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So, “We Are All Socialists Now,” But What Does that Mean?

By Dr. Harold Pease

“We Are All Socialists Now” said the front cover of Newsweek, Feb. 16, 2009, exactly four years ago. Editors Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas wrote, “Whether we want to admit it or not, the America of 2009 is moving toward a modern European state,” toward socialism, they observed, “even before Barack Obama’s largest fiscal bill in our history.” The magazine had a red hand (republican) shaking a blue hand (democrat) in favor of socialism. Both parties accepted the “growing role of government in the economy,” they observed. “The U.S. government has already—under a conservative Republican administration—effectively nationalized the banking and mortgage industries.” Moreover, “it was, again, under a conservative GOP administration that we enacted the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years: prescription drugs for the elderly.” The “sooner we understand where we truly stand, the sooner we can think more clearly about how to use government in today’s world,” they noted.

If the “growing role in government” is how Newsweek measures socialism, four years later we are even more socialist than they supposed. In this time period the federal government obtained a controlling interest in General Motors, absorbed 1/7th of the economy under Obamacare, and expanded the power of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to oversee most homes in America. This land expansion was in addition to their ownership of a third of all the landmass in the United States known as federal land. This does not count the controlling influence over all businesses by the eighty thousand new pages of bureaucratic rules and regulations descending upon businesses annually that effectively manage most everything else.

Clearly we are replacing our Constitutional Republic, which emphasizes limited government and individual freedom, and Newsweek tells us that we are just beginning. In light of their honesty it might behoove us to understand where socialist might be taking us by noting where socialism has gone before.

In 1975 the book, “From Under the Ruble,” authored by a variety of Soviet dissidents, all but one of whom were still living in the USSR, was published in the West. The participants were fully aware that their commentary on the socialist system smuggled to the “Free World” would undoubtedly unleash the wrath of the Soviet Bear and result in imprisonment, torture, and possibly death for them. Nonetheless, they felt that the West could avoid the loss of freedom they experienced if only it were warned.

Igor Shafarevich, a corresponding member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and former Laureate of the Lenin Prize, attempted, in his chapter “Socialism in Our Past and Future,” to tell the West what socialism eventually worked out to be in practice. This is, of course, after any significant means of resistance had been moved by gun control. That is the first thing that goes in any tyrannical government. He found the economic definition of socialism incomplete.

In practice socialism resulted in the meaningful governmental control of the means of production and distribution. In the U.S. this is done through thousands of rules and regulations on virtually every activity.

Socialism resulted in complete control of private property. Property was defined as anything that existed including one’s own family and person. This included subordination of the individual to the power of the bureaucracy and state control of everyday life. Try doing anything in our society today without first asking permission of the government. Sexual promiscuity is first tolerated, even encourage, but ultimately procreation on a selective and supervised basis follows. So far we have not lost the right of partner choice, nor did they in China, another socialist paradise, but their birth number is regulated to but one child.

For the USSR socialism meant the destruction of the family as the basic institution of society and the rearing of children away from their parents in state schools or daycare centers. Marriage as an acceptable practice was also minimized.

One of the most defining characteristics of all profoundly socialist countries was the government’s extreme hatred of religion and their commitment to its ultimate destruction. Today’s Progressives in the U.S. have a distance to go to accomplish this, but the value or necessity of organized religion is undermined.

The destruction of the hierarchy into which society has arranged itself was yet another characteristic under which Shafarevich lived. The idea of equality to a socialist had a special character. It meant the negation of the existence of any genuine differences between individuals: “equality” was turned into “equivalence.” Socialism aims to establish equality by the opposite means of destroying all the higher aspects of the personality. Turning “equality” into “equivalence” is progressing nicely in this country as well.

Newsweek’s invitation to “think more clearly about how to use government in today’s world” should dissuade us from going there at all. Why would anyone want to embrace a system that ended all semblances of freedom and which, for them, self destructed in 1989? At least in the USSR they would have been happy to trade their socialism for our freedom. Are we smart enough to listen to them?

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

The Real Reason Mitt Romney Lost the Election. He looked too much like Obama.

