraqi reconstruction. Voting for parties whose policies might threaten Iraqi reconstruction is not an act of violence, so this does not ban all opposition to the Party.

It's still just the word of the President and his cabal that does the determining, but it's not as bad as is being portrayed here.

Re:Summary dishonest (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916799)

Your signature is actually correct. Bush is bad. Over 75% of Americans do not approve of the job he is doing for us. He serves at the pleasure of the American people, and if we told our representatives this personally, maybe they would do something about it. So, if you think Bush is good, you ARE a TROLL. Much like the small portion of society who believes in child rape, your views are incorrect and abnormal and go against the majority of society.

Re:Summary dishonest (1)

Ster (556540) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916805)

That's not how I parsed it. It seems to me that the part you excerpted is saying "This is the state of the world, which is why I'm doing what I'm doing". However, that does not appear to be a prerequesite for any particular invocation of the powers described.

Re:Summary dishonest (2)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916811)

Read the executive order. Specifically:

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:


"[T]o pose a significant risk of committing" is the particularly troublesome part. It's bad enough that we've got three unelected officials getting to determine if someone has committed a crime - thereby undermining the entire concept of due process in criminal trials. It is even worse to have those unelected officials getting to determine if you're going to commit a crime.

The bit later on in the document (Section 5) explaining that, in cases where the person is Constitutionally guaranteed due process (ie, is a citizen of the US), they do not need to be notified that their assets will be seized, because such notification makes seizing their assets harder. Which parses to: because due process is kind of a pain, we're not going to bother with it.

Do I think Bush is trying to become President For Life or some such? No. He's doing what he actually thinks is best. But that's not very comforting. The fact that they mean well is not enough to overcome the fact that they've granted themselves extraordinary, and unconstitutional, powers. The Constitution specifically doesn't say the limits on government are there unless you mean well and really, really want to circumvent them. It puts limits on government because abuse is inherent in power.

Re:Summary dishonest (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916859)

What's a terrorist?

Re:Summary dishonest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916867)

pop works for first data. a majority of the worlds transactions get routed through them.
any person with an electronic account (checking/savings, business or personal) sign away the right to have the account frozen indefinetly at any time for any reason.

the tools are already in place, but are mainly used by banks to catch fraud and drug monies.
authorities have access via proper channels/oversight/approvals.
so the ability to 'stop zee terrorists' is already in place and functioning.

this is just the president claiming power and direct access to this infrastructure.

Sunset? (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916533)

Will this bill expire naturally? Or do we get to look forward to the possibility of having our bank accounts drained and house taken in a few years because we failed to pay a $50 parking ticket?

After all, 'impeding progress in the middle east' can be as easy as not paying your parking ticket. God knows we're the only ones footing the bill for that fiasco.

Re:Sunset? (1)

verucabong (1008319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916647)

Seeing how this is an executive order and not a bill, act or law, there typically is no sunset clause. It can only be canceled by another executive order.

Hyperbole much? (2, Insightful)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916541)

The language is a bit vague, but calling this a defeat of the Fifth Amendment is overly hyperbolic.

Let's calm down a bit, eh?

And why is it that half the articles KDawson approves are either overly liberal, or show some sort of political bone picking? I'm not saying I'm liberal or conservative - I'm Social Democrat - but this seems like it's pandering to liberal scaremongers. "The Republicans hate your freedom!"

Re:Hyperbole much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916763)

... this seems like it's pandering to liberal scaremongers. "The Republicans hate your freedom!"
Of course it is. Didn't you see who posted it?

Why? (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916583)

Why doesn't he just get it over with and declare outright martial law? Obviously there is no fight left in us if this, the "patriot act" and other various unconstitutional activities continue to stand.

Remember the good old days (1)

MoodyLoner (76734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916591)

when we had due process of law in this country?

I find it bitterly amusing that the Administration can take US citizens out of airports and detain them indefinitely with little fuss, but hey, go after our stuff and people start to take notice!

Still, nice to know that this will only be used against terrorists. Never mind that the Secretary of the Treasury gets to define it after the fact - and just make sure you don't cut him off in traffic.

