And we thought Haneef had it bad

At least he was charged with a crime in front of a judge before the executive arm got involved. Since the latest Presidential Executive Order has been signed and sent to Congress, someone in Haneef’s situation in the USA could be made a homeless dumpster-diver without ever being interviewed by the police, let alone being charged with a crime.

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

…all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

  • (i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:
    • (A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or
    • (B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

So far typically authoritarian, but following a certain valid logic.

  • (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.
  • All assets of any suspect can be frozen, with no notice (Section 5 of the order), by the Treasury without even having to get a court order. Anyone associated with them in all sorts of normal social or business transactions can potentially be treated likewise. And to put the icing on the top:

      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.

    It is illegal to accept a birthday gift for your child from any such person if that law is strictly applied. Or to employ them so that they have income to pay rent.

    • (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.

    So giving money to charitable organisations wishing to provide such a person with funds, goods or services that might allow them to eat or not freeze would be illegal. Of course, Section 4 below makes doubly sure that such a person can not be helped by anyone in any way: no donations are allowed either. Especially from lawyers willing to donate their services pro bono to challenge any exercise of this order, I betcha.

    Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

    The application of this order will make it so that the suspect has no legal way to provide food, shelter and clothing for themselves or their family. All without laying a single charge in court.

    Via Nightshift at Shakesville, who translates the legalese to English for us all and rightfully freaks the fuck out. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment.



    Categories: culture wars, law & order, Politics

    Tags: , ,

    3 replies

    1. Holy fuck. How, how, how can anyone still be deluding themselves that the government is all about the Powers of Good?
      I’m very glad I visited some of my USAn friends in summer 2001. Because there. is. no. way. I am stepping foot in that country until all the totalitarian orders handed down from this Executive Branch are completely erased.

    2. You know what they’ll all say, don’t you?
      If you haven’t done anything, you’ll have nothing to fear!
      I’m afraid this is one of those things which have some kind of intuitive logic and will never go away.

    3. Too true, Helen. The SIM card saga here in Oz is making a few people think harder, but Haneef has hardly impinged on the US radar, so it’s not helping there.

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