By Dr. Harold Pease

In driving to and from Utah late July and spending a couple of weeks in what are known as “Mormon” communities, I expected to find Nevada and Utah littered with pro-Romney signs and didn’t. In fact, I was hard pressed to find any bumper stickers or yard signs favoring either major presidential candidate. There were Ron Paul signs, however. As a political scientist I have studied elections for many years so this omission was glaring. Why the lack of enthusiasm?

America, a right of center country, had no candidate right of center—hence no “real” choice. Except for the “handout” vote, that increased substantially during the Barack Obama Administration and of course went to him, the people were not that excited about either major candidate. They looked too much alike. The third and final debate, focused on foreign policy, clearly showed Mitt Romney as a white Barack Obama. For Romney the whole evening was, “I would have done the same thing, only better.” Both supported tougher sanctions against Iran. Both supported drone warfare in foreign lands without the permission of the invaded country and without even a hint of a trial to prove the quilt of the accused, even if American. Both believe that the President can start a war without a declaration of war by Congress as required in the Constitution and both believe that they can charge the expense of such to our children without approval of the House as is also constitutionally required. Finally, both drew their advisors from the same Wall Street special interest group, the Council on Foreign Relations.

On Civil Rights both supported the Patriot Reauthorization Act, Obama arguing that civil right violations were far more serious under President George W. Bush, because of his executive orders and Obama mentioned violations with respect to Guantanamo Bay, warrantless wire taping, and the suspension of habeas corpus. These candidate Obama promised to reverse “by a stroke of a pen,” when elected. Four years later he still has not done so.

But how much solace can we have from a President Romney on civil rights when he was asked if he was in favor of wiretapping mosques? His answer frightened civil libertarians and constitutionalists. He suggested not only wiretapping the mosques but also Islamic schools and play grounds if needed as well. “We (the government) need to know what is going on… Track them, follow them, and make sure that in every way we can we know what they are doing and where they are doing it. And if it means that we have to go into a mosque to wiretap, or a church, that’s exactly where we are going to go. And I hear from time to time people who say, now wait a second. We have civil liberties that we have to worry about.” Obviously, the violation of civil liberties was not a problem for the last two presidents, nor would it be for a President Romney. Romney, of course, would have no problem if his church or temple were wiretapped by the government.

On this same subject President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act just last New Years Eve. A Bill that the left and right both believed gutted major sections of the Bill of Rights. A U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist, without witnesses, testimony, or defense, could now find himself kidnapped by his own government and shipped out of the country to Guantanamo Bay and held indefinitely without any protection from the Bill of Rights; all this on the say so of the military and president alone. When asked, in one of the Presidential debates, whether he would have signed the Act, candidate Romney answered, “Yes, I would have. And I do believe that it is appropriate,” this to the loud accompaniment of boo’s from the audience which understood that in this country that is never to happen.

A close examination of virtually every issue reveals the Obama / Romney likeness in statements made by each the last five years. Both extolled the virtues of Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury; and both favored retaining Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Both favored extending the payroll tax cut, the line item veto, and each planned to create new government funded jobs rebuilding Americas roads and bridges, a power never delegated by the Constitution to the federal government. Energy independence was a major goal of both, each extolling the virtues of wind, solar, and coal at one time or another. Both listed Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup as major funders. Both favored TARP and stimulus programs. Even on national health care there were far more similarities than differences. The biggest common denominator was their love of big government.

The Tea Party Patriots did what they could to make Americas’ core values: fiscal responsibility, limited constitutional government, and the free market fit for a Mitt Romney, but it was like putting a square peg in a round hole and Barack Obama, who has demonstrated over and over again that these values are not shared by him, remains in office. They chose a Tory, bypassing their own Patriots Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, or even Ron Paul, and have undermined the movement by doing so.

Most pundits of the election argue that the Republican Party, to survive, needs to get on board and look more like the Democratic Party. I disagree. The Republican Party already looks too much like the opposing party and instead needs to distinguish itself more from it. It cost them the election by having done too much of that already.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

The Treaty to Restrict Firearms Defeated—for Now!

