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Prior Presidents did Executive Orders so why not Obama?

By Dr. Harold Pease

So what if the President does executive orders! Did not prior presidents do the same thing? Yes and no! George Washington did 8, John Adams 1, Thomas Jefferson 4, James Madison 1, James Monroe 1, John Quincy Adams 3, and Andrew Jackson 12. The first seven presidents totaled 30 executive orders over forty-seven years. The most recent seven presidents Barack Obama 168, George W. Bush 291, William J. Clinton 364, George Bush 166, Ronald Reagan 381, Jimmy Carter 320, and Gerald R. Ford 169 totaled 1,859, over forty years—sixty-two times as many. Obviously something has radically changed.

A review of the literature shows that, in fact, Barack Obama has fewer executive orders than most and proponents of him are quick to make this distinction. They also convey the idea that all executive orders are similar and constitutional unless undone by Congress or declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. These ideas are easy to dismiss. Rarely does Congress undo an executive order because the president’s party runs interference. Moreover, virtually no executive orders are declared unconstitutional because personal damage to someone (not the Constitution) has to be demonstrated and those damaged must be willing to pursue a legal course for several years before their case reaches the high court.

That all executive orders are similar is the biggest fallacy and the one most perpetuated by the establishment media. Rarely do they share the different types of executive orders as I do here. Initially executive orders were largely inter-departmental directives. They were never to have the force and effect of law as only Congress was allowed to make federal law (Art. I, Sec. I, Clause I). The President is to execute the law of the legislative branch, not make it himself.

A few laws of Congress need a statement of implementation by the president. For example, President Washington was directed by Congress to create Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday. His executive order doing so stated their request and his selection of the last Thursday of November as that day. An executive order implementing a single, recently passed (within weeks), law of Congress is constitutional. Very few of the executive orders of today fit the George Washington, or constitutional model.

Nearing the end of the 1800s presidents, fearing rejection of Congress on something that they wanted and not having a specific single act of Congress authorizing their action, began gluing pieces of ancient laws together, some decades old, and initiating an executive order from these. Congress should have threatened impeachment as presidents were usurping their clear constitutional jurisdiction but didn’t, largely again, because of political party.

It was Richard Nixon during the 1970’s that found the burden of gluing pieces of ancient laws together too much work and issued them without it. Impeachment should have followed on this issue alone but didn’t. Presidents from his time to ours have continued the practice of making executive orders simply presidential decrees as dictators do, effectively creating new laws without any review and unconstitutionally usurping the powers of Congress. The normal wordage now used: “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:” is designed to sound official but it is simply made up. Added phraseology “as President,” or “by the Constitution” or, “as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces” still establishes no specific authority.

The Founding Fathers’ concept of separation of powers has been heavily altered the last fifty years. The Constitution allowed only the Legislative Branch to make federal law as noted. A law’s review by 536 individuals (435 members of the House, 100 Senators and 1 President) served as a filter for bad law as only one bill in thirty survived the rigid scrutiny of both branches and bore the signature of the President. Today we need to reject the executive order process that increasingly allows the executive branch to replace Congress as the principal law-making branch.

This is why Barack Obama’s executive orders differ from past presidents and is far more dangerous. In his State of the Union Address he boldly threatened to replace the legislative branch of government by doing it alone, through executive orders, if they did not do as he wished and in a timely fashion. Such is unprecedented and totally unconstitutional. Today, through the executive order process, the President makes half as many laws (decrees if you prefer) as does the Legislative Branch—about three a week. The practice is killing liberty.

“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 WhiteHouse.gov 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 www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

Govt. re-prioritizing U.S. communications

EXECUTIVE ORDER DESCRIBED ABOVE

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
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.
BARACK OBAMA

Can a President Nullify Existing Law by Himself?

Dr. Harold Pease

Normally I do not write on talk show topics, wherein there exists extensive coverage (how be it little depth), I prefer introducing topics missed or under covered by the establishment news, but too few seem to care about the Constitutional fallout from the President’s most unconstitutional executive order/directive ever. Have we no Constitutionalists left in either party?

There is nothing more clear nor basic in the Constitution than the separation of federal power into three branches, one to legislate, yet another to execute that law, and a third to adjudicate possible violations, when contested, of that law—a division of power held “sacred” until the last few decades. The Constitution reads: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives”(Article I, Sec. I).

The Executive Branch has no authority to make law—any law!!!! Executive Orders are constitutional only when they cite a single, recently passed law of Congress, where that law needs a statement of implementation by the executive branch. Presidential Directives, a type of Executive Order, differs only in defining how that law, passed by Congress, will be implemented. Neither type is to alter, or defy, law formerly passed by Congress.