Slashdot ANTI-US (0, Troll)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916607)

As others have pointed out, I'm had enough of Slashdot's anti-US headlines.

one quote comes to mind (1, Redundant)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916609)

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

Benjamin Franklin

Nice, real nice... (1)

Fx.Dr (915071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916671)

Seems to me it's yet just another mechanism with which Bush Co. will cover up (or at least hamper investigations into) the rampant croneyism between themselves and the lucky few working off no-bid contracts overseas.

And can any of us really say we're all that surprised?

those who voted for Bush (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916681)

Now is a good time to bend over, cuz bush is giving it to you. As a citizen of the US, I must say this is wrong. To willfully ignore the constitution and grab power as Bush is doing is wrong, wrong, wrong. I guess that's what you get with a president who doesn't read the freaking constitution or understand it. here I thought everyone had to read and understand the bill of rights and the constitution in high school history class.

Jesus! Can you say hyperbole? (1)

mrBoB (63135) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916705)

Come on now slashdot now that's a pretty distorted article title.

Please tell me how an executive order can overturn the bill of fucking rights? Can you say shitstorm? He'd never get it out the door. Beleive that the president has constitutional lawyers on tap and doing congress' job would overstep the bounds (only Congress can _change_ the Constitution).

Both the XO + the UK article spell out what the tool is and how its used. Admittedly it would stomp on the rights of _CITIZENS_ of the United States as due process [findlaw.com] is required, especially sec 2c. Of course you can simply add in a step to revoke citizenship of U.S. nationals guilty of treason and you're covered.

Supposing that these tools are only used against _foreign_ "terrorists" as the article states, I don't see the real problem. Interestingly, notice the provision on the 5th: "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;" dude the pres is covered (for better or worse) no matter.

Someone needs to change the article's damn title.

News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters?? (1, Interesting)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916709)

When did Slashdot become a political blog?

Interesting (2, Informative)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916713)

Its interesting to note that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain#Bush_E xecutive_Order [wikipedia.org] this wasn't Bush's first EO regarding eminent domain.

That being said, it doesn't really make any difference to any court that has ever heard of the supremacy clause.

Also interesting to note, this is exactly how Lincoln freed slaves in the Civil War. Not that this has much in common with that.

Still ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916717)

At least you still have Brave.

In Other Words... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19916753)

This allows the Secretary of the Treasury to freeze the assets of anyone who isn't supporting the President's plan.

Hear that, Democrats in Congress? That means you. Want to withdraw from Iraq? That sounds like "threating the peace or stability of Iraq of the Government of Iraq" to me.

Don't try helping anyone who's been blocked by this order, either. They're tainted, so if you "have materially assisted...any person whose property and interests in property are blocked", that means your assets can be frozen as well.

This means making "any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services", no matter how small.

It may be aimed at "terrorists" and "insurgents", but that's not part of the Executive Order's language. It's quite broad, and there's no real oversight attached to this.

Group Hug (1)

Tempest451 (791438) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916797)

One more reason everyone here can group hug over the oppressive US government. This government isnt perfect, but it doesnt need propaganda to make it look worse.

I hate to say it but... (4, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916803)

I hate to say it but what did you expect?

Allow a government to get away with as much shit as this current Bush administration has been allowed to, from Guantanamo Bay onwards, and this is what you get.

I guarantee you that if people had kicked up more of a fuss about the rights of POWs (they're POWs, denying that they're POWs and calling them detainees is just an easy way to avoid giving them basic rights) at Gitmo then you wouldn't be seeing stuff like this today.

Right now, the winners in the "War on Terror" are Al Qaeda (they have what they wanted: open conflict with the West) and oil companies. The losers are average citizens, not just in the West but in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, the occupied territories, etc.

It's not too late to change things. But it probably is too late to leave it to others and just hope for the best. Get out the pen, get out the paper and write to your representatives. It's your government, so take it back.

ra ra ra ra (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19916827)

ra ra ra ra executive order ra ra ra ra.
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