By Dr. Harold Pease

I used to believe that if you read and viewed news sources widely enough, which I do, you would have all the information to be properly informed. I depended upon this assumption. I defended and trusted this assumption. I teach Current Events every semester and find so much under-reported. Most of the “real news” is seemingly not headlined. One such is the attempt this summer by the United Nations to further restrict the availability of firearms.

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has been a dream of internationalist and globalists for several years. In their 2006 meeting some 153 countries favored the Treaty, 24, including the United States, did not. Traditionally, until now, the United States has been the leading “hold out” primarily, it is feared, because it could effectively damage the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights—your right to defend yourself with a firearm.

Ironically proponents falsely use Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution to destroy the part of the Constitution referenced above. If they could outlaw international firearms trade throughout the world it would have to be embraced in the United States as well. “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” By restricting movement of conventional firearms by treaty the U.N Treaty provision would be the supreme law of the land they conspired.

The Founders would never have meant for another government to have the power to alter or dismantle any provision of the Constitution that all elected officials are required to swear by oath to preserve. Even more is this so with respect to the Bill of Rights, wherein the federal government is especially restricted from infringement, which acceptance was a condition required by many states for ratification of the Constitution itself. Then the power of the individual state was viewed as superior to federal power that a statement of supremacy of the Constitution had to be made. That is all.

Our previous objection to this treaty was moved from the back burner, and all doors flew wide open for it, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with the green light from President Barack Obama, both long-time anti-gun proponents, announced, “The United States is committed to actively pursuing a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible, legally binding standards for the international transfer of conventions weapons” (America’s 1st Freedom, “Gun Owners Win Battle at U.N.,” p. 46-48). Hence all countries gathered in New York City July 2-27, 2012, to do just that.

The Treaty noted the inherent right of all nations to self-defense but refused to allow the individual that same right. The Treaty seemed focused on conventional firearms, even “non-explosive” weapons, whatever those were, perhaps bows and arrows? Transfers of arms and ammunition required mountains of paper work with proponents wanting information on “end users”—information designedly impossible to know at sale.

Perhaps it is time to remind ourselves that there would not be a United States of America, a land of the free and the home of the brave, without an armed populace that was willing to force a separation with Great Britain because of perceived tyranny. Surely we have not forgotten those Americans who hid their firearms from the British in Lexington and Concord, or the farmers who rushed to the front in the Battle of Saratoga. An armed populace best ensures freedom from tyranny; that is why the Second Amendment exists.

Sadly, the establishment press was negligent in informing Americans of this potential serious restriction on firearms availability endorsed and encouraged by the present administration. Fortunately, 130 members of the House of Representatives threatened the President with their intention not to fund the new treaty were it enacted. Fifty-one U.S. Senators, in letters to both Obama and Clinton, wrote of their opposition to the Treaty and hundreds of thousands of NRA supporters signed a petition that declared “independence from any United Nations treaty that would strip (them) of (their) constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” Because of them the United States, once again, did not sign the Treaty. These are our real hero’s in our fight to preserve our Bill of Rights but again, very little coverage from the popular presses who sometimes give us only part of the news. A story like this should have been headlined everywhere and often.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

“Obama gives Himself Control of all Communication Systems in the U.S.”

By Dr. Harold Pease

President Barack Obama will assume control of U.S. communications should he feel that national security and/or emergency preparedness issues are present as per his executive order of July 6, 2012. There was no consultation with Congress whose constitutional right is to make all law (Art. I, Sec. I). Although not defined, control of all communication presumably meant everything including the Internet as per Section 5 of the Order, although not specifically named. All such was placed under the authority of the White House. (See July 6, 2012).

Congress had wrestled with the “need” for Internet and cyberspace control for several years even attempting to control the Internet in 2009, but the bills they had originated met with such enormous opposition by the people that the subject was, moved to the back burner. The people clearly did not want government having, what they termed, a “kill switch” on the Internet even during time of national security. Enter the President and his executive order entitled, “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Telecommunications Functions.” The Order sounds innocent enough, everybody wants “national security” and “emergency preparedness” but neither phrase is defined. Left undefined it remains the discretion of the office of president alone, whether republican or democrat, to decide what it means. After all, what isn’t “national security?”