For years some in Congress have been working on what is called the Dream Act that would extend amnesty and place illegal immigrants on a course toward full citizenship. Lacking popularity, twice it has failed to get the majority vote of both Houses of Congress required by the Constitution thus leaving existing immigration law unchanged; once, between 2008-2010, when the President’s party controlled everything except the Judicial branch. A president can only suggest a need for new law in his State of the Union Address, and either sign or veto a law passed by Congress, which then, if vetoed, must be overridden by a vote of 2/3rds of both houses to become law. That is it. This is the law of the land and the Constitutional procedure violated by President Barack Obama June 16, 2012, when, failing to get a favorable vote from Congress, openly defied Congress and the Constitution by ordering a like measure to that defeated, implemented anyway.

In a news conference he outlined the general parameters of his plan but specifics came from a six-page Memorandum from John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (See FEA Number 306-112-0026), to enforcement personnel, which essentially advises ignoring existing immigration law. If left to stand this becomes existing law without the consent of the people through their representatives voiding the role of Congress. Ironically, if a Republican president did the same thing, the Democratic Party would make the same constitutional argument and rightfully demand immediate retraction of the President’s new law under threat of his impeachment.

This is the most open case of contempt for Congress and the Constitution and the President knew it. In March 28, 2011, he said, with respect to the idea of nullifying Congress on the deportation issue. “The notion that I can just suspend deportations just through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.”

So why would he now “flip-flop” and knowingly violate the Constitution? Obama sees an inept Congress that has not placed any restraint on his previous unconstitutional executive orders. He brilliantly also sees a way to “buy” the Hispanic vote. If the Republicans resist he has a powerful campaign issue.

His argument for the violation, “It is the right thing to do.” has nothing to do with the fact that he is usurping the powers given only to Congress, and in the most contemptuous way possible, and establishing a precedent for the continued nullification of Congress. Moreover, he is also in violation of his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”(Article II, Sec. 1, Clause 8). His failure to do so is “a high crime,” an impeachable offense, which action should be introduced with bipartisan support with 100 signatures in the Senate and 435 in the House. This issue is that clear.

So why should Democrats be concerned and reign in their president? Because if they do not they, in effect, give permission to the next Republican president to defy Congress on something they had previously established as law, like national healthcare for instance, and by a simple Directive he too could not enforce that law. Democrats must see that their failure to insist on a retraction of the Directive forever weakens the sole power of Congress to make all law and places us on the road of government by decree or edict of one man. You must choose the Constitution over party. How does a president’s defiance of Congress differ from what a king or dictator does? It doesn’t. The Constitution is their to protect all parties and all citizens from arbitrary and caprices rule. Please let it work.

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 www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

President’s Latest Executive Order Vastly Empowers Himself. Where is Congress?

By Dr. Harold Pease

The most dangerous executive order (hereafter EO) ever written (exempting Franklin Roosevelt’s EO throwing Japanese-Americans into relocation camps against their will in World War II) was EO 12919 of June 3, 1994. By a mere stroke of the pen President Bill Clinton authorized the executive department’s take-over, in case of a national emergency, of all civil transportation including the “movement of persons and property by all modes of transportation … within the United States.”

National emergency was never adequately defined therefore, presumably, left to the discretion of the President alone as to when such conditions warranted his implementation of it. Nor were circumstances noted when such would end allowing the return of confiscated property and the free movement of the people again. Nor was there any noted role for Congress. Nor was there any role noted for local civil authority—the first responders. Nor was it explained why the president needed near dictatorial power in a national emergency and had not in crisis heretofore. There was no debate.

Other things specifically listed to be under his sole control were: all forms of energy, all farm equipment, all food resources, all food resources facilities, all health resources, and all water resources (Section VIII). The detail was incredible. Every possibility considered. Some concern and fear was expressed at the time about this “martial law type” edict but since the president did not act on it, nor did it seem reasonable that he or any future president would, twas soon forgotten. Imagine all this power in the hands of one person. It sounded more likely to be enacted in a communist or fascist country.

On March 16 of this year the infamous Clinton Executive Order was revoked by President Barack Obama and replaced by the equally threatening and expanded National Defense Resources Preparedness. The new EO retains all of the dreaded portions of the 1994 Clinton one, as noted above, but Section 102 of the Obama decree broadens it to apply “in peacetime and in national emergency.” Moreover, according to Section 103(b), compliance can be forced upon all needed “subcontractors and suppliers, materials, skilled labor, and professional and technical personnel.” Imagine private contractors being required to serve against their will. In wartime such a requirement would normally be given voluntarily, but in peacetime?

Where is our elected Congress specifically charged with making all federal rules with respect to a free people as stipulated in Article I, Section I of the Constitution? The EO essentially replaces them on national defense—their most important responsibility. The EO reads in part, “The National Security Council and Homeland Security Council, in conjunction with the National Economic Council, shall serve as the integrated policy making forum for consideration and formulation of national defense resource preparedness policy and shall make recommendations to the President.” An “integrated policy making forum?” Isn’t that what Congress is supposed to be?