Taking law-making power from Congress to influence private communication industries is constitutionally questionable as is the Executive Order itself. It began with the usual statement of authority. “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.” Presidential authority would be found in Article II, Sections 2 and 3, or in an amendment to the Constitution enacted thereafter. In this case there is none.

At this point a president should cite the recently passed law of Congress that legitimizes and authorizes the order. The copy from The White House, Office of the Press Secretary identifies none. Some suggest that this executive order is an extension of the Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12472 of 1984, which cites the Communications Act of 1934, as amended …, the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended…, the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, as amended …, the Disaster Relief Act of 1974…, Section 5 of Reorganization Plan No.1 of 1977…, and Section 203 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978….” Whether from a past Reagan executive order or not, if justification is not from Congress and recent, and instead is simply pieces of ancient laws glued together, a president risks being accused of making new law, a function of Congress alone. Only the first five citations come from Congress and these were all over 34 years old. No recent Congress has approved a thing. Again, there was no authority cited in the Order. The argument that presidents before Obama made up law as well does not make the practice constitutional.

Of course, the “Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions.” But it has always had such. When has it not? Congress, not the president, should discern the need for, and limit to, the power to “takeover” the secular private communications industry and even they cannot do so without an amendment to the Constitution authorizing such. It is not their property.

No rational was given as to why a free people would need extensive governmental control over communications. Such was not needed in World War I, nor when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in World War II, nor was it even suggested during the Cold War, when some citizens were building bomb shelters in their basements. We are told that we spend more money on our military than all the other countries of the world combined. Control of all communication is not one of the President’s listed constitutional powers. Where is the threat that justifies this overreach?

This self-empowering order left control of all communications to the discretion of the President alone (whether an Obama or a Romney as executive orders just move to the next president) as to when such conditions warranted his implementation of it. Nor were circumstances noted when such would end allowing the return of control or confiscated property and free communication permitted once again. Nor was there any noted role for our elected Congress. It is being neutered by executive orders. There was no debate and apparently no resistance. Nor was there any role noted for local civil authority—the first responders.

In light of the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the military to arrest U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and ship them to, and detained indefinitely in, Guantanamo Bay Prison without right of a judge, trial, or Bill of Rights protection, signed into law by the president last New Years Eve, this is especially serious. Add his National Defense Resource Preparedness Executive Order of March 16, 2012, which allows the Executive Branch of government to confiscate all food, water, fuel and etc. if they define a situation, or location, as a national emergency—again by the office of president alone. Tell us why we should now trust the office of president (again whether an Obama or a Romney), with control of all communication as well?

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

Govt. re-prioritizing U.S. communications


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 06, 2012
Executive Order — Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions
– – – – – – –
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. The Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions. Survivable, resilient, enduring, and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial, and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies, and other nations. Such communications must be possible under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies, and improve national resilience. The views of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications policies, programs, and capabilities.
Sec. 2. Executive Office Responsibilities.
Sec. 2.1. Policy coordination, guidance, dispute resolution, and periodic in-progress reviews for the functions described and assigned herein shall be provided through the interagency process established in Presidential Policy Directive-1 of February 13, 2009 (Organization of the National Security Council System) (PPD-1).
Sec. 2.2. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) shall: (a) issue an annual memorandum to the NS/EP Communications Executive Committee (established in section 3 of this order) highlighting national priorities for Executive Committee analyses, studies, research, and development regarding NS/EP communications;
(b) advise the President on the prioritization of radio spectrum and wired communications that support NS/EP functions; and
(c) have access to all appropriate information related to the test, exercise, evaluation, and readiness of the capabilities of all existing and planned NS/EP communications systems, networks, and facilities to meet all executive branch NS/EP requirements.
Sec. 2.3. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP shall make recommendations to the President, informed by the interagency policy process established in PPD-1, with respect to the exercise of authorities assigned to the President under section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 606). The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP shall also jointly monitor the exercise of these authorities, in the event of any delegation, through the process established in PPD-1 or as the President otherwise may direct.
Sec. 3. The NS/EP Communications Executive Committee.
Sec. 3.1. There is established an NS/EP Communications Executive Committee (Executive Committee) to serve as a forum to address NS/EP communications matters.
Sec. 3.2. The Executive Committee shall be composed of Assistant Secretary-level or equivalent representatives designated by the heads of the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Commerce, and Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the General Services Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission, as well as such additional agencies as the Executive Committee may designate. The designees of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense shall serve as Co-Chairs of the Executive Committee.
Sec. 3.3. The responsibilities of the Executive Committee shall be to: (a) advise and make policy recommendations to the President, through the PPD-1 process, on enhancing the survivability, resilience, and future architecture of NS/EP communications, including what should constitute NS/EP communications requirements;
(b) develop a long-term strategic vision for NS/EP communications and propose funding requirements and plans to the President and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), through the PPD-1 process, for NS/EP communications initiatives that benefit multiple agencies or other Federal entities;
(c) coordinate the planning for, and provision of, NS/EP communications for the Federal Government under all hazards;
(d) promote the incorporation of the optimal combination of hardness, redundancy, mobility, connectivity, interoperability, restorability, and security to obtain, to the maximum extent practicable, the survivability of NS/EP communications under all circumstances;
(e) recommend to the President, through the PPD-1 process, the regimes to test, exercise, and evaluate the capabilities of existing and planned communications systems, networks, or facilities to meet all executive branch NS/EP communications requirements, including any recommended remedial actions;
(f) provide quarterly updates to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP, through the Co-Chairs, on the status of Executive Committee activities and develop an annual NS/EP communications strategic agenda utilizing the PPD-1 process;
(g) enable industry input with respect to the responsibilities established in this section; and
(h) develop, approve, and maintain a charter for the Executive Committee.
Sec. 4. Executive Committee Joint Program Office.
Sec. 4.1. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish an Executive Committee Joint Program Office (JPO) to provide full-time, expert, and administrative support for the Executive Committee’s performance of its responsibilities under section 3.3 of this order. Staff of the JPO shall include detailees, as needed and appropriate, from agencies represented on the Executive Committee. The Department of Homeland Security shall provide resources to support the JPO. The JPO shall be responsive to the guidance of the Executive Committee.
Sec. 4.2. The responsibilities of the JPO shall include: coordination of programs that support NS/EP missions, priorities, goals, and policy; and, when directed by the Executive Committee, the convening of governmental and nongovernmental groups (consistent with the Federal Advisory Committees Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.)), coordination of activities, and development of policies for senior official review and approval.
Sec. 5. Specific Department and Agency Responsibilities.
Sec. 5.1. The Secretary of Defense shall: (a) oversee the development, testing, implementation, and sustainment of NS/EP communications that are directly responsive to the national security needs of the President, Vice President, and senior national leadership, including: communications with or among the President, Vice President, White House staff, heads of state and government, and Nuclear Command and Control leadership; Continuity of Government communications; and communications among the executive, judicial, and legislative branches to support Enduring Constitutional Government;
(b) incorporate, integrate, and ensure interoperability and the optimal combination of hardness, redundancy, mobility, connectivity, interoperability, restorability, and security to obtain, to the maximum extent practicable, the survivability of NS/EP communications defined in section 5.1(a) of this order under all circumstances, including conditions of crisis or emergency;
(c) provide to the Executive Committee the technical support necessary to develop and maintain plans adequate to provide for the security and protection of NS/EP communications; and
(d) provide, operate, and maintain communication services and facilities adequate to execute responsibilities consistent with Executive Order 12333 of December 4, 1981, as amended.
Sec. 5.2. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall: (a) oversee the development, testing, implementation, and sustainment of NS/EP communications, including: communications that support Continuity of Government; Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal emergency preparedness and response communications; non-military executive branch communications systems; critical infrastructure protection networks; and non-military communications networks, particularly with respect to prioritization and restoration;