To administrate the new self-empowering edict that, as a result of Obama’s Executive Order has peacetime application as well, the EO creates the National Defense Executive Reserve. The President’s NDER is to be “composed of persons of recognized expertise from various segments of the private sector and from Government … for training for employment in executive positions in the Federal Government in the event of a national defense emergency.” A huge new bureaucracy supported by the taxpayer without one ounce of congressional authority—even debate—is created by the stroke of the pen of just one man. The Secretary of Homeland Security is also “to determine periods of national defense emergency.” This implies continued national emergencies that justify continued “martial law like” monitoring of the people in the name of national emergency.

The most dangerous Executive Order in our history, unless you were Japanese-American in World War II, is alive and well and even more threatening under President Obama. If Congress continues its trend of ignoring her sole rule-making jurisdiction, it may soon make itself irrelevant. Unfortunately, it also makes the people and their constitution irrelevant as well. Perhaps your Congressman does not yet know about this liberty threatening Executive Order semi-secretly signed in the Oval Office of the White House. Will you tell him so that he can step up to the plate and defend you?

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 www.LibertyUnderFire.org

The Tea Party GOP Presidential Debate

By Dr. Harold W. Pease

Concerned that the GOP presidential debates were not focusing upon issues close to the Tea Party Movement, more especially the candidates’ views on the U. S. Constitution, from which we have drifted in recent decades, and the Federal Reserve, a non-governmental private organization which determines the value of every dollar in our pocket, the movement teamed up with CNN for yet another debate, this one in Orlando, Florida on September 12. CNN commentator, Wolf Bitzer, narrated taking questions from the audience, the Internet, and from Tea Party groups assembled in parts scattered throughout the nation. All questions and questionnaires appeared to be pre-selected by CNN except for those of Mr. Bitzer, which were at least a third of those asked.

If these two areas were to be more thoroughly covered Tea Party members had to be sorely disappointed. With respect to the Federal Reserve created by Congress in 1913 allowing the Central Bankers to regulate the economy in order to prevent recessions and depressions in the future, the only question asked was with respect to auditing the Federal Reserve. All seemed at least luke-warm to doing so with Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann having the strongest positions toward doing so. These two alone were for returning the power to Congress as designated by the Constitution, and where it was before giving in to the bankers. Rick Santorum wanted the bankers to remain in control but spoke of returning to “an earlier version” of how it was run. Rick Perry was the most dubious on the subject calling it “treason” if “you are allowing the Federal Reserve to be used for political purposes…” but he was not for eliminating it. Mitt Romney made the strongest case for leaving it with the bankers, as “Congress cannot possibly do it.” It is very unlikely that we will get back to the Constitution on this issue from anyone other than Bachmann or Paul.

There were no specific questions on getting back to the Constitution itself. Bachmann used the word constitution twice as much as did anyone else with Paul second and Perry third. Most made no mention of such a need. Perry, however, had clarity on the 10th Amendment and spoke of it as state’s rights yet, as governor, he had no problem forcing, by executive order, the inoculation of young girls 12 years and older with a vaccine against cervical cancer without any attempt to go through the state legislature for approval. He now admits that it was wrong to do so without legislative authorization. Bachmann denied even state government the right to force such action with or without legislative approval.

All seemed opposed to Obamacare but only Bachmann on clear constitutional grounds. “No state has the constitutional right to force a person, as a condition of citizenship, to buy a product or service against their will. It’s unconstitutional whether it’s the state government (referring to Romneycare in Massachusetts) or whether the federal government. The only way to eradicate Obamacare is to pull it out by the root and branch, to fully repeal it…! Because 2012 is it!!!” She added amid great applause, “This is the election that is going to decide if we have socialized medicine or not!!” Romney and Newt Gingrich would end the “threat” by executive order exempting every state, which itself is a constitutionally questionable solution as executive orders are not to be legislative in nature. Bachmann reminded them that the president after them could again, by executive order, restore the unpopular legislation. Romney’s only reference to something being unconstitutional was with respect to Obamacare but he quickly followed that he “favored a health savings account,” which ironically, on the federal level is just as unconstitutional.

On illegal immigration none of them were convincing that they would end it. Perry, with the most practical real life experience with the issue, seemed willing to “put boots on the ground” as president because Constitutionally it was the federal governments first responsibility to protect its people but he as governor encouraged illegal immigration with tax-payer money to illegals for college expenses. Jon Huntsman gave driving permits to illegals in Utah. Romney and Bachmann opposed any money going to “those who broke the law” but neither stated constitutional reasons. Paul was not given opportunity to respond on this question nor was Herman Cain.

On the basis of the Tea Party Presidential Debate, which was to emphasize constitutional themes in dealing with the realities of our time, Bachmann and Paul were the clear winners with Perry a distant, but dubious third; Bachmann even promising to return the Constitution to the White House as her last comment. I could detect no reason to believe that the other five candidates for president would be any better than George W. Bush in getting us back to this document or even seriously reigning in the Federal Reserve. It is your liberty. Pass this along.

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 www.LibertyUnderFire.org.