(b) incorporate, integrate, and ensure interoperability and the necessary combination of hardness, redundancy, mobility, connectivity, interoperability, restorability, and security to obtain, to the maximum extent practicable, the survivability of NS/EP communications defined in section 5.2(a) of this order under all circumstances, including conditions of crisis or emergency;
(c) provide to the Executive Committee the technical support necessary to develop and maintain plans adequate to provide for the security and protection of NS/EP communications;
(d) receive, integrate, and disseminate NS/EP communications information to the Federal Government and State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, as appropriate, to establish situational awareness, priority setting recommendations, and a common operating picture for NS/EP communications information;
(e) satisfy priority communications requirements through the use of commercial, Government, and privately owned communications resources, when appropriate;
(f) maintain a joint industry-Government center that is capable of assisting in the initiation, coordination, restoration, and reconstitution of NS/EP communications services or facilities under all conditions of emerging threats, crisis, or emergency;
(g) serve as the Federal lead for the prioritized restoration of communications infrastructure and coordinate the prioritization and restoration of communications, including resolution of any conflicts in or among priorities, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense when activities referenced in section 5.1(a) of this order are impacted, consistent with the National Response Framework. If conflicts in or among priorities cannot be resolved between the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, they shall be referred for resolution in accordance with section 2.1 of this order; and
(h) within 60 days of the date of this order, in consultation with the Executive Committee where appropriate, develop and submit to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, a detailed plan that describes the Department of Homeland
Security’s organization and management structure for its NS/EP communications functions, including the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service, Wireless Priority Service, Telecommunications Service Priority program, Next Generation Network Priority program, the Executive Committee JPO, and relevant supporting entities.
Sec. 5.3. The Secretary of Commerce shall: (a) provide advice and guidance to the Executive Committee on the use of technical standards and metrics to support execution of NS/EP communications;
(b) identify for the Executive Committee requirements for additional technical standards and metrics to enhance NS/EP communications;
(c) engage with relevant standards development organizations to develop appropriate technical standards and metrics to enhance NS/EP communications;
(d) develop plans and procedures concerning radio spectrum allocations, assignments, and priorities for use by agencies and executive offices;
(e) develop, maintain, and publish policies, plans, and procedures for the management and use of radio frequency assignments, including the authority to amend, modify, or revoke such assignments, in those parts of the electromagnetic spectrum assigned to the Federal Government; and
(f) administer a system of radio spectrum priorities for those spectrum-dependent telecommunications resources belonging to and operated by the Federal Government and certify or approve such radio spectrum priorities, including the resolution of conflicts in or among such radio spectrum priorities during a crisis or emergency.
Sec. 5.4. The Administrator of General Services shall provide and maintain a common Federal acquisition approach that allows for the efficient centralized purchasing of equipment and services that meet NS/EP communications requirements. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the procurement authorities granted by law to an agency or the head thereof.
Sec. 5.5. With respect to the Intelligence Community, the DNI, after consultation with the heads of affected agencies, may issue such policy directives and guidance as the DNI deems necessary to implement this order. Procedures or other guidance issued by the heads of elements of the Intelligence Community shall be in accordance with such policy directives or guidelines issued by the DNI.
Sec. 5.6. The Federal Communications Commission performs such functions as are required by law, including: (a) with respect to all entities licensed or regulated by the Federal Communications Commission: the extension, discontinuance, or reduction of common carrier facilities or services; the control of common carrier rates, charges, practices, and classifications; the construction, authorization, activation, deactivation, or closing of radio stations, services, and facilities; the assignment of radio frequencies to Federal Communications Commission licensees; the investigation of violations of pertinent law; and the assessment of communications service provider emergency needs and resources; and
(b) supporting the continuous operation and restoration of critical communications systems and services by assisting the Secretary of Homeland Security with infrastructure damage assessment and restoration, and by providing the Secretary of Homeland Security with information collected by the Federal Communications Commission on communications infrastructure, service outages, and restoration, as appropriate.
Sec. 6. General Agency Responsibilities. All agencies, to the extent consistent with law, shall: (a) determine the scope of their NS/EP communications requirements, and provide information regarding such requirements to the Executive Committee;
(b) prepare policies, plans, and procedures concerning communications facilities, services, or equipment under their management or operational control to maximize their capability to respond to the NS/EP needs of the Federal Government;
(c) propose initiatives, where possible, that may benefit multiple agencies or other Federal entities;
(d) administer programs that support broad NS/EP communications goals and policies;
(e) submit reports annually, or as otherwise requested, to the Executive Committee, regarding agency NS/EP communications activities;
(f) devise internal acquisition strategies in support of the centralized acquisition approach provided by the General Services Administration pursuant to section 5.4 of this order; and
(g) provide the Secretary of Homeland Security with timely reporting on NS/EP communications status to inform the common operating picture required under 6 U.S.C. 321(d).
Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) For the purposes of this order, the word “agency” shall have the meaning set forth in section 6.1(b) of Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009.
(b) Executive Order 12472 of April 3, 1984, as amended, is hereby revoked.
(c) Executive Order 12382 of September 13, 1982, as amended, is further amended by striking the following language from section 2(e): “in his capacity as Executive Agent for the National Communications System”.
(d) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(e) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(f) 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.

Are the President’s “Kill List” Activities Constitutional?

By Dr. Harold Pease

Two things have brought drone warfare to public attention in an amplified way the last few days: our assassination of Abu Yahya al-Libi, Al-Qaida’s second-in-command, and The New York Times release of classified information showing that President Barack Obama, on a weekly basis, reviews a “kill list” and personally authorizes each kill. Is this Constitutional?

The paper revealed a “top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture” but that there is little interest in capture because of a hidden “take-no-prisoners” policy. In the last three months 20 “presumed terrorists” have been assassinated, 14 in Yemen and 6 in Pakistan. It complicates things when they have to be sent to Guantanamo Bay, thus only one person on the list has been sent to the Island prison. Killing them frees us from those messy practices of “enhanced interrogation” (torture) and “rendition” (exporting torture to foreign nations, called “black sites,” less squeamish about screaming victims), practiced under the George W. Bush administration. Under Obama the dead do not need rendition, military commissions, and indefinite detention, the paper infers (Secret “Kill” List Tests Obama’s Principles, New York Times, May 29, 2012).

Moreover, the Obama Administration also got rid of the messy civilian casualties problem by defining all “military age males in a strike zone as combatants … unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” They would not be in the area if they were not also terrorists—guilt by association—they reason. Therefore the Administration can argue, “that not a single noncombatant had been killed in a year of strikes.” One administrative source said, “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.” Unfortunately for The Administration, The New York Times noted, “Videos of children’s bodies and angry tribesmen holding up American missile parts flooded You Tube, fueling a ferocious backlash that Yemeni officials said bolstered Al Qaeda.” Sometimes our actions create our next wave of enemies.

The case of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda propagandist hiding in Yemen, presented the President with Fifth Amendment “due process” problems which were quickly swept under the rug. Killed with him, however, was his 16 year-old-son and “Samir Khan, an American citizen who was not on the target list but was traveling with him.”

The President’s reaction to The New York Times disclosure, “First, I’m not going to comment on the details of what are supposed to be classified items… Second, as commander-in-chief, the issues that you’ve mentioned touch on our national security or critical issues of war and peace, and they’re classified for a reason” (Obama ‘Offended’ by Leak Allegations, New York Times, June 8, 2012).

So, are any of these practices Constitutional? Not one!! All military powers are housed under the Legislative branch Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution except for one. These include all power to declare and finance war, “make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces,” and even determine the land that the military can have for training purposes. The only power left to the president is as “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States… ,” notice this, “when called into actual Service of the United States” which constitutionally can only be done by Congress. The totality of his authority can only follow theirs.

As far as I am able to determine there exists no declaration of war by Congress on Yemen or Pakistan (actually on no country presently) calling into “actual service” the military. Instead, our attacks are acts of war on these states. Imagine drone strikes on our enemies in Russia or China. They, being much stronger countries, would be returning fire. Nor is there a specific two-year funding limitation on this “Drone War” as constitutionally required. Moreover, Congress clearly has been nullified in making the “rules for the government and regulation of land and naval forces” in this no end conflict.

Recent presidents have usurped all of the military powers of Congress unto themselves. It is a dangerous slippery slope and clearly exceeds Constitutional authority regardless of who inhabits the White House, more especially when the kills are American citizens who are executed on the say so of just one man, in the Situation Room, thousands of miles away. Executed without the accused having benefit of judge, jury, trial or any of a series of other constitutional rights. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocent until proven guilty? Tell Congress that you want them to adhere to the Constitution with respect to all military conflicts.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit